unreal problem

Ok guys heres a good example of stupidity all around.
theres a big tree about one home away from mine. The lady that owns this home is near 90 and blind. I shovel a path to the street so she can get out by county bus service for doctors visits etc. I help her in other minor ways like taking her trash can back to her house after the garbageman does his thing. she is in real bad shape and having lived here since 1972 do what i can to help a old friend. she looks bad.
now the tree doesnt belong to her, its on a abandoned right of way from before the homes were built in 1950.... the tree lies in brunner lane... long unused its grass. hasnt seen a vehicle since 1972 when i moved here, neighbor a original owner said lane never used once homes were built
now this tree has a BIG limb pushing on the neighborhoods new verizon fios line. recently the tree has been losing limbs the town came out one time and cut one hanging down in the middle of the road. i have pulled some off the road and disposed of some too
the phone line is now in tension supporting the tree limb, the nearby pole appears no longer plumb taking some of the load.
so I figure the phone company will send out a bucket truck, 5 minutes with a chain saw and the line is safe. splicing fibre reportedly very expensive......
after 2 hours of talking to verizon repair finally says they no longer do tree trimming, they wait till the line comes down and bill the property owner. they refer me to the town
informed offending tree is on abandoned right of way I call the town. they said we will look into it. that was last week.
called town again today, told they arent sure who owns the land the tree is standing on. might be whats left of the brunner family. in any case its illegal for them to trim tree even though its a hazard and can cause accident or injury, if the limb well over a foot in diameter hits a vehicle. they broke law removing earlier limb......
said solicitor is looking into who owns the ground then they will be given 10 days to fix the hazard.
meanwhile that tree is going to knock out phone fios and FIOS TV in our neighborhood besides perhaps causing a accident and injury.
I told the road crew guy if someone gets hurt I will testify at the trial and that authorties were informed. and so far havent blocked the street
the pole has no electric service on it just cable above the limb and verizon below.
good advice needed my personal as well as business phone will be knocked out along with FIOS so i have a vested interest in getting this fixed.
limb probably 18 inches in diameter, tree must be over 200 years old perhas 6 or 8 feet in diameter
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Abandoned right of way, cut it and claim it as Adverse Possession. For the tree I had the same issues nobody would cut it till it failed until I found a road crew for the phone co and offered them 25$
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If HE cuts it and something goes haywire, like the phone line gets knocked out, you don't think Verizon will bill him?
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This type of problem requires contacting someone with the power to fix it. If the land is owned by the town, contact the mayor. It should be simple for them to look at the tax role to see who is paying taxes on the property. In this area the town can enter property to cut weeds, or remove a dangerous situation.
Sometimes you have to go through the back door. Once had a problem getting off a main road onto the street my house was on because of snow piled up across the street entrance. I actually had to block the main road so that I could align my car 90 degrees to the traffic and gun the car through the snow.
It was too late to contact the roads department, no one was answering, I even tried the mayor but he had gone home. Finally I called the local police who said it was not their responsibility. I told them there was a major accident ready to happen and then they will have to get involved in responsibility, since they had the ways and means to find people who could clear the snow. 15 minutes later a snow plow cleared the street and intersection.
Possibly the police could help with your problem.
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Twenty years ago, I cut down a tree which was a hazard, believing it was on State property. It turned out two thirds of the tree was on private property and the property owner sued me for $250,000. It wasn't fun!! My homeowner's insurance paid for my legal defense, and ultimately the settlement. It still wasn't fun.

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ouch!
I plan on contacting my local town coucil member and ask him to take a look, call verizoins presidents office and see what they can do and call the pittsburgh post gazette. our local paper.
verizoin is rolling out fios tv they may not like the publicity of ignoring a known threat that will likely take out service for awhile.....
I DONT want the tree cut down just the unsafe limb renmoved. tree is likely 200 years old, it was mature full grown in 1950 when housing plan was built. I saw a photo it and the sycamore in my back yard were the only 2 trees around back then of any size
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Set it on fire, someone will come. Lou
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wrote:

Brightly, stupid advice.
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That's the idea. Keep going. If you don't get satisfaction, call the mayor's office. In many places, local TV news channels have a "consumer advocate" type of person you can contact also. Look up your local TV news stations and ask them.
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I'm a bit confused if the tree is in the front yard in what we'd here call the "road allotment" or in an abandoned lane on the side or back of the lady's property. If the latter, I'd be careful. In some places ownership of abandoned rights-of-way "reverts" to the adjacent property, or maybe the property line is the centre of the lane to begin with. Bottom line: it may be her tree, and by calling attention to it you might be sending a big bill her way.
You might call some arborists, get some quotes, see if any have senior discounts. Maybe you can get the minimum necessary pruning done for a dollar amount that you and some neighbours can split as a Christmas present for her.
Chip C Toronto
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Chip C wrote:

Thank you for beating me to it, Chip. Ownership of roadways, either active or abandoned, is QUITE variable by locale and year they were laid out. Large roads and highways are usually owned by some unit of government. Smaller roads, especially subdivision streets, are quite often on easements. On the corner-lot house I own down in Louisiana, I technically own out the centerlines of the platted streets. (Noted that platted and paved often differ.
No good way to tell who owns the tree without pulling the land records for the adjoining lots and the original subdivision of the property. Little dead-end lanes for future subdivision expansions that never happened are quite common around here. Neigbors usually end up using the space as extra parking on the paved part, and extra yard beyond. No idea if they bother getting the paperwork straight on it.
As to who pays for the tree-trimming? In my experience, it is whoever benefits from the use of the land, in this case the utility. Billing the property owner only flies for the drop to the house, not the wire passing through- hopefully the Verizon droid simply didn't understand OP's explanation. Their easement, their problem. The original paperwork on the easement from way back when, should spell that out. It may or may not be reflected in the deeds.
But since a little old lady is at risk, the suggestion of sending photos to local newspaper/TV, and whatever passes for elder protection agency, are probably good ones. CC'ing whoever the local equiv of a mayor or Boss Hogg is, around there, would also likely be useful. Use words like 'liability exposure' and 'negative publicity'.
I know this ain't the old days, but in the town I grew up in, a call to the local public works supervisor, would have had this added to the next day's work tickets as a matter of routine, just like clipping a limb that blocks the view of a traffic light.
aem sends...
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I've read a few of the posts to your thread and don't know a solution. You MIGHT do better by writing, rather than phoning, the parties you have complained to. Send certified mail. "Hazardous trees" are a code violation where I live, so your city likely has some similar ordinance. If so, then they might be more inclined to determine who the property owner is or who has jurisdiction, or decide that someone has an easement to take care of the trees.
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buffalo ny: first phone call and a letter to your county health department social services adult protection unit, who will check on your neighbor, in erie county buffalo ny the law here gives 24 or 72 hours for follow up. i have done this for three people since 1974 and the county people are very thorough and prompt and nice. second, increase your homeowner insurance to comprehensive coverage with the tree as a named hazard, this will just cost money but gave me peace of mind. third, notify the municipality clerk or city clerk, in buffalo ny for example it's the city clerk, about what you see as a hazard. whether it's a pothole or a tree they will have been properly notified by you, and your responsibility and liability is handed to the proper authority for action or inaction as their priorities and budget and tax money may determine. a big "dead" tree in front of one of our houses lasted more than 20 years past our early worries and notice to the city, and we were sad to see it actually get cut down as had reliably upheld my kids backyard zip line over the pool for years. my kids are now in their late 20's and haven't been hit by a tree branch. you might explore a reverse mortgage with your friend. the big tree may have a hidden asset value depending on the type of wood, or maybe its tree house, swing, or zip line value.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Read about a similar case. Guy had some property that backed up to a highway right-of-way. On the right-of-way, a few feet beyond his fence, stood a tall, dead tree. He figured it's gonna fall down someday and either take out his fence or land on the highway. So he calls the highway department. They say they're on the case.
Three days later he comes home to find a 60' Pecan tree in his backyard has been cut down and hauled off. Dead tree still standing. He has a fit. Calls the highway department and fusses like the third monkey on Noah's gangplank. Profound apologies abound.
On the following Monday, chap comes home from work and finds TWO of his trees missing! These were even closer to his house. Dead tree still alive (so to speak). Fence is also torn down and big equipment ruts in his backyard.
I don't know the final outcome; I do know he got the press involved and probably sued the highway department and everybody they ever knew. Perhaps the highway department came out and tore down his house.
I guess the moral is: Be afraid.
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It would seem that the biggest problem is the 90 year old neighbor. If anything happened to her, she would have no way of calling for help if the phone line was down.
---MIKE---

>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')
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Around here, any pole that isn't privately owned is marked with the owner's name on a metal plate and it also has an ID number. Most are owned by the electric company so there might be a marking on it that says "NiMo 82" or something like that, which would designate it as being owned by Niagara Mohawk (now National Grid). So go check the pole and see if it says anything.
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On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:28:36 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

On a dark lonely windy night go and yank down the phone line. Make sure you use a wood hook or something that won't leave evidence as having been cut with a metal tool. The idea is that an Act of God or high winds finally brought down the phone line. Let the phone company figure out if they want to cut the tree limb.
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Throw a loop of natural fiber rope over the wire and tie the rope to your car bumper. Should be an easy yank.
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