If a tree falls in Duncan.... - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

If a tree falls in Duncan....

A tree has a Duncan family at war with the city.  A pecan tree seems to be occupying two addresses; part of it is on the property of some residents who live at 405 West Oak and the other half appears to be on city property.  And, that's where the dispute begins.  Two weeks ago, a huge limb from the tree came crashing onto the homeowner's roof.

Each side disagrees about who the tree belongs to. Marcia Wright purchased her home on Oak Avenue in 2003 and says she has been told from day one that the pecan tree belongs to the City.  "I'm very upset because I feel like this tree is the city's assassin. It's out to KILL me," she said.  This problem could happen to anyone, but when it happens to the elderly it can seem unbearable.  Wright's daughter Karen Wilson has stepped in because she's seen enough.  She says she feels like her parents are being taken advantage of and that something must be done.

"The city should be setting examples especially to their citizens by taking care of their tree.  They should be responsible towards us," said Wright.  She says their insurance adjuster suggested they remove the entire tree or trim it back away from the property. 

But, Dana Stanley with the City of Duncan says that if the overgrown tree is growing on the Wright's property, there's nothing they can do because they cannot go onto the owner's lot.  He says they can file a claim to seek damages from when the branch fell onto their roof.  They would need to file a tort claim and then it would be up to the city to decide.

An Oklahoma statue says: "Trees whose trunks stand wholly upon the land of one owner belongs exclusively to him, although their roots grow into the land of another."  The City of Duncan officials deny any liability for damages done to the Wright's home or property by the tree.  They say they will have another look at this situation and try and come up with a solution.  But, as far as they know, the tree does not belong to the city.

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