Neighbors call for Alameda County action after father of four injured by toppled eucalyptus tree

The giant eucalyptus tree that crashed onto a Castro Valley family's home is scheduled to be removed Wednesday morning along with another nearby tree.

The homeowner Jose Gonzalez, his wife, and four children were inside when the tree smashed through the roof and pinned Gonzalez on his living room sofa at the home on Sandy Street. He remains in the hospital recovering from injuries.

"If you're sitting on your sofa watching a football game, the last thing you expect is a tree to come through your ceiling," said Bonnie Frisvold, a neighbor, "He has major broken bones, major rehab ahead of him and having to learn to walk and things like that again."

Friends and neighbors are trying to help the Gonzalez family by setting up a donation page on GoFundMe. They say the father Jose is the sole breadwinner now in the hospital. His wife, Heather, is trying to manage with the four children still going to school but without a home.

It's a nightmare that Frisvold and other neighbors in Castro Valley don't want to see repeated.

The Kelly Canyon Creek is running swiftly and has overrun the concrete side at some locations. Neighbors say they are scared the same thing could happen again.

"It's just sleepless nights since this happened, because all these trees are at risk, and we need help," said Carol Allen, another Castro Valley neighbor.

Carol Allen joined the Gonzalez family and Frisvold to start a petition calling for Alameda County to do something.

They say another tree fell a few days later and there are at least a dozen eucalyptus trees along the creek banks that tower over homes.

"A lot of homeowners can't afford these trees to be removed or topped off. It's really expensive. I mean, starting it's like $15,000 sometimes $10,000. It's a lot of money," said Allen.

Some residents say the county told them the trees are the responsibility of the homeowners.

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The homeowners say it's the county that planted the trees years ago and should send an arborist to evaluate the safety.

"The Kelly Canyon Creek is owned by Alameda County and hasn't been looked at or checked on in a long time," said Frisvold, "The soil's getting damper. The trees are getting heavier. The wind 50mph winds, this is a hazard, and it needs to be addressed."

KTVU reached out late Tuesday to the Alameda County public works director, department staff, and the Tree Advisory Board director. By evening, they had not replied but a staff member said they would receive messages with the requests for comment.