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Fearing Deadly Accidents, Angelenos Plead With Officials To Remove Dead, Diseased Trees

WATTS (CBSLA) — There's a growing problem Angelenos are hoping will be rooted out before someone gets hurt.

Trees are ripping up sidewalks and their limbs are coming crashing down, posing hazards across the city.

For three years, Watts resident Lee Miller says he's tried to get city officials to care for a tree on the 1800 block of 109th St.

"My fear is it's going to kill somebody," Miller said. "You can see it's leaning. It's going to fall."

But Miller says no one has headed his warnings.

"They said, 'Is it dangerous position?' I said, 'Yes, and there are kids in the street and cars that park there,'" he recalled.

A spokesperson for the Public Works Dept. said Miller's address is in a pipeline for sidewalk repairs, along with 1,700 others. In a statement, the spokesperson did not address the tree.

In Granada Hills, Joe Sanchez and his neighbor, Joseph Boyd, have similar complaints.

"I've called them twice," Boyd said about a hollow tree on Gerald St. has been coming down one large branch at a time.

"It's unfortunate that someone has to get hurt or there's damages have to occur ... before they'll be able to come and fix the problem," Sanchez added.

The last time a branch came down he says city crews came to remove it. They also left behind a saw horse and left the tree in-tact, according to Sanchez.

The city says there is one crew for dead tree removal and they're adding another.

"In FY 2017-18, we removed more than 1,000 dead street trees and another 500 since July. With demand greater than capacity, requests are inspected and prioritized based on public safety," a statement read.

That's not good enough for Miller, who says the tree on his street is still alive. He worries it's not just the sidewalk that is threatened.

"What are they gonna do when it falls?" he asks.

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