After storm headache: The lazy tree that wouldn’t leave

If you think you had it bad in the storm, you haven’t met Nicole Francis.

Sure, some had their cars trampled. Others had a few trees uprooted. But almost no one had a 20-foot-tall ‘tree-strocity’ fall across the entire span of their backyard and slam through the top of their graceful Queen Anne home.

Nicole Francis and her neighbor did.

From what we’ve been told, the tree was standing proudly behind her property on East 19th Street between Beverley and Cortelyou Roads — technically on a third neighbor’s property — when March 13’s strong winds blew it over.

Uprooted, the heavy trunk smashed through Francis’s backyard fence as it fell. Stopping when it struck her neighbor’s home, the tree was left a few feet off the ground at a 45-degree angle.

By Friday, Francis had no luck finding someone to cut the tree up.

Many companies like Evergreen Tree and Shrub, which removed upwards of nine trees throughout the borough last week, wouldn’t touch it. They didn’t have enough manpower to remove the tree, they said.

“This was the big papa, the granddaddy of all trees,” said Henry, an employee of Evergreen. “What was worse, if you removed it from one of the houses, it could roll over and hit the other house.”

The procedure was too big for Evergreen’s crew, as well as its insurance liability limits.

“There were too many precautions to take,” Henry said. “Sometimes you got to say this tree is not for me.”