32.07 PLANTING, MAINTENANCE, AND REMOVAL OF PUBLIC TREES AND SHRUBS.

(1)    URBAN FORESTRY MANAGEMENT PLAN. The Urban Forestry Management Plan as recommended by the Tree Advisory Board may contain any or all of the following elements:

(a)    Street Tree Planting Plan. A plan for the orderly and systematic planting of new or replacement trees in the terraces or boulevards along City streets in a manner which minimizes conflicts between trees and other public use of streets, facilitates care of the trees, and enhances the aesthetics of the City streetscapes. The plan may designate the appropriate species of tree(s) for each street segment and take into consideration the mature size and requirements of the species, the width of the terrace or boulevard, depth of building setbacks, location of street lights, safety signals and signs, the location of overhead or underground public utility facilities, the location of existing desirable trees and any other relevant site factors. The plan shall be consistent with the requirements of Chapter 22 and shall contain the following provisions:

1.    No trees shall be planted on any City street until the grade of such street and terrace has been established.

2.    No tree shall be planted closer than twenty (20) feet from an intersecting street line.

3.    No tree that is expected to reach a height of greater than eighteen (18) feet shall be planted under an overhead wire.

(b)    Tree Maintenance. Plans for the maintenance of trees located in public places to preserve the function or beauty of such public places in accordance with the applicable City maintenance standards. The plan shall provide plans for the trimming, removal, pruning, spraying, fertilizing or other treatment of any tree on any public area when necessary or appropriate to promote the general welfare, improve the City’s appearance or alleviate any unsafe condition. Plans shall include the following provisions which are enforceable with this chapter:

1.    Branches over streets and alleys shall be trimmed to at least fourteen (14) feet above the ground.

2.    Branches over sidewalks shall be trimmed to at least nine (9) feet above the ground.

(2)    NEW SUBDIVISIONS. Plats or certified survey maps that create new public rights-of-way shall include with their development drawings a tree planting plan approved by the City Forester. The plan shall provide for trees to be installed in terraces, boulevards, and traffic circles and the plan shall be subject to all provisions of this chapter. The cost of preparing and implementing this plan shall be borne by the subdivider. The subdivider shall be responsible for replacing trees that die within two (2) years of planting. The owner of a lot shall be responsible for all tree relocation or replacement costs due to their actions or construction.

(3)    PROHIBITED ACTS. It shall be unlawful for any person to:

(a)    Remove, destroy, cut, deface or injure any tree or tree roots existing on any public area in the City;

(b)    Attach any rope, wire, chain, sign or any other device to any tree on any public area in the City except as approved by the City Forester or the Tree Advisory Board;

(c)    Permit any toxic chemical, gas, smoke, oil, or other injurious substance to seep, drain, or be emptied upon or about any public tree or shrub, excluding routine winter street maintenance by City departments;

(d)    Participate in the erection, alteration or removal of any building or structure in the City without assuring that any tree upon any public area in the vicinity of such operation is provided with a good and sufficient guard or protection so as to prevent injury, damage or defacement to such tree arising out of, in connection with or by reason of, such operation. The sufficiency of the guard or protection shall be determined by the City Forester;

(e)    Interfere with the Tree Advisory Board or the City Forester when carrying out their responsibilities under this chapter;

(f)    Plant, move, remove, prune, spray, or otherwise maintain any public tree or shrub in a public area except pursuant to a permit issued by the City Forester pursuant to subsection (4);

(g)    Plant or maintain any tree or shrub which is prohibited or which is declared a nuisance pursuant to this chapter and Chapter 17 or by regulation adopted by the Tree Advisory Board;

(h)    Remove or misuse any device placed to protect a public tree or shrub in a public area;

(i)    Fail or refuse to comply with any lawful rule, regulation or order issued by the City Forester or Tree Advisory Board under this chapter;

(j)    Intentionally transport within, into, or out of the City any infected wood or material without first securing a permit from the City Forester.

(4)    PERMIT REQUIRED.

(a)    The City Forester may issue a permit to any person allowing such person to plant, move, remove, prune or otherwise maintain any public tree or shrub in public areas in accordance with this subsection.

(b)    Application and Approval. Any person desiring to plant, move, remove, prune or otherwise maintain any public tree or shrub shall apply in writing to the City Forester for a permit to do such work. Such application shall specify the location and description of the proposed work. Such permit may be issued if the City Forester determines that the proposed work is necessary and in accord with the purposes of this chapter, taking into account the safety, health, and welfare of the public, location of utilities, public sidewalks, driveways and street lights, general character and aesthetic quality of the area in which the tree or shrub is located or proposed to be located, and the soil conditions and physiological needs of the tree or shrub, and that the work will be performed by a person capable of completing the work without unnecessary risk of injury or damage. Public utilities and other entities maintaining their infrastructure must contact the City Forester prior to planting, moving, removing, pruning or otherwise maintaining any public tree or shrub.

(c)    Permit Form, Expiration, Compliance, and Inspection. Permits shall be issued by the City Forester on the standard form for this purpose and shall include a description of the work to be done and shall specify the genus, species, variety, size, grade, and location of trees or shrubs to be planted, if any. Any work done under such permit shall be performed in strict compliance with the terms thereof and with the specifications and standards set forth in Section 32.05. The City Forester shall inspect all work performed pursuant to this section. Permits issued under this section shall specify an expiration date not to exceed six (6) months after the date of issuance.

(d)    Permit Exemptions. No permit shall be required to water or fertilize any public tree or shrub or to take the necessary action to guard the public safety or clear the public way in the event of a storm, accident or other emergency.

(e)    Request to Remove Trees. Should any property owner desire to have a public tree removed that is adjacent to his/her property – other than a dead, dangerous, or undesirable variety – it shall be removed by a tree expert or by an agent of the City at the expense of the property owner, and then only after a permit for said removal has been obtained from the City Forester. (Ord. 19-06)