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Two Trees Grow in Sleepy Hollow, Concern Owners

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Richard Giordano loves the two Dawn Redwood trees that sit on his Lakeshore Close property, but he said now they're causing problems and should be removed.

“I love these trees,” Giordano said. “But they're way too close to the house.”

Giordano and his wife appealed to the Tree Commission to allow them to remove the two trees, which are about 75 feet tall, sit 15 feet from their house and are still growing. The Tree Commission denied the request, and the Giordanos appealed to the Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees at a recent meeting.

Giordano argued that the trees' roots could potentially cause a lot of damage to his driveway and drainage system. He said he removed a third Dawn Redwood in the past after its roots damaged the house's drainage system. The remaining two trees are growing in that direction and have already started to disturb his driveway, he said.

Tree Commission member Shelly Robinson said the trees were “spectacular” and that she viewed it as a tree versus driveway situation, saying the trees were more important. Department of Public Works General Foreman and Tree Commission member Richard Gross said he didn't see any substantial damage when he went to look at the trees.

Giordano said an arborist told him he could cut back the roots to prevent damage, but it would make the tree very top-heavy and liable to fall over. Giordano is concerned the trees would fall onto his house or something else, potentially causing a lot of damage.

Giordano said he'd be more than willing to replace the trees with trees that weren't so tall and that didn't sit so close to his house.

Trustees were divided on the issue and eventually decided to hold off on making a decision until seeing the arborist's report.

Deputy Mayor Tom Capossela said he favored letting Giordano remove the trees. “They're beautiful trees, but they're compromising his property,” he said.

Mayor Ken Wray suggested cutting back the trees' roots. He didn't see a need to remove the trees at this time.

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