Neighbors in Roanoke share concerns about old trees as city steps in

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Neighbors surrounding Belmont Park in Roanoke are split when it comes to the benefits of trees and their fears of those trees falling.

According to Roanoke City officials, many trees in the park are nearing the end of their lives. Even though city officials say there are no diseased trees in Belmont Park, that doesn’t stop neighbors’ concerns.

Charlene Shepherd, who lives around the park, showed WFXR News multiple trees near her property that concern her.

“That one would probably hurt that house more,” said Shepherd. “This one would crush my truck and my neighbor’s house, I’m pretty sure.”

On Saturday, July 10, a tree fell on Penmar Avenue in southeast Roanoke, but that tree was removed earlier this week.

One neighbor says she is encouraged by the action the city has already taken.

“They had found another tree that was affected and they’re going to wait on taking that one down for safety and health of the trees,” said Leigh Kaiser. “And she even went over and checked the one in our front yard and it’s got some dead pieces on it and they’re going to cut those out.”

For Kaiser, she says that action was enough to ease her concerns.

“With these past couple of things that the city has taken action, that they have responded appropriately. If they had ignored things or if the trees had laid there for weeks or if they had not looked around this past time, I think there would be concern,” Kaiser added.

City officials say that concerns about trees in that park are currently being addressed. In addition, the Urban Forestry reportedly has limited staff and spends lots of time in the field addressing issues with city trees.

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