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St. Louis neighborhood fed up with city's Forestry Division

A problem tree has repeatedly damaged property on a south city street, according to one resident.

ST. LOUIS — Milentz Avenue in south St. Louis is a quaint one-way tree-lined street. Instead of being a pleasant sight, the tall Linden trees along the road have become a nuisance.

"Tree limbs are coming down," said resident Amy Reidel, "they've come down on two of my cars, nearly crushing both of them, and my neighbors' cars as well."

Cars aren't the only things that have been damaged on Milentz. A few doors down from Reidel, a city-maintained tree fell on the neighbor's house damaging it.

The area between the sidewalk and the street is city property. Residents can't take tree trimming into their own hands without breaking the law, so they are left to the mercy of city administration. 

"We have all filled out the Citizen Services Bureau form. We've made phone calls. I've spoke with the forestry division," said Reidel. 

Friday was the first time, in 10 years of living on Milentz, that Reidel had seen forestry trucks in front of her house. She thinks maybe her emotional pleas to the city were finally heard or it was the phone call 5 On Your Side made about the problem tree. 

"I just also think that is ridiculous for someone to have to do. We have children around here that every time this happens we are just so grateful that children or adults, that nobody has gotten hurt," said Reidel.

Thursday night, it wasn't people, but Reidel's car that took a hit from the old Linden tree. She estimates the branch that fell weighed over 300 pounds. Her neighbors helped move it, revealing a crunched-in hood and busted headlight.

In 2015 the same thing happened to a different car of Reidel's. She filed a claim with the city, but was sent a letter saying the incident was deemed an 'Act of God' and that she was financially responsible for all of the repair costs.

"I really hope it will be different this time," said Reidel. "I just have no reason to think that unfortunately."

Reidel and her neighbors agree that with some TLC from the forestry department, she thinks the trees along Milentz wouldn't be a hazard.

5 On Your Side has asked the City of St. Louis for comment on Reidel's ongoing tree issues and are awaiting a response.

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