Planting of Trees and Shrubs

Sec. 4-4-6      Planting of Trees and Shrubs.

 (a)      Responsibility. The size and genus, species and variety of trees and shrubs to be planted in terraces, tree banks and boulevards and the manner of planting shall be submitted to the City Forester for approval before commencement of such work. All planting, maintenance and trimming of trees in terraces shall be the responsibility of the individual property owners.

(b)     Tree Sizes. The City Forester shall prepare and maintain lists of tree species desirable for planting in boulevards according to their normal mature height.

     (1)    Large trees: Over forty (40) feet;

     (2)    Medium trees: Twenty-five (25) to forty (40) feet; and

     (3)    Small trees: Fifteen (15) to twenty-five (25) feet.

(c)      Planting; Size.

     (1)    All large or medium trees, when planted, shall be at least eight (8) feet high and have a minimum trunk diameter of one and one-quarter (1-1/4) inches at a point six (6) inches above the ground.

     (2)    All small trees, when planted, shall be least five (5) feet high and have five (5) or more branches.

     (3)    The tree shall be planted in a well prepared hole at the same depth as it was originally growing. All trees less than twelve (12) feet high shall be staked. All trees twelve (12) feet or more in height shall be supported by guy wires in such a way as not to injure the bark. The support shall be removed after a year.

     (4)    The tree shall be kept well watered and mulched or cultivated in a two (2) foot diameter around its base to conserve moisture and as a protection from lawn mower damage.

     (5)    The good health of all trees planted hereunder shall be guaranteed for one (1) year by the applicant, after which time such trees shall become the property of the City.

(d)     Location.

     (1)    AU planting in terrace areas is subject to City approval. Plantings in terrace areas shall be allowed unless the City Forester determines that there is a safety issue now or in the future.

     (2)    Small sized trees shall be planted at least five (5) feet from driveways and large or medium sized trees shall be planted at least fifteen (15) feet from driveways.

     (3)    Evergreen trees or shrubs shall not be planted in a terrace area.

     (4)    It shall be unlawful to plant or maintain shrubbery, ground cover or other plants not considered to be a deciduous leaf tree within terrace areas whose growth is in excess of eight (8) inches in height above the top of the nearest curb.

     (5)    Tree grates shall be provided for terrace trees surrounded by concrete by the adjacent property owner and shall be level with adjacent concrete.

     (6)    Trees may not be planted in the terrace closer than:

               a.     Twenty (20) feet to a utility or street lighting pole.

               b.     Eight (8) feet to a fire hydrant, water stop box or gas shut-off. If possible, allow more distance than eight (8) feet.

               c.     Twenty-five (25) feet to the intersection of two (2) streets from either corner measured on the property line. 

     (7)    New   street trees shall not be planted over an existing tree stump within two (2) years of removal unless the stump is removed to a depth of four (4) feet.

     (8)    The property owner has the responsibility to locate underground utilities before digging.

(e)     Minimum Opening to Be Maintained. Unless otherwise provided for in a written permit from the City Forester, there must be at least nine (9) square feet of open ground about the base of each tree three (3) inches in diameter one (1) foot above the ground, and for each two (2) inches of increase in such diameter there must be an increase of at least one (1) foot of open ground around each such tree.

(f)      Certain Species Restricted. No person shall plant within the City of Elroy any female tree of the species Populas Deltoidea, commonly called the “Cottonwood,9’ or any tree commonly called the seed-bearing Box Elder or Acer Negundo, which may now or hereafter become infested with Box Elder bugs, and such trees are hereby declared a nuisance. Any person having any such trees on his premises shall cause the same to be removed.

(g)     Unlawfully Planted Trees. Trees, plants or shrubs planted within any terrace or planting easement without the authorization and approval of the City Forester may be removed. The City Forester shall notify the abutting owner in writing, listing the unlawfully planted trees, plants or shrubs, ordering their removal, and establishing a reasonable time within which such removal shall be accomplished. In the event that removal is not to be accomplished within the time specified, the City may remove such trees, plants or shrubs and assess the costs thereof to the owner.

(h)     Permit Requirement.

     (1)     Permit Required. No person except upon order of the City Forester shall plant, transplant, move, spray, brace, trim, prune, cut above or below ground, disturb, alter or do surgery on a public tree or shrub in the. City, or cause such act to be done by others, without first getting a written permit for such work from the City Forester as herein provided.

     (2)    Exemptions. No permit shall be required to cultivate, fertilize, perform minor cutting or pruning or watering of public trees or shrubs.

     (3)     Requirements and Conditions of Permits. If the City Forester determines that the proposed work or planning described in an application for a permit 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 of the area in which the tree or shrub is located or proposed to be located, type of soil, characteristics and physiological needs of the species or variety of trees or shrub, he/she shall issue a permit to the applicant upon presentation of the receipt of the City Administrator showing payment of the required fee. As a condition of granting any permit to remove the public tree or shrub, the City Forester may require that the permittee plant one (1) or more trees or shrubs in place of the one removed, and no permittee under such a conditional permit, shall fail, refuse or neglect to plant trees or shrubs of the type, size and location specified in his permit.

     (4)     Form, Expiration and Inspection. Every permit shall be issued by the City Forester on forms prepared by him/her shall include a description of the work to be done and shall specify the species or variety, size, nursery grade and location of trees or shrubs to be planted, if any. Any work done under such permit must be performed in strict accordance with the terms thereof and the provisions of this Chapter. Permits issued under this Chapter shall expire six (6) months after date of issue.

     (5)     Fee.There shall be no fee for a permit.

     (6)     Permits to Public Utilities.

               a.     Whenever a permit is issued under this Section to a public utility to remove, trim, prune, cut, disturb, alter or do surgery on any public tree or shrub, the City Forester shall limit the work to be done to the actual necessities of the utility and may assign an inspector to supervise the work done under the provisions of the permit. The expense of such inspection or supervision shall be charged to the utility at the usual City rate.

               b.     A public utility may secure an annual working agreement with the City Forester’s office which gives the City Forester the authorization to supervise and direct work done associated with trees and shrubs.