The city shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure safety when servicing city utilities or to preserve the symmetry and beauty of public grounds. The city 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. (Code 2004)


Whenever any competent city authority or competent state or federal authority shall file with the governing body a statement in writing based upon a laboratory test or other supporting evidence that trees or tree materials or shrubs located upon private property within the city are infected or infested with or harbor any tree or plant disease or insect or larvae, the uncontrolled presence of which may constitute a hazard to or result in the damage or extinction of other trees or shrubs in the community, describing the same and where located, the governing body shall direct the city clerk to forthwith issue notice requiring the owner or agent of the owner of the premises to treat or to remove any such designated tree, tree material or shrub within a time specified in the notice. (Ord. 578, Sec. 1; Code 2004)


Notice shall be served by a police officer by delivering a copy thereof to the owner, and the person in possession of such property, or if the same be unoccupied or the owner a nonresident of the city, then the city clerk shall notify the owner by mailing a notice by certified mail to his last known address. (Ord. 578, Sec. 1; Code 2004)


If the owner or agent shall fail to comply with the requirements of the notice within the time specified in the notice, then the chief of police shall proceed to have the designated tree, tree material or shrub treated or removed and report the cost thereof to the city clerk. In lieu of city employees performing any such work, the governing body may contract with any competent person, company or corporation for the performance of such work. (Ord. 578, Sec. 1; Code 2004)


No tree, tree materials or shrubs as mentioned herein which have been cut down, either by the property owner or by the city, shall be permitted to remain on the premises, but shall be immediately treated, removed and burned or immediately burned upon the premises, if safe to do so, so as to prevent the spread of the tree disease. (Code 2004)


(a)    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 14 feet above the surface of the street or right-of-way. The 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.

(b)    The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dangerous, dead or diseased trees on private property within the city, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property. The city 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. The owners, within 30 days of the notice, may request a hearing covering the ordered removal. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove the trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner’s property tax notice.

(Code 2004)


The city shall have the authority to treat or to remove any tree as defined in section 13-301 of this article, or to remove any dead tree as mentioned herein, which is located within the limits of any public right-of-way within the city. The adjacent property owners shall not be responsible for the cost of treatment or removal of any such trees within the public right-of-way and this expense shall be borne by the city at large. (Code 2004)


The city clerk shall, at the time of certifying other city taxes to the county clerk, certify the unpaid costs for treatment or removal performed under the authority of sections 13-304:306 and the county clerk shall extend the same on the tax roll of the county against the lot or parcel of ground. The cost of such work shall be paid from the general fund or other proper fund of the city, and such fund shall be reimbursed when payments therefor are received or when such assessments are collected and received by the city. (Ord. 578, Sec. 3; Code 2004)


No person shall willfully break, cut, take away, destroy, injure, mutilate, or attempt to willfully break, cut, take away, destroy, injure or mutilate any tree, shrub, vine, flower or landscaping standing, growing, or being upon the premises in the possession of another, or growing on any public ground, street, sidewalk, promenade or park in the city. (Code 2004)


No person shall plant or cause to be planted nor allow to grow upon property owned by him or her any shrubs, trees, or planting of any kind within 10 feet of any fire hydrant in the city, in order that every fire hydrant shall be in full view day or night, to fire apparatus approaching from any direction. (Code 2004)


It shall be unlawful for any person owning or controlling any hedge, fence, or other type of bush or shrubs bordering on any of the streets, avenues, sidewalks, or alleys in the city to permit the same to grow to a height of more than 3% feet above the center line grade level of such adjacent or adjoining street, avenue, sidewalk, or alley. (Ord. 578, Sec. 4)


(a)    No hedge or shrubbery or object on private property or in the city right-of-way which abuts on a public street or which adjoins a public street within a distance of 15 feet shall be higher than two feet above the traveled portion of the street when such hedge, shrubbery, or object obstructs the vision of any person using the public streets.

(b)    Every owner or occupant of any real estate shall keep the shade and the ornamental trees within 15 feet of the traveled portion of any street trimmed so that the branches thereof shall not be lower than 7% feet from the surface of such street.

(c)    No owner or occupant of any real estate shall permit any street or branch thereof situated on such real estate to overhang a public street or adjoining property where such tree or branch so overhanging is liable to fall and do injury to the traveling public or adjoining property by reason of its insecure and unsafe condition, whether occasioned by decay or any other cause.

(d)    The foregoing as defined in subsections (a):(c) are hereby declared nuisances and shall be abated by any person, firm, or corporation erecting or maintaining such nuisance within 10 days after written notice by the city has been given so the owner of record or the occupant of the property or upon failure to abate such nuisance within 10 days, the city may abate the same and assess the cost thereof against the property upon which the nuisance existed.

(Ord. 577, Secs. 1:4)


(a)    Creation of City Tree Board. There is hereby created and established a city tree board of the city, consisting of five members (three members shall be citizens and residents of the city), who shall be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the council.

(b)    Term of Office. The term of the five persons to be appointed by the mayor shall be three years except that the term of two of the members appointed to the first board shall be only one year, and the term of two members of the first board shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, a successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.

(c)    Compensation. Members of the tree board shall serve without compensation.

(d)    Duties and Responsibilities. The board shall study, investigate, consider, develop and administer a comprehensive written tree plan for the selection, planting, care, removal and disposition of trees and shrubs located in the city right-of-way and on land owned or controlled by the city.

Such comprehensive tree plan shall be reviewed annually and coordinated with the city planning commission. Any changes shall be presented to the city council for consideration and upon acceptance and approval shall constitute the official adjunct to the comprehensive city plan for the city.

The board, when requested by the city council, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work.

(e)    Operation. The board shall choose its own offices and develop its own set of by-laws, subject to city council approval, and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.

(Ord. 987, Secs. 1:6; Ord. 1127, Sec. 1)