A woman who climbed a tree in hopes of saving it from a developer's chain saws has fallen out of it, but that hasn't deterred her efforts to prevent the tree from being cut down.

Elizabeth Carlin was treated for a deep gash on her right leg when she fell off a ladder climbing out of the 40-foot black walnut. The 47-year-old schoolteacher said her doctor told her to stay out of the tree.Meantime, her two daughters and married son have alternated taking her perch in the tree to protect it, she said.

She climbed the tree and threatened not to come down Friday when a developer of a shopping center being built next to her home said the tree was in the way of a retaining wall and started to cut it down.

Hermes Associates, the developer building the Wal-Mart Shopping Center, maintains the tree is on its property and must be cut down in order to meet landscaping requirements agreed upon by the Riverdale City Council.

However, County Surveyor John P. Reeve measured Carlin's property Monday, coming to the conclusion that about three or four inches of the 30-inch diameter tree is on Carlin's land.

"She owns part of the tree," said Reeve, who noted that he was using the developer's own survey information. "So there's definitely an issue."

Later Monday, Hermes issued a statement saying flatly, "The subject tree is on our property . . . this tree must be removed to accomplish the required construction."