[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Lodi as §§ 11.12 and 11.14 of the City Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be the policy of the City of Lodi to promote and enhance the beauty and general welfare of the City through planting and maintenance of trees or shrubs within the public right-of-way of any street, alley or highway.
Public trees defined. "Public trees" means all trees, shrubs or other growth now or hereafter planted or growing on or in any City property or other areas dedicated to or reserved for use by the public within the City, including but not limited to the portion of the City street rights-of-way located between the curb or edge of the paved street, highway or alley surface and the private property lot line.
Administration. The Park Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction, authority, control, supervision and direction over all public trees.
The Commission shall have the authority to supervise the planting, setting out, removing, maintaining, protecting, and caring for public trees. The Commission shall have authority to make such rules and regulations as it deems applicable for carrying out the purpose of the section.
Trimming. No person, firm or corporation shall cut, trim, girdle, deface, injure or affix any wire, rope, cable, building or other thing to any public tree without a written permit from the Commission, but nothing herein contained shall prevent the City or its officers from acting in respect to public trees without such permit.
Franchise; damages. No permit or franchise to any public utility or other person shall be deemed a permit or license under this chapter to deal with public trees in the City without a required permit, nor shall the granting of such a permit by the City relieve any person injuring any public tree in the exercise of the right granted in the permit from liability for damages to any person. This subsection, however, shall not apply to the City or persons acting on its behalf or City officials in the discharge of official duties.
Injury to public trees. No person shall negligently, knowingly, willfully or maliciously cut or break down, dig or pull up by the roots, cut, mark, peel, girdle, disfigure, or deface any public tree except by order or permission of the Park Commission or other constituted authority.
Any tree, or part thereof, which the Director of Public Works shall find to be infected, hazardous or a nuisance so as to endanger adjacent property owners, the public or other trees, plants or shrubs growing within the City, or to be injurious to sewers, sidewalks or other public improvements, shall be removed, trimmed or treated by the owner of the property upon which such tree or part thereof is located. Within 10 days after being notified by the Director of Public Works or his designated representative, a property owner in the City of Lodi shall remove, treat or trim such tree or part thereof in accordance with the order of the Director of Public Works in order to prevent injury to adjacent property owners or the public. Failure to comply with the notice of the Director of Public Works or his authorized representatives shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
All trees on private property shall be pruned and trimmed by the owner or owners of the property on which such trees are growing so that the lowest branches projecting over a public street or alley will provide a clearance of not less than 14 feet and so that the lowest branches projecting over a sidewalk or any other public place will provide a clearance of not less than 10 feet over such sidewalk or other public place and so that no dead, broken or otherwise hazardous branches shall be likely to fall and do injury to the public. Any tree not trimmed as herein provided shall be deemed hazardous. If any property owner fails to so trim any such hazardous tree, the City may, but shall be under no obligation to, trim such tree and charge the cost of such trimming to the property owner. If such cost is not paid within 30 days of being billed, said cost shall be assessed against the property as a special charge for current services rendered under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.
Nothing herein shall be construed as preventing the Director of Public Works from trimming trees so as to prevent interference with street illumination, provided that before trimming the trees said Director of Public Works shall obtain the suggestion of the Commission, and if the trimming suggested by the Commission shall be sufficient to accomplish the purpose, the tree shall be trimmed accordingly.
Notwithstanding any other provisions in this Code, the City of Lodi or its municipal utility, or the designees of either of them, shall have the authority and power to trim, remove or treat any trees, plants or shrubs which may in its judgment interfere with the proper operation, maintenance or safety of any above- or below-ground public utility poles, wires, transformers or other appliances or facilities, whether such trees, plants or shrubs are located on public or private property.
No trees shall be planted under existing power lines that are of a type which can be expected to grow high enough to interfere with the power lines.
No person shall plant, transplant or maintain female Cottonwood or female Box Elder trees in the City.
No person shall plant, transplant or maintain any female cotton-bearing tree of the Poplar family commonly called the "Eastern Cottonwood," Populus deltoides, and the "Waite Poplar," Populus alba, within the boundaries of the City of Lodi.
No person shall place or maintain upon the ground, in a public highway of the City of Lodi, stone, cement, lumber, or other substance or material which may impede the free passage of water and air to any tree or shrub in such highway without leaving an open space of ground outside the trunk of said tree or the base of said shrub, of an area not less than 16 square feet. Before depositing any material in any highway of the City of Lodi near to trees therein, the person so depositing said materials shall place such guards around the trees as shall effectively prevent injury to them.
When the following work is performed by the City, it will be done free of charge to abutting property owners:
Storm damage removal of public trees; repair and hauling resulting from such storm damage to public trees.
Removal of limbs which obscure stop lights, signs, streetlights, bus lanes, intersections (vision), and so on, on public trees.
Removal of dead, diseased, dying or hazardous public trees.
Routine public tree trimming, wherein all public trees within a given block or blocks are trimmed. Tree trimming includes:
Spraying of public trees for insect and disease control.
Replacement of public trees lost to Dutch Elm disease, storms, vandalism, etc., where there is room (budget permitting).
Fertilization and watering of public trees.
Moving (replanting) small public trees when possible if planted too closely to drive.
Advice by the Commission or its designee as to proper care and maintenance of trees and shrubs on private property, as well as public trees.
Issuance of permits to homeowners enabling them, or an agent specified by them, to remove, prune, spray or plant public trees.