Hillsborough County man concerned oak tree is endangering homes, neighbors

8 On Your Side

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Riverview homeowner said he’s been trying to get the county to remove a big and potentially unstable tree.

Jason Ellis is afraid that this one oak tree is endangering his home, family, and neighbors. Ellis said he called 8 On Your Side after months of little delays and one big mistake.

“My biggest concern is… that it can end up falling,” Ellis said.

In May, Ellis snapped pictures of the pavement buckling right outside his home near US 301 and Symmes Road.

A spokesman for Hillsborough County told News Channel 8 the problem was caused by the roots of an oak tree.

At the time, crews pruned the roots and repaved the sidewalk and driveway. Ellis said he watched the entire process and was immediately concerned about the tree’s stability.

“The tree started to lean as they were removing the roots,” he said.

Since that day, Ellis said he’s been trying to get the tree removed. He’s not only worried about it falling on a passerby but also concerned about the nearby water meter on the ground.

“Potentially could snap the line and then we have a leak,” he said.

Ellis said the process has been a headache.

“I kept calling and calling and all I would get is the customer service line,” he said.

According to Ellis, crews came out this week but they removed a different tree near his property. He called 8 On Your Side because he’s frustrated and wants a resolution.

“I’m upset because I don’t think there was any real checks and balances,” he said.

A county spokesperson is researching whether there was a potential mix-up in the tree removal process, as Ellis believes. Regardless though, on Monday, the county will have an arborist on-site to look at the remaining tree and the potential danger.

Ellis said he just wants the tree to be removed.

8 On Your Side will follow this story.

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