Dead man’s tree menacing neighbors’ backyard in Omaha

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A dangerous tree hangs over an Omaha neighborhood, and there’s already been a close call. A huge branch crashed down from the tree onto the Pautlers’ fence — in two places — and they worry there’s more to come.

A violation notice has been sent to the homeowner near 70th and Burt streets, but there was no response.

“Not a safe place to stand, get that danger taken off from looming over our property,” Jenny Pautler said.

That’s why Jenny and Nate Pautler don’t let their kids play in the backyard while they find who is responsible for removing the dangerous tree next door.

“It’s been very frustrating. It’s been a lot of phone calls, waiting on hold and getting passed around from person to person and eventually coming back to the same dead end,” Nate Pautler said.

That’s because the homeowner responsible for the tree is dead, and he lived in the house alone. Since he died 18 months ago, next-door neighbor Mary Anna Anderson said she and others have been picking up the yard.

“The family said, ‘don’t contact us; contact the bank. We want nothing to do with it,’ ”Anderson said.

6 News contacted the bank and neighbors spotted a private contractor inspecting the tree and fence on Wednesday. Neighbors say they’re just concerned about the safety of their families. When this big truck fell recently, a branch they cut off stretch across the sidewalk.

After 6 News emailed to get answers, city experts also inspected the tree and Omaha Parks Director tells me the bank will be removing the danger.

That’s the priority for the Pautlers.

“First and foremost, this tree removed, so I can come out here and play with my kids in the yard and not be worried about what could potentially fall on them,” Nate said.

A US Bank spokesperson said they appreciated that 6 News brought the situation to their attention and that they take such concerns seriously. The bank is not the owner on record, but will continue to investigate the matter.

“We appreciate you for bringing this to our attention. U.S. Bank is not in title or currently the owner of record for the property located at 7026 Burnt St. Omaha NE. We take these concerns seriously and will continue to investigate the matter directly with the neighbor and homeowner. As we do not own the property, we are unable to provide additional comment at this time.”

US Bank spokesperson

Public records show the property is still in the dead man’s name.

The government has put a hold on foreclosures during the pandemic.

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