You Ask. We Investigate. ® Home Owners Worried About Dying Tree

News Staff

Palm Desert, CA

A local home owner reached out to our You Ask. We Investigate team about what to do with an overgrown tree.

Matt Himbert asked, "It’s a huge cost for me and my mom, since the tree is mostly dead due to low watering per restrictions. I want to see if the city will help. It’s also right by an underground transformer for Southern California Edison and poses a risk."

Himbert’s mom, Mary Himbert, said she bought her house because of the tree, but conserving water during the drought made it die.

"Last year is when i lost it. I cut back too much on the watering. It’s not my beautiful tree any more," Himbert explained. 

Himbert said she is concerned because the tree is cracking the house and that’s not all.

"I have all the utilities at the corner," she explained. 

Her son, Matt Himbert, said the transformer is located just feet away from the tree.

"I know the lines are going right by where the roots are at, and it’s just one of those things, the lines are feeding the house, and one of these days it’s just going to finally show its ugly face," Himbert said.

Southern California Edison said they inspected the tree, and found it poses no risk to the underground equipment, which means the Himbert’s have to pay to get it removed. 

"Anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000. I just gave up. I thought I don’t have the money to do that," Himbert said.

Matt Himbert said he’s been struggling to find a new job, so removing the mostly dead tree is a huge burden.

"It’s one of those things, you gotta do something to protect the safety of your house and doing something like this is going to cost," Himbert said. 

It’s costly, but they said, even if it’s not hurting the transformer.

"It just worries me every time we get strong winds, where is it going to land?"

Southern California Edison said to call if you are concerned about tree’s getting in the way of power lines. If action is needed, Southern California Edison will send an approved contractor free of charge. 

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