Chesterfield resident asks for sweetgum trees to be declared haz -

Chesterfield resident asks for sweetgum trees to be declared hazard

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. ( - Some see sweetgum trees as beautiful and others see them as a nuisance. One Chesterfield resident, however, wants the city to declare them a hazard.

"It actually caused someone in the neighborhood to be taken to the hospital because his foot went under him under the sweetgum," said Margy Tafoya, who had a sweetgum tree in her yard taken down.

The Chesterfield Planning and Public Works committee met to discuss the fate of the embattled trees after one resident complained.

"In some of the areas here, it's not like one or two [sweetgums], it's hundreds of them," said Kevin Pallardy, who said he understands other residents' frustration with the trees. He said, "It can be a little bit hazardous. If you are walking, you really have to watch your step if you are walking or running, because it's very easy to slip."

Other residents told News 4 the trees are annoying, but they aren't sure the city needs to take action.

"To take out trees rather indiscriminately, just because someone doesn't like them or they drop some fruit, right now that's just not high on the list of priorities," said Michael Geisel, director of public services in Chesterfield.

Currently, sweetgum trees are classified as a nuisance tree in Chesterfield. If declared hazardous trees, the city would have an obligation to do away with the hazard of the sweetgum trees.

"Anytime there is a hazard in the right of way, the city has an obligation, a responsibility to do away with the hazard," said Geisel.

Geisel told News 4 he does not expect the committee will recommend any change in the classification of sweetgum trees.
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