(FOX40.COM) — A tree in Sacramento has called Boulevard Park home for about 130 years. As the city is considering cutting it down, a woman who lives near the tree is trying to save it.
Susan Christian has sat across from the tree throughout the years from her porch since 1997.
“I love this tree. I love that it’s been here for over 100 years (voice breaks). I’m getting emotional.”
It’s upsetting for Christian that this English Elm, which has towered over her Boulevard Park neighborhood for 130 years, may be in its last.
“I got the removal notice for this tree, and it was hard for me to understand because it does seem to be so healthy and rigorous and strong.”
But according to the city of Sacramento, the tree is not. This letter shared with FOX40.com details an assessment from their urban forestry team. The city maintains over 100,000 trees and found that 70% of its trunk’s diameter was hollow.
The city adds that the tree lost a limb in a severe storm last New Year’s Eve. Large limbs broke off twice before that, which damaged Christian’s car. The city is concerned about the danger of more limbs falling.
“I think we have a difference in expert opinions. And I’m going up against a city that has civic liability and responsibility to the citizens. So it’s a hard fight that I took on,” Christian said.
In her fight to save one of the oldest elms in Sacramento, she hired a forester to examine the tree. He told her there was hope.
“That’s the recommendation that my expert made. For certain pruning to be done. To bring the level down. It’s about seventy feet high. He recommends bringing it down fifty to forty feet and bringing in the sides.”
The city’s urban forester met with Christian. Following multiple reports back and forth, a final decision was made.
“The tree has reached a point in its life where it is considered overmature,” he said. “Pruning to completely remove the defects isn’t possible and pruning to relieve the weight and forces on the limbs isn’t likely to be effective because decay in the tree is so prevalent.”
Christian then reached out to her council member Katie Valenzuela. Valenzuela, who met with the city’s forester, reached the same conclusion.
But in a city full of trees, it’s hard for Christian to let this one go.
“Trees don’t talk to us, but some feel like they are sentient beings. They’ve seen, heard, and can absorb a lot. They’re part of the fabric of our neighborhood. They’re part of my home.”