Owners of landmark tree face fines if it is not cut down

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Lookout

The days are numbered for an almost 100-year-old eucalyptus tree. The city of Santa Monica, Calif., has threatened to fine the owners of the 125-foot-tall tree anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 a day if the tree isn't cut down by September 15.

The owners of this largest eucalyptus deanei in the country, Faith and Harry Rumack, told CBS Local that they've lived with the tree for 25 years, and they think of it as part of the family.

Faith Rumack said, "It feels like one of our children. I know it sounds weird, but it's very sentimental to us." The couple noted that their kids played under it when they were growing up, and they have parked their cars under its branches for years.

But the giving tree may be giving out. The decision was made when tree expert Walt Warriner noticed that three limbs came down in a three-week period. At 2,000 pounds, one of the branches crushed a car. Officials want this landmark of the community to come down before anyone gets hurt.