Chapter 9.60


9.60.010    Short title.

9.60.020    Definitions.

9.60.030    Creation and establishment of a city tree board.

9.60.040    Duties and responsibilities.

9.60.050    Street tree species to be planted.

9.60.060    Distance from curb and sidewalk.

9.60.070    Distance from street corners and fireplugs.

9.60.080    Utilities.

9.60.090    Public tree care.

9.60.100    Tree topping.

9.60.110    Pruning, corner clearance.

9.60.120    Dead or diseased tree removal on private property.

9.60.130    Removal of stumps.

9.60.140    Interference with city tree board.

9.60.150    Penalty.

9.60.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “tree ordinance 1989.” (Code 1997 § 9-6-1).

9.60.020 Definitions.

A.    “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.

B.    “Private trees” means trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation located on private property.

C.    “Public trees” means street and park trees.

D.    “Street trees” means trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on land lying between public rights-of-way on either side of all streets, avenues, or ways within the city. (Code 1997 § 9-6-2).

9.60.030 Creation and establishment of a city tree board.

There is hereby created and established a city tree board which shall consist of the city council. The city council shall rely on city staff members, the Colorado State Forest Service, and other qualified and interested citizens for recommendations, work program preparation, and implementation. The city council may delegate their responsibilities as city tree board as they deem necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the city. (Code 1997 § 9-6-3).

9.60.040 Duties and responsibilities.

It shall be the responsibility of the board to study, investigate, counsel, 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, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the public and upon approval shall constitute the official comprehensive city tree plan for the city. The board may request investigations, findings, reports, and recommendations upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of its work. (Code 1997 § 9-6-4).

9.60.050 Street tree species to be planted.

The city community development department shall maintain a list of recommended species for the Gunnison area. In an effort to provide a variety of landscape species within the city, the public is encouraged to plant any of the trees listed. (Code 1997 § 9-6-5).

9.60.060 Distance from curb and sidewalk.

Trees may not be planted any closer than three feet from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks. (Code 1997 § 9-6-6).

9.60.070 Distance from street corners and fireplugs.

No street tree shall be planted closer than 35 feet of any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curb or curb lines. No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet of any fireplug. (Code 1997 § 9-6-7).

9.60.080 Utilities.

No trees shall be planted within a power line easement. 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. (Code 1997 § 9-6-8).

9.60.090 Public tree care.

It is the responsibility of the adjacent private property owner to maintain street trees.

The city shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain, and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the public right-of-way of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares, and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.

The city tree board 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. This section does not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners. (Code 1997 § 9-6-9).

9.60.100 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. “Topping” is defined as 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. 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 section at the determination of the city tree board. (Code 1997 § 9-6-10).

9.60.110 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. Said 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 on private property 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. (Code 1997 § 9-6-11).

9.60.120 Dead or diseased tree removal on private property.

The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the city when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city. The city tree board will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner’s property tax notice. (Code 1997 § 9-6-12).

9.60.130 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. (Code 1997 § 9-6-13).

9.60.140 Interference with city tree board.

It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the city tree board, or any of its agents, while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this chapter. (Code 1997 § 9-6-14).

9.60.150 Penalty.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be, upon conviction therefor, subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000. (Ord. 19-1997 § 8; Code 1997 § 9-6-15).