Heritage oak tree falls in Pleasant HIll -- who is responsible?

Thursday, August 30, 2018
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Sections of a 350-year-old tree named Emma fell in Pleasant Hill, crushing several cars.

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- A Pleasant Hill homeowner is dealing with a huge mess and a lot of questions after a 350-year-old heritage oak tree fell and damaged seven cars on her street.

Audra Cudd said it sounded like the crack of a wood bat hitting a baseball and then she heard a thud. She says she knew right away what had happened.

"So my husband and I jumped up, I'm like it's the tree it's the tree! It was so surreal when we opened the door," said Cudd.

A giant limb from the 350-year-old geritage oak had snapped off and landed across Hardy Circle. No one was hurt.

The city of Pleasant Hill recognized the old tree with a plaque and named it Emma. The homeowners say they were told that meant they couldn't trim it without approval or chop it down because it is protected.

Cudd says she was granted permission to trim it once and denied several times.

But now she and her husband are on their own.

Pleasant Hill's maintenance supervisor, Mike Nielsen, tells ABC7 News the tree belongs to the homeowner. The damage is their responsibility.

A tree expert came out Thursday morning and told the Cudds the entire tree likely needs to be removed.

Nielsen says they will be allowed to do that since this is an emergency situation but they will have to pay for it.