Seminole County neighborhood to cut down hundreds of problematic trees

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SANFORD, Fla. —

Dozens of Seminole County families are trying to save hundreds of trees.

The homeowner's association believes the trees in the Lake Forest neighborhood near State Road 46 and Interstate 4 are a liability and need to be chopped down.

But some residents who talked with Channel 9 aren't happy about the decision.

"Obviously going for a run is central Florida in the heat you love every tree you can find," said resident Karen Scharback.

Residents are fighting back with a website called Got-Trees.com, which encourages homeowners to write the board members in an effort to change their minds.

"This is unacceptable," said resident Brett Scharback. "This doesn't seem like a good plan, to change the entire character of our neighborhood No.1, and more importantly, to affect our property value."

But the president of the HOA calls the trees ticking time bombs and said they could cause thousands of dollars in damage. Some trees have already buckled sidewalks and streets while others are destroying a pipe several feet underground.

"We have had people that have notified us that they have broken their eye socket, lacerations, pictures to the board," said HOA president Harry Ellis.

Currently, 200 trees are on the list, but there 1,200 in the right-of-way.

Officials want to come up with a reasonable long-term plan, and some residents have proposed adding root barriers to block the roots from growing through the sidewalks.

The board is hiring an expert to pinpoint the most problematic trees, then come up with a plan to re-plant less-intrusive ones.