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Getting to the root of the problem: SI mom battles city over tree damaging her pipes

STATEN ISLAND — Giovanna Gambino says she loves her home on Ionia Avenue, but hates the city tree in her front lawn.

"I've been battling the city for over a year. I've spent more than a thousand dollars on repairing my pipes," Gambino said. "I'm done."

PIX11 reached out to the Parks Department and a spokesperson responded, "NYC Parks Forestry inspected this city tree today and spoke with the homeowner. We will be sending a crew to prune the tree for dead wood and branches within a week."

They also say:

· The city does not reimburse home owners for plumbing repairs—tree roots cannot invade a pipe unless there is a pre-existing hole leaking water and sewage into the soil, which is illegal. Tree roots will follow water flow toward the source to exploit the nutrients.

· The comptroller’s office handles claims for reimbursement against the city. They can be submitted here.

· Root damage in a homeowner’s backyard is not within Parks jurisdiction.

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