The Arcadia neighborhood is known for its lush green space and beautiful tree-lined streets. It’s what makes the neighborhood so special, but has anyone noticed the landmark eucalyptus trees that look a little less than appealing?
These historic trees serve as a sort of entryway into the Arcadia neighborhood. These 27 red river gum eucalyptus trees are over 75 years old and each is nearly a hundred feet tall.
And although I’m sure you drive by these trees often did you know the complex dispute surrounding their care and upkeep?
Despite being an iconic piece of the Arcadia neighborhood, 16 of the trees have become noticeably unkempt. Massive limbs have broken off, being held above the ground by still intact branches, while piles of debris and leaves cover the ground underneath. Palm branches fill the ditch below, revealing that people are dumping their own yard waste in the area. The question comes to mind for anyone who walks past: shouldn’t someone be taking care of these trees?
It may sound simple to you to take care of the maintenance of the trees, but believe it or not, there are several different entities involved with trying to determine who is responsible for their wellbeing.
The trees sit on historically designated land, with eleven of the trees being maintained by the homeowner’s association of Arcadia Estates (AEHOA) and the other 16 trees are not, and they’re the ones that are at the center of the controversy.
What the designation inadvertently did was place these 16 disputed trees in a kind of no man’s land, with multiple entities responsible for different sections of the area and no one claiming responsibility for the maintenance of the trees.
The controversy sounds a little something like this. If a limb from one of the trees and lands to the west of the ditch on Arcadia Drive, the City of Phoenix is supposed to clean it up. If it falls directly into the ditch, it becomes SRP’s job. If the limb bounces to the east of the ditch on the sidewalk, the AEHOA has been cleaning up. Unless of course, the limbs fall over the fences themselves on the east side, whereby it becomes the problem of the owner of the resident of the yard the branch fell into.
The City is aware of the issue with the trees but believes that they are under no obligation to take care of them. For the City, it comes down to how close the trees sit to the area that AEHOA is responsible for.
There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution at hand, but the trees are an historic part of the neighborhood and their upkeep is detrimental to the neighborhood at large.