CHAPTER XX. STREETS AND SIDEWALKSCHAPTER XX. STREETS AND SIDEWALKS\ARTICLE 6. TREE BOARD

Words and terms used in this article shall have meanings as follows unless the context otherwise requires.

(a)   “Street Trees” are herein defined as trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the city.

(b)   “Park Trees” are herein defined as 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.

(c)   “Tree Size.” Large trees are herein defined as those attaining a height of 45 feet or more. Medium trees are herein defined as those attaining a height of 30 feet to 45 feet. Small trees are herein defined as those attaining a normal maximum height of 30 feet. For illustrative purposes only the following common trees are defined according to size: Small Trees are Flowering crabapple, Redbud, Hawthorne, Bradford pear, Common apricot, Paper mulberry, Amur maple, Purpleleaf plum, Flowering peach, Serviceberry and Mimosa; Medium Trees are Red mulberry, Honeylocust, Western soapberry, Kentucky coffeetree, Goldenraintree, Japanese pagoda tree, Hard maple, Pistachio, Ohio Buckeye, Ginkgo, Black cherry, Pin oak, Osageolrange, Sweetgum and Little leaf linden; Large Trees are Bur oak, Red oak, Hackberry, London planetree, American sycamore, Black walnut, Cottonwood, Basswood, Green ash, Silver maple and American linden.

(Ord. 3205, Sec. 1)

There is hereby created and established a city tree board for the city which shall consist of not fewer than five nor more than seven members, citizens and residents of the city who shall be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the city commission.

(Code 1975, 20-602)

The term of members of the city tree board shall be three years except that the term of two of the members first appointed shall be for one year and the term of two members first appointed shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his or her successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.

(Code 1975, 20-603)

The board shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.

(Code 1975, 20-604)

Members of the city tree board shall serve without compensation.

(Code 1975, 20-605)

It shall be the responsibility of the city tree board to study, investigate, counsel, develop and/or update annually a written plan for the care, preservation, trimming, planting, replanting removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in public ways, streets, parks, alleys and other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the city commission and upon its acceptance and approval shall constitute the official comprehensive city tree plan for the city.

The city tree board shall be responsible for making recommendations to the city commission regarding policy, rules and regulations for the planting, pruning and removal of street trees in the city. It shall make recommendations regarding acceptable species of trees to be located within the street rights-of-way, easements, alleys and parks of the city. Such recommendations will be presented to the city commission and, upon acceptance and approval, the recommendations shall constitute official policy, rules and/or regulations for the city.

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

(Code 1975, 20-606)

The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the three size classes listed in section 20-601(c) of this article. No trees may be planted closer together than the following:

(a)   Small Trees - 30 feet.

(b)   Medium Trees - 40 feet.

(c)   Large Trees - 50 feet.

(Ord. 3205, Sec. 2)

The distance trees may be planted from curbs and curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three size classes listed in section 20-601(c) of this article.

No trees may be planted closer to any curb than the following:

(a)   Small and Medium Trees - four feet;

(b)   Large Trees - six feet;

No trees may be planted closer to the sidewalk than the following:

(c)   Small Trees - two feet;

(d)   Medium Trees - three feet;

(e)   Large Trees - four feet.

The city tree board may waive the provisions of this section when it deems it appropriate.

(Code 1977, 20-606.2)

No street trees, other than those species defined as small trees in section 20-601(c) of this article, may be planted under or within 15 feet of any overhead utility wire. No trees shall be planted within three linear feet of any underground waterline, sewer line or other utility.

(Code 1977, 20- 606.3)

No street tree shall be planted within 20 feet of any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curblines. No street tree shall be planted within 10 feet of any fireplug.

(Code 1977, 20-607)

Provisions relating to public tree care for trees in the city shall be as follows:

(a)   The city shall have the right to plant, trim, spray, preserve 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 or to preserve the symmetry and beauty of public ground;

(b)   The owner of abutting property shall be responsible at his or her expense to prune, maintain and remove trees or woody plants lying within the right-of-way of any street or alley;

(c)   The city or the city tree board may remove or cause or order to be removed any tree or woody plant or any part thereof situated within the right-of-way of streets, alleys or avenues which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to public utilities or other public improvements or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest or constitutes a traffic hazard;

(d)   The city or the city tree board or its agents, will notify in writing the owners of property abutting such trees or woody plants. Removal shall be done by the abutting owners at their own expense within 30 days after the date of service of such notice. In the event of failure of the abutting owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove such trees and the cost of such work shall be assessed and charged against the abutting property as a special assessment to be certified by the city clerk at the time of certifying other city taxes to the county clerk to be extended on the tax roll of the county against the abutting lot or parcel of ground.

(Ord. 3298, Sec 1)

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 or property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city. The city tree board, or its agent will notify in writing the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by the 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 assess the cost of such work against the abutting property as a special assessment to be certified by the city clerk at the time of certifying other city taxes to the county clerk and extended upon the tax roll of the county against the abutting lot or parcel of ground.

(Code 1977, 20-609)

Every owner of any tree or woody plant 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 nine feet above the surface of any sidewalk or driveway and there shall be a clear space of 15 feet above the crown of any street or alley. The owners shall remove all dead, diseased, or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs which constitute menace to the safety of the public. The city shall have the right to trim any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light, interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign or constitutes a traffic hazard.

(Code 1977, 20-610)

Any person while moving any building shall use the highest degree of care to prevent injury to trees and shall be liable for any unnecessary damage done while moving any building. Such damage shall be reported at the next regular meeting of the city tree board, and it shall be the duty of the board to examine, estimate and determine such damage and a claim shall be field therefor against the bond required by such mover.

(Code 1977, 20-611)

To prevent the destruction of shade and ornamental street trees as defined in section 20-601 of this article, all persons maintaining wires or poles in the city, their agents, servants and employees, are hereby prohibited from cutting or trimming trees except under the direction of the city tree board or its authorized agent.

(Code 1977, 20-612)

No person shall store or harbor within the city any elm wood, unless the bark shall have been removed therefrom.

(Code 1977, 20-612.1)

It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person 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 trees’ crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the free. 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 article at the determination of the city tree board.

(Code 1977, 20-612.2)

It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the city tree board, or any of its agents, or servants while engaged in the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this article.

(Code 1975, 20-613)

The city commission shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decision of the city tree board. Any person may appeal any ruling or order of the city tree board to the city commission who shall hear the matter and make a final decision.

(Code 1975, 20-614)

Any person violating any provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in any sum not to exceed $100, or be imprisoned not to exceed 30 days, or be both so fined and imprisoned.

(Code 1975, 20-615)