Australian Pines damage Cape woman's property

Posted at 7:24 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 19:24:53-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A Cape Coral woman wants the city to step in, after her neighbors refuse to cut down their Australian Pine trees, which are damaging her property.

The trees, which are invasive to Florida, are located in neighboring lots. The owners of those lots refuse to cut them down. Debbie Almas spends hours raking up pine needles, and her fence has rotted away from the dampness of the branches. Besides the mess, she tells Fox 4 the roots are causing major damage. "When I use the lawn mower, it even breaks the blade on the bottom because they're so far above the ground," she said. 

She is also concerned because seeds from the tree are falling into her yard, causing baby Australian Pine to sprout. They are prohibited from being planted in Cape Coral. The sprout are growing right next to her sea wall. She's concerned they will cause costly damage to the wall.

When she asked the city to step in, they told her they could not do anything about the matter. Fox 4 went to City Hall to see if there is a code that can be enforced upon the neighbors causing the damage. A Cape Coral city spokesman tells us, no such ordinance exists, and the issue was a civil matter. The only thing Almas can do, is cut branches and root systems down from her property line. "With regard to if trees reach a certain height, if branches start encroaching on someone's property, roots encroaching on someone's property, that then becomes an issue between property owners," said Connie Barron.