Chapter 5.120


5.120.010    Definitions.

5.120.020    Creation and establishment of city tree committee.

5.120.030    Duties and responsibilities.

5.120.040    Street tree species to be planted.

5.120.050    Spacing.

5.120.060    Distance from the curb and sidewalk.

5.120.070    Distance from street corners.

5.120.080    Utilities.

5.120.090    Public tree care.

5.120.100    Tree topping.

5.120.110    Pruning, corner clearance.

5.120.120    Dead or diseased tree removal.

5.120.130    Removal of stumps.

5.120.140    Arborist license and bond.

5.120.010 Definitions.

“Landscape guidelines” means the Lake Elsinore landscape guidelines on file in the City’s Community Development Department.

“Park trees” means trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names, and all areas owned by the City, or to which the public has free access as a park.

“Street trees” means trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on land lying within the City right-of-way between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the City.

“Top” or “topping” mean the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree’s crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.020 Creation and establishment of city tree committee.

There is hereby created and established a City Tree Committee for the City of Lake Elsinore, California, which shall consist of the City Manager and one or more of the following employees assigned by the City Manager: Director of Public Works, Director of Community Services, City Park Supervisor, and/or Public Works Manager. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.030 Duties and responsibilities.

It shall be the responsibility of the City Tree Committee to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks and in the public right-of-way. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.040 Street tree species to be planted.

The official street tree species list for the City of Lake Elsinore shall be the list identified in the landscape guidelines. No species other than those included in this list may be planted as street trees without written permission of the City Tree Committee. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.050 Spacing.

The spacing of street trees shall be in accordance with the landscape guidelines. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.060 Distance from the curb and sidewalk.

The distance street trees may be planted from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks shall be in accordance with the landscape guidelines. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.070 Distance from street corners.

The distance street trees may be planted from street corners shall be in accordance with landscape guidelines. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.080 Utilities.

No street trees may be planted under or within 10 lateral feet of any overhead utility wire, or over or within five lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, transmission line or other utility. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.090 Public tree care.

The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs in City parks and within the City right-of-way as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.

The City Tree Committee may remove, or cause or order to be removed, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines, or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.100 Tree topping.

It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or City department to top any street tree, park tree, or other tree on public property. Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical, may be exempted from this chapter at the determination of the City Tree Committee. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.110 Pruning, corner clearance.

Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the City shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Such owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The City shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.120 Dead or diseased tree removal.

The City hereby declares that dead or diseased trees on private property within the City constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the City. Such dead or diseased trees are a public nuisance and shall be subject to removal pursuant to Chapter 8.18 LEMC. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.130 Removal of stumps.

All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].

5.120.140 Arborist license and bond.

It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating, or removing street or park trees within the City without first applying for and procuring a City business license. [Ord. 1256 § 1, 2008].


Editor’s note: Ord. 1256 added this chapter as Chapter 5.80. It has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication.