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Posted on Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:51 a.m.

Water Hill neighborhood in Ann Arbor pulls together to try to save tree

By Janet Miller


Eril Andes and the 60-year-old sugar maple tree she hopes to save. "I love my tree," she says. "I don't want it to go."

Jeff Sainlar I

The Water Hill neighborhood just northwest of downtown Ann Arbor rallied this week to try and save a 60-year-old sugar maple tree on city-owned land between the sidewalk and the street. The city had ordered the tree cut down because much of its root system had been severed when a water line was repaired 16 months ago.

Mayor John Hieftje issued a temporary stay on cutting down the maple on Felch Street after more than 25 neighbors contacted him last weekend and early this week, asking him to save the tree. Hieftje said cutting the tree down was placed on hold while more information is gathered.

Eril Andes and husband Rod Morson have spent many summer days with their three children on their front yard, lounging and playing under the abundant shade provided by the tree.

So when an employee from a Flint-based tree service knocked on her door late last week to tell her to stay clear of the Dec. 14 tree-cutting, Andes was shocked. And more than a little angry. It was the first she had heard about the the tree being cut down.

“I was a little passionate,” she said. “I think I scared him, at least as much as a lady holding a baby can scare a guy.”

Within 15 minutes, Andes said, city forester Kay Sicheneder was at her door, telling her the tree was a potential threat, especially in an ice storm or 60-mph winds, because its root system had been compromised. Workers damaged the root system, removing large sections of it, when the water line between Andes’ house and the street was replaced.

In an email, Sicheneder said the roots were severed close to the trunk, removing all the support on the east side of the tree, leaving it structurally unsound. “The potential for serious damage or injury cannot be disregarded,” she said.

Andes wanted a second opinion and asked Alex Sulzer, on the University of Michigan landscape architecture staff, to take a look. After inspecting the tree, he said it looked healthy, but after seeing the root damage in the picture, he told Andes he sided with the city’s call, Andes said.


This photo taken by the City of Ann Arbor shows the root damage done while a water line was being repaired.

Photo courtesy of City of Ann Arbor

Sicheneder had taken pictures of the water line work as it was being done, documenting the root destruction.

But the hole was covered and today the tree appears perfectly healthy, Andes said. In fact, it’s more robust looking than an adjacent tree, on a neighbor’s property, that is partially rotted, seeping sap and has dead branches. “We’ve gone through two entire leaf cycles and it appears healthy,” Andes said. “There’s no dead wood, no dead branches, no big limbs that have fallen down.”

An email alert was fanned out Sunday night to neighbors in the Water Hill neighborhood, bounded by Miller, Brooks, Sunset and the railroad tracks, said John Beeson, a neighbor who sent the email out.

The neighborhood had come together to respond to changes in the city’s rules regarding pedestrian crosswalks, he said. Neighbors also came together last spring to create the Water Hill moniker and host the Water Hill Music Festival, where neighbors took to their porches to perform music.

Andes said she understands the city’s concern about potential liability. “But, of course, I don’t want to believe them. I want to believe it’s a healthy tree,” she said. “There are many trees in the city that could fall down in an ice storm or in 60-mph winds.”

Hieftje said he granted a permanent stay on the tree cutting. “Nothing’s going to happen until the facts are resolved,” he said. “We need to get a second opinion. Working to see if there’s a way to save the tree is our goal.”

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Armena Marderosian

Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Eril Anders with 522 Felch tree photo is an inspiration- Way to go girl ! Role model to follow what we feel is right. Armena


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

I understand it for being a Sugar Maple, but it's one tree...causing damage. I'm not letting my tax dollars pay for anymore damage because she wants the tree to be healthy.

Bob Bethune

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

Folks who are convinced this tree will come down in the next windstorm might want to look over the weather records for Ann Arbor over the past few months. We've had over a dozen days with winds or gusts in the 40-60 miles per hour range during this autumn. The tree seems to have held up just fine. How do we know the root structure hasn't recovered?


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.


Wolf's Bane

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Neighborhood name should: New hope

mike gatti

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 4:56 a.m.

Someone please tell me I read this right. This woman got an opinion from the city tree person and then got a second person at U of M who confirmed the city person's conclusion and decided based on whatever that the tree should stay? By the way good one. Based on what information was the removal stayed? Kay Sicheneder is the city's forester. What other facts are there to get? Do you think she is out to get this tree? Also aren't there any local companies to handle the removal?


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Well I am glad to hear I am not alone , a big beautiful tree was cut down, because it was planted to close to the garage.. yes I am going to miss that tree covered the backyard and keep the noise down from the street .. plus no I dont have much privacy...there needs to be a tree doctor around to call when trees need when the lawnmover guy cuts the roots ...every time he cuts the grass.. we have lost 18 trees in the last 2 years and that is too much. we need to plant 3 trees for evey tree cut. also plant fruittrees so we can have the birds and bees again ...with out them there is no food /future. we bepend on Nature ...


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

Why don't you hire a new "lawnmower guy"? And just pick up a phone book, you'll find a tree doctor there.


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

This is just the sort of in my limited mind silly and sentimental issue that gets Ann Arborites' knickers in a knot! The issue should be decided upon the evidence, not sentimental "Woodsman, spare that tree!" flapdoodle!


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

I've never seen so many coddled individuals. Wah, you'll miss the tree but what if it falls and kills someone Ms. want to do the time for criminal negligence in your refusal to have the danger removed? I know I'd be upset if someone I knew died as a result of this unsafe tree and found out YOU prevented it from being removed as a known safety hazard. How about notifying your insurance company to release them from paying for your house when that tree falls. Just because other trees MIGHT fall isn't good reasoning. THIS tree has a KNOWN hazard making it LIKELY to fall under what are considered normal winter and storm conditions. To demand it to remain is selfish, self centered, and inconsiderate for the safety of others. Shame on you and anyone else protesting its removal. And shame on the mayor for hedging on his duty to act in the "public" good. What a crock!


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Thanks again, You provided me with a lot of laughs with this non-story on a boring Saturday night. It never ceases to amaze me what people choose to post on on in this blog. Priceless.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

We had two gorgeous, huge, healthy looking oak trees on the side of the road maybe 50 feet from our property line. They must have been about a hundred years old. They stood near each other. Old friends. One day about a year ago one of them blew down. We were just amazed. How could that have happened? We don't know why, but it did happen. Luckily it fell away from the road. I would listen to what the arborists are telling you.

Ann English

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

Years ago, a healthy-looking oak tree that looked huge from a distance and located on the other side of the road, blew down one night in a storm, falling into that neighbor's front yard. Fortunately, their house was set far enough back of the road to avoid being hit by the tree. It was obvious right away that the tree fell down because it was HOLLOW. Must have been eaten away inside for years, although it kept growing and shedding leaves year after year, right to the end. Later, a red oak tree down the road but on the same side as the old black oak tree had been, was struck by lightning and all the green leaves on it turned brown because it was dead. I don't blame whoever decided to cut down that tree within a month of the lightning strike.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

While I generally side with the Lorax, in this case the city needs to cut it down. If I were Eril Andes, I would plant a new Sugar Maple in my yard to replace the one about to be cut down and move on.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

if that's all they have to protest maybe it's time to protest the protesters.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

Only in Ann Arbor!


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

Continued: Go by what was written. I'm not a mind reader. In the past I have been called to task for "telling people what they think", so ..... I see no mention of history or culture. Just people living there. Maybe you can point it out for me, since I seemed to have missed it?


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

Nice try. But that isn't what was said. Let me repeat so it is easy for you: "I said and still say the best thing about the neighborhood is that it has retained many of the black homesteads that have been there I dare say since the 4o's and 50's" I see nothing about history or culture. I can only go


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

Eye, Kinda hard to embrace and celebrate black history and culture without mentioning.... well, black.

Rod Johnson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Really? No one in any other town has ever tried to save a tree?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

See shadow, you don't need to mention race at all. That's the point. Sorry you can't see beyond black and white. Maybe some day. Keep working at it. You'll get there.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Shadow, the Water Hill Music Festival that prompted the name of our hood featured performances by those that live here, black, white and other, and was enjoyed by all. It was a fabulous affirmation of our neighborhood as it currently exixts, with all it's diversity and history. I am sorry that you apparently feel left out of the loop here.... But our naming of ourselves, our embracing our community, has included all of us, and has come from us, organically. It in no way rejects the rich black history of our neighborhood. Quite the opposite, we celebrate it.

shadow wilson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

I am not backtracking at all.I said and still say the best thing about the neighborhood is that it has retained many of the black homesteads that have been there I dare say since the 4o's and 50' that long enough for you Sally? You show a lack of respect for the history of the neighborhood and to me for ignoring the fact that I had personal experience as I attended Mack elem and most of my school friends (still friends) were from this neighborhood.So indulge me please if I am skeptical of someone fairly new in the area coming up with a "name" for the neighborhood that does not reflect in any way I see the history of the people(black)that came long before the waterhill business


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

I don't get why the city even knocked on her door in the first place. Cut first, measure after. that neighborhood should be Knight's Knoll.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

"I love my tree," she says. "I don't want it to go." It's on city owned land, but she thinks it's hers. Until it needs some maintenance, or it falls and does damage. Then it will belong to the city. That's the typical mentality these days around here.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

totally agree

Helen Gierman

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

It is BUSHES fault


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Though I would normally side with the tree experts on this, it seems a little odd and reckless that if the tree was so severely structurally damaged 16 months ago that it represents a hazard to property and public safety, they're just now getting around to removing it, after surviving one full winter and having 16 months to repair the damage. The workers really dropped the ball on this one, not only in failing to mitigate potential liability, but also in forgetting that a big part of their job is customer service. I would hope that it was an oversight, rather than arrogance, that the homeowner wasn't notified beforehand. Would it be a safe assumption that disciplinary action has already been handed out to the person that made the decision to remove the tree, yet failed to notify the homewner (if only to make sure there wouldn't be any cars in the way), and that the city was already planning to replace it with a decent sized new one in the spring? And would it be a safe assumption that the city employee responsible for the cost of a wasted service call by the tree service has offered to compensate them for it?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

Trees just are not compatible with development. I have a tree that is suffering and in order to see if it could be saved we called a forestry company. It is close to, but not on the area where the well was dug and the forester told me that the problem probably started when the trucks that drilled the well just drove over or sat on the roots while the well was dug. The well is so far from the tree, none of the drilling would have done root damage like in this case. And that was years ago so even though this tree looks okay to the resident, it may be doomed anyway.

shadow wilson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

To silly sally: you ask why it is good that I claim the best thing about the Gott/Miller area is the retention of black families and how gentrification has not displaced too many and somehow you accuse me of absurd. Let me point out the obvious it is good because family homesteads have been passed on to children and grand children.Neighbors have had long lasting friendships and a neighborhood has retained stability........the kind of thing we all want. I went to Mack in the 60's when this was a predominantly black neighborhood with aunts ,uncles , cousins grandparents in the neighborhood. Don't be naive. The cost of housing in A2 did displace many of the long standing residents of the neighborhood it is good that many remain. To those of us actually from A2 with some respect for our history Water hill has no credibility as a name I bet if one searched they could find the original name if there was one.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

Good post shadow wilson.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

Mike gets it. A2annon, and Shadow are backtracking. Now they are talking about diversity in an effort to save the racist comment about how a "…a good deal of the BLACK families that have lived in the area …" were retained. If this had been the original intent, why was it not said? Even if it were, why look at everyone by race, instead of as neighbors?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

I dunno, Mike. Maybe if there were a traditionally white neighborhood, and lots of black families started moving in, but lots of white families stayed (no "white flight"), someone could very well make that comment with the same intention -- valuing racially diverse neighborhoods.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

I think the point was that if someone said how great it was that all these white families still lived there, that would be considered racist.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

Thank you, I agree with you on our racial diversity -- it is without a doubt part of what I like about living on Water Hill. But as for your &quot;no credibility&quot; contention --- do a little research! This neighborhood has come together in the past 2 years, in ways that we definitely were not prior to that. We've come together to plant trees at Hunt Park, create several community gardens in the neighborhood, host a fabulous Music Festival, participate in crime watches.... The name came naturally FROM the neighborhood. It was not &quot;given&quot; to us. We like it. See here: <a href="," rel='nofollow'>,</a> and here: <a href=""></a>. Water Hill is even on google maps now! It's our name and we like it.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

Let's find out who their homeowner insurance company is and snitch on them!!!!


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

I'll bet if this tree falls and does damage, that the first call they'll make.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Just come with a chainsaw in the middle of the night and finish the job. Honestly - are there not more important causes out there? Do people crave attention that badly?

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Hunt Park

Old Salt

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

There is a large tree in our neighborhood that should be removed,it takes up the entire extension .which is only three feet wide,is half dead ,hollow inside and held together with cables. we have asked city hall several times to have it removed but get no response from them sevaral homes will be damaged when it falls down. This treee is in the historic area of the West Side of Ann Arbor.

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Hiscock Hill

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

Wildt Way

Jim Osborn

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

If 25 neighbors contacted the mayor, these same neighbors could also be wise enough to move their cars whenever it is windy. I grew up with a home that has a 100-foot sycamore tree in California, and these trees self prune by dropping branches that are more than 2 inches in diameter. Up to 4 is not uncommon. It is illegal to prune that type of native tree and neighbors always move their cars whenever one of the rare 50 to 80 MPH winds occurs. These neighbors could do likewise. We do not need a nanny state, making everything completely safe.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

Promise it won't fall in next years?

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

Silly Mike, this tree ain't sick, just a damaged root, and they can grow back if given time, It didn't fall during this years winds.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Then no trees should ever be cut down, no matter how weak or sickly they are. Just move your car and house out of the way when it's windy. And don't drive by any trees ever.

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Miller Mound

Joan Lowenstein

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

Here's a case where the city staff are concerned about safety to everyone, not about liability. Because of governmental immunity, the city does not have liability for damage that occurs as a result of falling trees. People have tried to make claims against the city when tree limbs have fallen on cars, for example, but if the cause is wind or weather and not a city worker actually sawing off the limb and having it hit the car, there is no liability. Let's hope the tree can be saved, but it should be clear that the city's interest is not a financial one.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

There is a big difference between the wind blowing a limb off an particular tree and a large tree that was identified by the city at a public risk, as in this case. There is no such thing as complete governmental immunity. That standard comes from English law (you may not sue the King) and for decades has been whittled down. In fact the case of Li v Feldt 439 Mich 457 (1992), which occurred right here in Ann Arbor was a victory for the city only because no public nuisance existed. That case went all the way to the MI Supreme Court. In this case, the city itself has determined this tree poses a public nuisance/risk to property and residents and thus may very well be a liability for the city should it fall an shmush someone. I think at any point past the date the threat was supposed to be removed, the city is skating on the wrong side of the ice.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

At this point, the city has conceded it's dangerous, but has decided to leave it standing to appease one resident. I would imagine a good lawyer could work with that.

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

Spring Hill


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

With all due respect to Ms. Andes, she is being a bit unreasonable. Of course she likes the tree; I miss the ash trees I lost a few years ago, too. But the picture at the top of the article evidences that this is not the only tree in the vicinity, and the potential risk is substantial. Much more astounding is that the Mayor, and therefore the City, has exposed itself to substantial liability. Imagine that there is a windstorm which knocks the tree down onto a car. When the insurance company that holds the policy on the car sues the City, the judge won't just look at the fact that the tree was on City property, but also at the fact that both City staff and third-party experts established the risk and that the City then specifically ignored the risk and chose not to mitigate it. Maybe that is all okay if a car gets crushed. But what if the car is occupied? Even were it Ms. Andes herself who was injured -- and I'm not wishing this on her or anyone -- she would have ground to sue the City for the injury, in spite of the fact that she advocated for the City to take the position which resulted in it. Her individual advocacy is admirable, but the Mayor's response is sheer lunacy.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Or drive a car when it's windy. That whole spring hill neighborhood will have to shut down on windy days, if they want to be safe. Or was it sugar hill? I forget.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Don't sit in a car under a big tree during high winds.

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

Felch Firth


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

this must be the &quot;ugly tree&quot;

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

Sunset Park

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

Old North Side

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Summit Heights

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Lets Vote Water Hill


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Water Hill was created by one of our own, and has been embraced by the neighborhood, ever since our homegrown music festival. See here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Jim Osborn

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

The tree can remain and still be safe. The experts are only being 100% certain, and few trees are that The city should have moved the spot where they tap into the water main, if this is a place where a new city water main was replaced, or dug a larger hole and routed the pipe differently instead of destroying a tree's roots. If this is such a safety hazard, why wait 16 months? The tree is still standing and healthy. Severe winds seem to be the only danger. Three options, besides doing nothing, are to use telephone pole support cable to the ground. Another might be to tie it to an adjacent tree. Only the top of the tree needs to be dampened so the wind doesn't get leverage. A third option is to severely prune the tree so it is not as tall, reducing the leverage that the wind could have on the tall branches. Or, do all of the above. Why does the city seem so uncaring about beautiful trees, and so damage them? They have so threatened a friend's property that has an easement thru the backyard, saying any tree within 15 feet will be destroyed.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

Silly Mick, read the article, The mayor stopped it.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

Seems to me that if the City of Ann Arbor with its love of all things green, has concluded this tree has to be removed, all appeals and hopes of savior have been exhausted.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

I think that we already have had some severe winds, AND THE TREE PASSED! Let it live. Hey, I agree with the mayor!


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

"But, of course, I don't want to believe them. I want to believe it's a healthy tree," I want to believe in Santa.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

Santa's not real?

shadow wilson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Brad, a relative had severe damage done to vegetation when sidewalk ramps were installed. This was done by contractors.When the city official came out to see the damage she too was quite angry.Fortunately my relative is skilled and not only was he able salvage things but made the area look better.

The Picker

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Water Hill ? Don't you mean Water Deparment Hill ?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

really, let's be accurate.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

I love that the mayor will change his mind on some things when people speak up, but on other things which actually have importance in this city, he turns his head and does whatever he wants. Ignorant leadership at its finest.

shadow wilson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

This is not the only time contractors have messed up trees herein A2.......perhaps the city should better scrutinize who they hire and emphasize the protection of trees etc...

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Oh, and new water lines can't be routed, as another man mentioned? Of course this can be done, and it should have been done. And some call this "Tree Towne"


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

I had a similar experience and it was city workers who dug up the tree roots. Why? Because they had no choice -- the water line was directly under the tree.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

This is SOOOO Ann Arbor. Look, the tree is a danger to homes, cars, and human life. You already have professional opinions on it. It's not a complex issue, such as whether or not the tree is actually infected with some rare, hard-to-diagnose tree disease. It's simply the fact that it's missing some of its support mechanism. It's a risk of being blown down on top of somebody's house, car or person. So have a funeral for it, with candles and incense, and even invite the druids over to help. I know we have some in the area because I see their meetings listed in the Observer calendar. Then it has to go.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Good grief! Again, the city, (in this case the mayor), side with an emotional response instead of using common sense and taking care of things responsibly. BTW, I have fond memories of potholes on my street, I wish they would have let them be.

shadow wilson

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

I have lived in a2 all my life,I went to Mack school.And never was this called ...&quot;The Water hill&quot;.. neighborhood. What is the fascination with making up names.......Germantown, watherhill??? The best thing about this neighborhood is that it has retained a good deal of the black families that have lived in the area for a long time_ gentrification did not overtake the area.Back to your tree.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

What's wrong with a neighborhood naming itself. I think the name really took hold because of the great Water Hill Music Fest, when people all throughout the neighborhood were out playing music on their porches and in their yards. It was wonderful! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 10:27 p.m.

Silly Sally, you're picking nits.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

"…living in a racially diverse neighborhood." But that is not what Shadow Wilson said. He said, "…retained a good deal of the BLACK families that have lived in the area …". If someone had said, about a Dexter or Barton Hills Neighborhood, that it had "retained a good deal of the WHITE families that have lived in the area …" for a number of years, Shadow Wilson would be hounded as a twin brother of racist Bull Connor. Why does he feel the compulsion to mention race, and feel that if it is black, he (or she) gets a free pass) Shadow didn't talk about retaining all long time families, just ones of a certain race.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Copying what I wrote below, for Mick: This neighborhood has come together in the past 2 years, in ways that we definitely were not prior to that. We've come together to plant trees at Hunt Park, create several community gardens in the neighborhood, host a fabulous Music Festival, participate in crime watches.... The name came naturally FROM the neighborhood. It was not &quot;given&quot; to us. We like it. See here: <a href="," rel='nofollow'>,</a> and here: <a href=""></a>. Water Hill is even on google maps now! It's our name and we like it.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

I do not typically pay attention to the names of neighborhoods, if there is a sign or not, but likes to use them. It is far better to use an address, a block number like 700 block of Miner St, or an intersection. That way when you read the story you are not left wondering where such and such neighborhood is located. I lived in this neighborhood for five years too and I never heard of it referred to like this. It's much easier to look up a location by the methods I noted above than to search for the name of a neighborhood. Even if you find a neighborhood you do not know the location of an incident. Your info that people are making up names now enhanced my frustration.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

Oh, and Sally.... it's good because we enjoy living in a racially diverse neighborhood.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

And why is this good? If I had said, "…and the best thing …is that it has retained a good deal of the WHITE families that have lived in the area …", think about how racist many would feel this would be.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

I saw that &quot;Water Hill&quot; recently and had the same thought - that it was made up. And apparently it is. My favorite is still &quot;midtown&quot; Ann Arbor, a/k/a the corner of Liberty and Division.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

"Nothing's going to happen until the facts are resolved," he said. "We need to get a second opinion. " There are already two expert opinions that say the tree is likely unsafe and should be removed. The facts *are* resolved. How much more time/effort/money should the city and taxpayers be expected to expend to save a single, objectively unspecial tree?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

"I think I scared him, at least as much as a lady holding a baby can scare a guy." - I love this!!!


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

The mayor already has two opinions, one sought by the homeowner. Since it is on city-owned land, the property owner cannot assume liability. If it falls now, has the mayor's order made it so the city's liability policy won't cover it?


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Looks like a beautiful tree, but if it comes down to a contest between the tree and the wind my bet is on the wind.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

Read some of the offered solutions later in the day to saving this tree. The wind and the chainsaws do not have to win.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

I'm sorry, but this seems like an awfully short sighted emotional response to me. Yes, I know no one wants to loose a nice shade tree in their front yard, especially if they hold fond romantic memories of growing up under it. To say that &quot;it still looks healthy above the ground, therefore I don't see how it could be at risk&quot; is simply foolish though. There may still be plenty of sufficient root system to supply the tree with nourishment to keep it looking healthy, but that has nothing to do with it being structurally well supported. If the primary roots have been completely severed on one side, then it seems quite obvious to be at risk of potentially uprooting and coming down toward the other side. I'm quite sorry for the loss of your shade tree here, but please don't supplant reasonable judgement with emotion.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Make them sign legal papers saying they release the city of any responsability if the tree falls and causes any damage to their home or cars and leave the tree alone. Unless they won't sign.


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

..and add they they should bear costs if it falls on an innocent passerby , car, or other structure.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

I agree with OldTimer3. Have these folks sign off on legal documents stating that in the event of a storm, high winds, etc., and the resulting damage caused by this tree, that they absolve the city of all responsibility and payment and that they will cover the costs of all repairs and liability. Try it. You'll see them change their tune immediately. They will then willingly allow the tree to be cut down. Look, trees that are WAY older than this one get diseases and have to be removed. It's nature. It's life. It happens. Deal with it. Don't put others at risk because of your silly sentimentality. I have a HUGE 200+ year old oak tree on my property that has oak wilt and must come down. You don't see me fighting city hall. Ridiculous.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

City council? What makes you think they are going to save a tree when they are hanging the HS out to dry? Get real, the council is thinking of city place and whatever else makes them happy. Good luck with the tree hugging situation.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

You forget that they would not only have to release liability for any damages incurred to them or their property, but accept liability for potential damages or harm caused to others.


Sat, Dec 17, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

Seems like a simple solution. On the other hand, you could have a candlelit vigil plus a fundraiser with local musicians and of course involve city council!