Elderly woman wins reprieve for beloved tree

Posted at 7:26 AM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 19:53:28-04

A 91-year-old Allied Gardens woman has won a reprieve in her efforts to save a tree that is a beloved reminder of her late husband.

Marie Ostwald told 10News that she was willing to stand in front of the tree that she and her husband planted nearly 60 years ago until Mayor Kevin Faulconer steps in.

On Sunday, Ostwald took to Facebook to ask other moms to help her.

"I just wanted a tree there, and it survived this long and I don't know why they want to yank it up," she said of the tree on Mission Gorge Road.

Faulconer posted the following message to Ostwald on community website Nextdoor on Monday morning:

Marie Ostwald, a 91-year-old Allied Gardens resident asked the city to help her save a tree she and her late husband planted nearly 60 years ago. The roots from the tree were cracking the adjacent sidewalk and some of its root system had to be removed in order to make repairs. However, the City is pausing plans to remove the tree in its entirety. Staff will ask a second arborist to review the tree's stability to determine if there is any risk of the tree falling.

Mrs. Ostwald, I want you to know that we heard you. Happy Mother's Day.

Ostwald watched the tree grow right alongside her family, but the tree has grown too big and has caused several problems.

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The tree's roots have damaged the sidewalk, and even after city workers cut them away and fixed the concrete, they said it could still fall over.

Workers tried to cut the tree down last week, but work was stopped when Ostwald's son asked to see their permits.

Ostwald told 10News an arborist told her the tree is safe. She wants the city to wait to cut it down until after she is gone.