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Normal Heights resident bombarded by palm fronds

Palm Tree.jpg
Posted at 6:22 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 12:19:45-05

SAN DIEGO, CA — SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The City of San Diego calls it the "Get It Done" App, but a Normal Heights man says he wants to know when work will get done.

"They block the sidewalk. They've ripped through my canopy. They've killed my two lemon trees," said Mike Scaglione as he stood in front of his home. He's referring to the damage caused by palm fronds that fall from two trees on city property he says are in serious need of maintenance.

"It'll be seven years tomorrow that I've lived here and in that time frame I've probably picked up 3 or 4 hundred palm fronds."

Scaglione said he's been trying for several months to get the city to keep up with the trimming of the two palms outside his home.

"They say they're going to, or they direct me to somebody, but it just keeps going no where until it's a dead end."

Scaglione says aside from the damaged to his property, he fears a potential for much worse.

"Its kind of hard to see," he says, grabbing a palm frond from a pile collected near the trees, "but if you run your hand along here there's a pretty jagged toothed edge on here that if it was to land on somebody it could rip them pretty nicely."

Scaglione has been using the city's Get It Done app. Past reports show crews have responded to clean up the fronds once they're on the ground.

But when it came to a neighborhood tree trim last October he says, "They came through here and trimmed every tree on the block except mine." Scaglione said he asked the crews why. "They didn't have anything that could get up that high." Scaglione estimates the trees at 40 to 50 feet.

In response to an inquiry by 10News, a city spokesperson sent an email explaining San Diego is on a two-year cycle for trimming city owned palm trees. Scaglione's block was on the schedule for October.

But there's still more work to be done. So, does that mean the trees in front of Scaglione's home will be trimmed? "Yes," replied the spokesperson, "It is on the schedule."

Though Mike feels like he's been here before.

"They would look into it when they were doing similar work in the neighborhood. Again, I have no idea what that means either."

The rest of the city's response is summarized as follows:

The nature and frequency of this season’s storms have made frond falls more pronounced than in recent years and there are many communities, particularly those in older neighborhoods with mature palms, experiencing similar accumulations of fronds following rains. City crews are regularly dispatched to remove collections of fronds and have been busy during the rains. The city encourages community members to safely stack fronds along the curb line making it easier for crews to conduct their collection efforts. The Get It Done App [getitdone.Force.Com] can be used to report downed fronds. A property owner can also request an evaluation for approval to remove trees at their own cost. However, that evaluation may not lead to approval. The city is not in the business of removing our communities’ trees unless they pose an immediate public safety threat.