PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - Nothing beautifies a home like a couple of big, leafy trees in the front yard. Unless, the home is in the city and the trees in question are bigger than intended.
When Shirley Kelly moved into her Christina Place home, she fell in love with the two beautiful tree in the front yard. They're called Zelkovas.
"Oh my goodness. So much shade in the summer time, you don't have to worry too much about air-conditioning. You can sit out on the porch and just enjoy the breeze from the trees," Shirley Kelly said.
Twenty-one years later, the Zelkovas have taken over. Far too large for their location, the trees' roots have buckled the sidewalk terribly.
"People in wheelchairs, they can't even come up on the pavement. They have to go in the street," said Kelly.
The buckling is so bad Shirley can't even use her driveway because of the huge drop off caused by the roots.
The tree roots have grown under and into Shirley's foundation, creating plumbing problems.
"Every 2 to 3 months I have to have a plumber come out here, which costs me money because roots are in the pipes," Kelly explained.
An inspector from the city's Street Tree Management division came out to look at Shirley's trees and found they were, indeed, a problem.
"The work will be performed at some later date," reads a letter sent to Kelly. "An exact date cannot be given at this time."
The date of the letter was May 17, 2010.
FOX 29 took photos and called the Parks and Recreation Department to see what could be done.
"I get it that things don't happen overnight, but we're talking about 8 years," Kelly said.
The letter from the city notes homeowners can get problem trees taken down immediately if they pay for the work themselves.
"You got several thousand dollars laying around? Cause if I did, I would've done it a long time ago," Kelly exclaimed.
In the meantime, Shirley Kelly waits and waits and waits for the city to keep its promise and remove the trees.