Trees line a road at Saturnia Lakes. (Credit: WINK News)

Some residents in Collier County community upset over tree removal

Some homeowners in a Collier County community are upset over a massive tree removal while others say the trees have damaged their properties.

Oak trees now marked with “X” may soon no longer line the streets of Saturnia Lakes.

“It’s grown in, it has a canopy, it has a different atmosphere,” said Robert Gandini.

It’s an atmosphere that Gandini and many of his neighbors are afraid will be lost.

“That’s why we moved in here,” said Meghan Ciambriello, who has a tree marked with an “X” in front of her home.

Signs reading “Save Our Oaks” cover the “X” on some trees.

“About 700 in here lining the streets that are compromised at the moment,” Ciambriello said.

Homeowners say the homeowner’s association’s plan for the tree removal went through without their say.

“Basically, the letter said we are removing all your trees,” Gandini said.

“It’s bad for the environment, bad for animals,” said Brandon Romero, a Realtor who sells and lives in Saturnia Lakes. He said it’s also bad for property values.

“It affects it a ton because at this price point, which is a half a million dollars, there’s nothing else like this,” he said.

“Myself, I might sell if the trees go because it just makes it unique.”

Other neighbors say damage caused by the trees cost more than the trees are worth. Some sidewalks are buckled from the trees’ roots, making them dangerous and a potential liability.

“But when you pull the tree, you rip the entire sidewalk out,” Gandini said.

Many homeowners said they just want a say in what happens.

“It makes you less inclined to buy the house in the HOA, to live in the area, especially if it’s going to be a desert with no trees,” Gandini said.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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