Invasive trees are at the root of all problems for a Port Elizabeth pensioner, with two silky oaks lifting up the foundations of her Lorraine house.
Betty Pink, 85, who has been living in the house for 31 years, is demanding that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality remove the irksome trees.
“I don’t know how many times I have called and written letters to the municipality asking them to remove those trees because they are destroying my house,” she said.
But the municipality insists they have done all they can by poisoning the two trees, which will be removed soon.
Pink said the roots of the two trees had grown underneath her house, damaging its foundations and her boundary wall.
The trees were planted by the municipality the same year that Pink moved to the property.
“All I want them to do is to uproot the trees and not just cut them.
“But they just don’t do anything about it,” she said.
Pink said the municipality had chopped down one of the trees two months ago but had left the stump behind, along with its roots. “I don’t understand why the municipality did that.
“What is the point of cutting the tree and leaving the trunk?
“The tree is not the problem – it is the roots,” she said.
Pink said she had been forced to depend on the municipality because uprooting both trees would cost her too much.
“I pay my dues to the municipality. Therefore, they should be the ones who take responsibility for the damage done.”
Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said officials had inspected Pink’s house in July.
He said the trees had been poisoned in preparation for them being removed at a later stage.
“All the larger roots outside have been trenched, meaning that the roots that have infiltrated the complainant’s front yard will also die off,” he said.
“There will thus be no further danger expected from the invasive roots to the house.”
Mniki said the stump of the tree would be removed once the machine needed for the job had been released from the municipal workshop.
He said an official would be sent to inspect the property again.