Modesto residents are asking for city’s help to stop falling trees

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- With fallen trees, missing limbs and holes in the ground, families said living on Modesto’s Ardmor Avenue is like gambling with their safety.

“It’s like a nightmare on Ardmor Street because trees are just falling everywhere,” said resident Heidi Fountain.

“It’s a concern for me because the trees are over 65 years old. They’re old,” said resident Eldon Glenn.

Fountain said one of those trees crashed near her daughter’s car in the last week of November.

“We would just like to be able to park our cars, live in our homes and not worry about trees falling,” Fountain told FOX40.

Fountain said this time, the fallen timber only scraped the back of her daughter’s car. Her neighbor’s work truck wasn’t so lucky. And in the summer of 2018, neither was her daughter’s brand new Hyundai

“If the trees need trimmed, we shouldn’t have to wait for a disaster next door for you to come trim other trees," Fountain said.

Spokesman Thomas Reeves said the city of Modesto does have certified arborists on staff but funding and manpower don’t grow on trees.

“Certainly, we’re not able to inspect the trees as often as we’d like," Reeves said. "We have thousands of trees, as you can imagine, in the city.”

Reeves said years of drought have led to the dying trees. And because the rot is inside, crews will need specialized equipment that uses ultrasound to find the rot.

“It’s expensive equipment, so we’re looking at funding, roughly $10,000 apiece,” Reeves explained.

With more and more trees falling near homes, cars and people, Fountain said the city should not play games with families’ safety.

“Go spend the money, get your little device and make it safe for people to have trees,” she said.

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