Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home

8 On Your Side

RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Riverview homeowner said he’s been trying to get the county to remove a big and potentially unstable tree. Now 8 On Your Side is getting results for this veteran.

“I feel relief, after almost a year trying to get this resolved,” said Jason Ellis.

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

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

In May, Ellis snapped pictures of the pavement buckling 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.

8 On Your Side contacted the county about Ellis’s concerns. Soon, crews were outside his door.

“They definitely removed the tree that I initially had a concern with,” said Ellis.

Not just one tree.

A county spokesperson said a professional arborist determined that nine trees in the community were a danger and they had to be removed.

While Ellis enjoys the character the trees provide to his neighborhood, he’s relieved his community is safe.

“I would recommend it to anyone that if they’re having any issue … that you call 8 on your side.”

We were glad to help Ellis for a different reason. He served in the United States Air Force.

“I was injured in Iraq in 2003,” said Ellis. “I was in a wheelchair for about a year and a half.”

Ellis made the USA team for the Invictus Games in 2016.

Meantime, the county spokesperson said the trees had to be removed due to where they were placed. The county was not involved in that decision.

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