Great-grandma in Detroit asks Call For Action team to help with threatening branches

Dead tree creates headaches for a single senior

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A great-grandmother worries when a dead tree might come crashing down on her house... or her yard where her great-grandchild loves to play.

On stormy days, Nina Hill's anxiety rises.

"This one here, she's ready to come. She's going to crack any minute," said Hill pointing to a huge branch of an old, bare-bones tree standing in her back yard.

The 72-year-old retired GM assembly line worker has lived in this house on Detroit's west side for 46 years.

"When the weather is windy, it bangs and it bangs on my roof," she said describing the dead tree's unpredictable branches.

She says she had to get a new roof because of it.

During this past winter season, a large branch in the center of the tree fell.

It damaged her chain link fence and took down her telephone line.

It also brought down her neighbor's power line.  That ripped their electric meter off the home's brick wall.

Hill was hoping DTE Energy could cut her branches.

"So they came out after I Called For Action," said Hill.

Our Call For Action volunteers contacted DTE Energy, and she heard from the company in a week.

Crews came out in February and cut down all of the trees behind Ms. Hill's property that were too close to the utility lines.

The stumps are visible along her fence in the alley.

But the company says it cannot touch her main trouble-making tree because it is on her property. Therefore, the company says it is her responsibility.

Her insurance provider agrees.

How much would she have to pay to cut down the tree?

"I've gotten two estimates," Hill explained. "One for 15-hundred-dollars and the other one was for 12-hundred-dollars."

Hill said she cannot afford this.

But when her great-granddaughter comes to play outside her home, Nina gets nervous.

"I just want it to be safe for [my great-granddaughter] so she can have somewhere to play," explained Hill.

"I don't beg anybody because I'm an independent woman, but this is something I would really like a some good person, some good soul to come out and take the tree down," she said choking back tears.

7 Action News is making a plea on Nina Hill's behalf.  We're asking tree removal companies or contractors out there who may be willing to donate their time and skills to remove her tree.

When someone or some business comes forward, our cameras will be there to show the good Samaritan in action taking down the tree.

If you can help, please contact Alicia Smith at or call the newsroom to reach her at (248) 827-9407.

Print this article Back to Top