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Shreveport woman protects tree in her yard from being removed by city

By Gerry May

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    SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (KTBS) — A sewer line project looked more like a crime scene, as an elderly woman blocked a tree cutting crew on her property Thursday morning in the Highland area.

A swarm of officers put up crime scene tape and talked with the woman as she sat in her walker by a large catalpa tree on her property. She was there to stop a crew hired by the city to remove the tree, which she says may be 200 years old.

“They’re going to have to carry me to jail because I’m not going to give in,” vowed Elizabeth Shackleford, who turned 92 the day before.

Shackleford and her family say the tree is not in the city’s easement, where it intends to lay new sewer pipe.

Ultimately, the tree removal crew took off with all of their equipment and heavy machinery, and police removed the crime tape.

“There is not a criminal element here. This is going to be a civil issue,” SPD Cpl. Chris Bordelon said. “We have instructed both sides to return to court and see if they can reach a resolution in this matter.”

Shackleford and her two daughters on the scene said they all have fond memories of playing under the shade of the tree. The family says it’s owned the property near the dead end of Leon Street since the late 1880’s.

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