Man relieved after big tree is taken down

Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 22:06:46-05

A Clairemont resident can breathe a sigh of relief now that a large tree that was threatening his home has been cut down.

George Metz was at the end of his rope. For two years, he'd been trying to get someone to help him get his neighbor's giant fir tree removed or at least trimmed.

Metz claims he contacted the city of San Diego, the fire department, and even his own insurance company, to ask for help. He said they told him tall trees aren't their problem until they fall.

Metz also implored the neighbor who lives directly behind him to do something about the big tree that was leaning in the direction of Metz's house.

The problem was the neighbor doesn't speak English and Metz doesn't speak Chinese.

Metz wrote a letter and asked a relative of the neighbor to translate it. Months went by and the tree was still standing. The El Niño storms rolled in, and Metz worried that the tree would fall.

His fears prompted him to contact Team 10. 10News reporter Jessica Chen, who speaks fluent Chinese, spoke to the tree's owner and he promised to take care of it.

Two weeks later, the owner and a relative were seen atop a scissor-lift with a small electric chainsaw and a rope. The man with the saw wore a bicycle helmet to protect his head.

Metz kept his dogs inside as a precaution, and it's a good thing he did. A big branch fell in the yard early in the day, and by late afternoon, a large section of the tree's trunk had crushed part of his fence.

But Metz got his wish -- the tree is no more. One of the men helping to take it down told Metz the family that owns the tree wanted to be good neighbors.

"I finally have sunshine in my backyard," Metz said, adding he's happy he won't have to worry about the tree any longer.

Metz called it a happy ending, saying, "I'm very thankful to Channel 10 for doing this. We really appreciate it."