DOWNEY (CBSLA.com) — Residents of one Downey neighborhood are lamenting the fact that 26 giant pine trees had to come down.
The trees, many planted more than six decades ago, are causing foundation damage in homes up and down Muller Street. Their over-sized roots are literally tearing up many sidewalks.
On Wednesday, crews began cutting down and cutting away the trees.
CBS2's Adrianna Weingold spoke to residents who say they already miss the shade and some who couldn't wait for the trees to come down fast enough.
Some residents who grew up in the neighborhood are devastated by the loss of these 100-foot tall green giants.
"I never thought in my lifetime I would see these trees coming down, it's sad really," said Enrique "Kruton" Alvarez.
Alvarez and his partner -- Cricket Clarke -- posted letters on the trees thanking them for their shade. They were both hoping the city wouldn't follow through with plans to cut them down.
"We used to sit in the front yard every afternoon and yesterday we tried to find shade and we were huddled on the sidewalk," said Clarke.
Other residents told Weingold shade is the least of their concerns.
The residents told her they were the ones who initiated the project after the roots from the pine trees grew so big they damaged the foundation under some homes and broke through pipes, as well.
"I don't even have a tree in front of my house but that one was causing problems to the plumbing," said Rosie Rendon.
City officials say the community voted overwhelmingly to remove the trees in order to fix the broken sidewalks, plumbing and foundation issues.
Still, even residents who say the trees were invasive and messy and voted to have them taken out, say they're still sad to see them go.
"When the infrastructure of your house is being affected the piping and all of that, sadly we needed to make the decision and do it," said Carlos Manzo.
The plan moving forward, reported Weingold, is to replace the giant pines with smaller trees that have less invasive, pipe-busting roots.
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