City of Richmond Heights, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Cross References — Provisions relating to weeds, ch. 220, art. III, §220.190.

Section 255.010 Short Title.

Section 255.020 Definitions.

Section 255.030 City Forester — Jurisdiction — Duties.

Section 255.040 Master Street Tree Plan — Preparation — Amendment.

Section 255.050 Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice — Amendment.

Section 255.060 Permit To Preserve, Treat or Remove Trees or Shrubs — Application — Contents.

Section 255.070 Permit To Preserve, Treat or Remove Trees or Shrubs — Issuance — Expiration — Void Permit.

Section 255.080 Permit To Plant Trees or Shrubs — Application — Contents.

Section 255.090 Permit To Plant Trees or Shrubs — Issuance — Expiration — Void Permit.

Section 255.100 Improper Planting of Trees or Shrubs — Removal Costs.

Section 255.110 Trimming and Removing Trees and Shrubs.

Section 255.120 Notice To Trim or Remove — Service.

Section 255.130 Failure To Comply With Notice.

Section 255.140 City Forester To Plant Trees — Application — Fee.

Section 255.150 Abuse of Trees and Shrubs Prohibited.

Section 255.160 Electric Wires in Contact With Trees.

Section 255.170 Gas Pipe Leak On Contact With Trees or Shrubs — Repair.

Section 255.180 Attaching Cross Bars or Fixture To Trees — Written Authorization.

Section 255.190 Climbing Spurs Prohibited — Exception — Authorization.

Section 255.200 Interference With City Forester.

Section 255.210 Protection of Trees and Shrubs — Excavations — Permit.

Section 255.220 Placing Materials On Public Property — Permit.

Section 255.230 Civil Penalty.

Section 255.010 Short Title.

[CC 1984 §23-1; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.01; Ord. No. 3140 §23-1]
This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Tree Code".

Section 255.020 Definitions.

[CC 1984 §23-2; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.02; Ord. No. 3140 §23-2; Ord. No. 3401 §1, 5-2-1977; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
CITY FORESTER
The person designated by the City Manager to perform the provisions of this Chapter.
PRINCIPAL THOROUGHFARE
Any street upon which trucks are not prohibited.
PROPERTY OWNER
The person shown by the records of the Recorder of Deeds for St. Louis County, Missouri, as the owner of real property.
PUBLIC AREA
Any property owned or maintained by the City, any property devoted to use by the public, any public easement, and includes tree lawns.
STREET
The entire width between property lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular traffic.
TREE LAWN
That part of a street or highway not covered by a sidewalk, lying between the property line and that portion of the street or highway usually used for traffic.
TREES AND SHRUBS
Includes all woody vegetation, now or hereafter growing in any street or upon any public area, except where otherwise indicated.

Section 255.030 City Forester — Jurisdiction — Duties.

[CC 1984 §23-3; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.03; Ord. No. 3140 §23-3]
A. 
The City Forester has the jurisdiction of and authority for regulating the planting, maintenance, preservation, trimming and removal of trees and shrubs in streets and on other publicly owned property and areas to insure safety or preserve the symmetry of such public places.
B. 
The City Forester shall:
1. 
Supervise or inspect all work done under a permit issued in accordance with this Chapter; and
2. 
Affix reasonable conditions to the grant of a permit in accordance with this Chapter.

Section 255.040 Master Street Tree Plan — Preparation — Amendment.

[CC 1984 §23-4; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.04; Ord. No. 3140 §23-4; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
The City Manager has the authority to prepare a master street tree plan. The master street tree plan may specify the species of tree to be planted on each of the streets or other public areas of the City. From and after the effective date of the master street tree plan, or any amendment thereof, all planting shall conform to the plan.
B. 
All existing and future environmental factors shall be considered when recommending a specific species for each street or other public area of the City.
C. 
The City Manager has the authority to amend or add to the master street tree plan any time that circumstances make it advisable.

Section 255.050 Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice — Amendment.

[CC 1984 §23-5; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.04; Ord. No. 3140 §23-5; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
The City Forester has the authority to and may prescribe arboricultural specifications and standards of practice governing the planting, preservation, trimming, removal, fertilization and bracing of trees and shrubs in the streets or public areas in the City, following approved principles supported by good judgment and on the basis of local conditions.
B. 
The City Forester has the authority to modify, amend or extend the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice at any time that experience indicates improved methods or whenever circumstances make it advisable.

Section 255.060 Permit To Preserve, Treat or Remove Trees or Shrubs — Application — Contents. [1]

[CC 1984 §23-10; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.05; Ord. No. 3140 §23-6; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
No persons shall by themselves or by another treat, paint, spray, fertilize, preserve, trim, prune, remove, pull up, cut down, burn, destroy, cut above or below the ground or otherwise disturb, tamper or interfere with any tree or shrub in any street or on any public area without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the City Forester.
B. 
The person receiving the permit shall abide by the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice prescribed by the City Forester.
C. 
The application required in Subsection (A) shall state:
1. 
The number and species of trees to be treated, painted, sprayed, fertilized, preserved, trimmed, pruned, removed, cut or otherwise disturbed;
2. 
The kind of treatment to be administered;
3. 
The composition of the spray material to be applied; and
4. 
Any other information as the City Forester may find reasonably necessary for a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
[1]
Cross References — As to removal or abatement of weeds, see ch. 220, art. III, §220.190.

Section 255.070 Permit To Preserve, Treat or Remove Trees or Shrubs — Issuance — Expiration — Void Permit.

[CC 1984 §23-11; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.05; Ord. No. 3140 §23-7]
A. 
The City Forester may issue the permit to preserve, treat or remove trees or shrubs, as required by Section 255.060 if in his/her judgment the proposed work is desirable and proposed method and workmanship are of a satisfactory nature.
B. 
Any permit granted shall contain a definite date of expiration.
C. 
Any permit shall be void if its terms are violated.

Section 255.080 Permit To Plant Trees or Shrubs — Application — Contents.

[CC 1984 §23-12; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.05; Ord. No. 3140 §23-8; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
No persons, by themselves or by another, shall plant or set out any tree or shrub in any street or public area of the City without first filing an application with and procuring a permit from the City Forester.
B. 
The person receiving the permit shall abide by the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice prescribed by and the master street tree plan as prepared by the City Manager.
C. 
The application required in Subsection (A) shall state:
1. 
The number of trees or shrubs to be set out;
2. 
The location, grade and species of each tree or shrub;
3. 
The method of planting; and
4. 
Any other information as the City Forester may find reasonably necessary to a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
D. 
No person shall plant any fruit or nut bearing trees adjacent to any street, sidewalk or public area.

Section 255.090 Permit To Plant Trees or Shrubs — Issuance — Expiration — Void Permit.

[CC 1984 §23-13; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.05; Ord. No. 3140 §23-9]
A. 
The City Forester may issue the permit to plant trees and shrubs if the proposed planting is in conformity with the master street tree plan and the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice provided for in Sections 255.040 and 255.050, and if in his/her judgment the proposed planting is desirable and the proposed method is of a satisfactory nature.
B. 
Any permit granted shall contain a definite expiration date.
C. 
Any permit shall be void if its terms are violated.

Section 255.100 Improper Planting of Trees or Shrubs — Removal Costs.

[CC 1984 §23-14; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.05; Ord. No. 3140 §23-10]
A. 
Whenever any tree or shrub is planted or set out in conflict with the provisions of this Chapter, the City Forester may remove or cause the removal of the tree or shrub.
B. 
The exact cost shall be assessed against the adjoining property, as provided by law in the case of special assessments. The cost shall be collected by the City against the property, and such costs shall, like taxes, be a first (1st) lien on the property affected thereby until paid.

Section 255.110 Trimming and Removing Trees and Shrubs. [1]

[CC 1984 §23-20; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.06; Ord. No. 3140 §23-11; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
Any person owning or occupying real property immediately adjacent to any street or public area, upon which property there may be trees or shrubs, shall:
1. 
Trim the trees or shrubs in such manner that they will not obstruct or shade the street lights, or obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, the vision of traffic signs, or the view of any street or alley intersection. The minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be nine (9) feet over sidewalks, twelve (12) feet over all streets and other public areas, except principal thoroughfares which shall have a clearance of sixteen (16) feet.
2. 
Remove from such trees or shrubs all dead, decayed or broken limbs or branches which overhang any street or public area.
3. 
Remove any such tree or shrub which is dead so that it cannot fall on the street, sidewalk or public area.
B. 
The City Forester reserves the right to remove any tree or shrub which, to his/her best judgment, shall be considered a hazard to pedestrians, homes or vehicles.
[1]
Cross References — As to hedges along sidewalks — height limit, see §520.110.

Section 255.120 Notice To Trim or Remove — Service.

[CC 1984 §23-21; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.06; Ord. No. 3140 §23-12; Ord. No. 4347 §2, 7-2-1990]
A. 
If any person owning or occupying real property immediately adjacent to any street or public area fails to trim or remove such trees or shrubs as required in Section 255.110, the City Forester shall notify, in writing, such person to so trim or remove trees or shrubs within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the notice.
B. 
The notice shall be served as prescribed in Section 100.170 of this Code.

Section 255.130 Failure To Comply With Notice.

[CC 1984 §23-22; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.06; Ord. No. 3140 §23-13]
If, after notice is given, there is a failure to comply within the time specified in Section 255.120, the City shall trim such trees or shrubs. The exact cost shall be assessed against the property on which such tree or shrub shall be located, as provided by law as in the case of special assessments. The cost shall be collected by the collector of taxes against the property, and such cost shall, like taxes, be a first (1st) lien on the property affected thereby until paid.

Section 255.140 City Forester To Plant Trees — Application — Fee.

[CC 1984 §23-23; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.13; Ord. No. 3140 §23-14; Ord. No. 4235 §14, 9-6-1988; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
The City Forester may plant trees at the request of a City resident upon fulfillment of the following requirements:
1. 
The City Forester shall replace trees which have been removed with a species of tree best suited for the direct environment in which it is to be placed.
2. 
An application for the planting of trees shall be made to the City Forester by the City resident.
3. 
The application may be accompanied by a fee, as determined by the City Manager, calculated to defray the cost of the tree and all costs incident to the planting.

Section 255.150 Abuse of Trees and Shrubs Prohibited.

[CC 1984 §23-30; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.08; Ord. No. 3140 §23-16; Ord. No. 4638 §1, 7-1-1996]
A. 
Unless specifically authorized in writing by the City Forester, no persons shall by themselves or by another:
1. 
Intentionally damage, cut, carve, top, transplant or remove any tree or shrub growing in a street or upon a public and/or tree lawn area.
2. 
Attach any rope, wire, nails, sign, poster, handbill, or other contrivance or things to or on any tree or shrub growing in any street or upon a public area nor upon any guard, protection or device placed or intended to protect any tree or shrub growing in any street or upon any public area.
3. 
Allow any gaseous, liquid or solid substance which is harmful to trees or shrubs to come in contact with any tree or shrub growing in any street or upon any public area.
4. 
Set fire to or permit any fire to burn near any tree or shrub in any street or upon a public area when such fire or heat therefrom will injury any portion of such tree or shrub.
5. 
Attach any electric wire, insulator or any other device for holding electric wire to any tree growing in any street or upon any public area.
6. 
In the process of excavation, trenching, boring or tunneling, remove or cause damage to the existing subsurface roots or otherwise cause damage to trunk, limbs or branches of any tree or shrub.

Section 255.160 Electric Wires in Contact With Trees.

[CC 1984 §23-31; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.08; Ord. No. 3140 §23-17]
Every person having, owning, installing or operating any wire or wires charged with electricity shall securely fasten the wire so that it does not come in contact with any tree growing in any street or upon any public area.

Section 255.170 Gas Pipe Leak On Contact With Trees or Shrubs — Repair.

[CC 1984 §23-32; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.08; Ord. No. 3140 §23-18]
A. 
No person owning, maintaining or operating any gas pipe laid beneath the surface of any street shall permit any leak to occur in such pipe or main within a radius of forty (40) feet of any tree or shrub growing in any street or upon any public area.
B. 
If a leak exists or occurs in any gas pipe or main, the owner of the pipe or main shall repair it within five (5) days after receiving a notice in writing to do so from the City Forester.

Section 255.180 Attaching Cross Bars or Fixture To Trees — Written Authorization.

[CC 1984 §23-33; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.08; Ord. No. 3140 §23-19]
Unless specifically authorized in writing by the City Forester, no person shall for any purpose connected with the construction and maintenance of telegraph, telephone or electric lines attach any cross bar or other fixture to any tree growing in any street nor upon any public area.

Section 255.190 Climbing Spurs Prohibited — Exception — Authorization.

[CC 1984 §23-34; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.09; Ord. No. 3140 §23-20]
No person shall use spurs or climbers or other devices which pierce or in any way injure the bark of a tree as an aid to climbing any tree growing in any street or upon a public area, except when such tree is to be removed or in connection with the construction and maintenance of telegraph, telephone or electric lines, and only if authorization in writing is first obtained from the City Forester.

Section 255.200 Interference With City Forester.

[CC 1984 §23-40; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.10; Ord. No. 3140 §23-21]
No person shall hinder, prevent, delay or in any way interfere with the City Forester or any of his/her subordinates while engaged in the planting, pruning, spraying, removing, trimming, cultivation or maintenance of any tree or shrub or in the removal of any stone, cement, brick, sand or other materials about any tree or while engaged in enforcing or carrying out the provisions of this Chapter.

Section 255.210 Protection of Trees and Shrubs — Excavations — Permit.

[CC 1984 §23-41; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.11; Ord. No. 3140 §23-22]
A. 
Any tree or shrub growing in streets and public areas adjacent to real property upon which any building or structure is being erected, altered or repaired or any excavation is being done shall be protected by the owner of such real property with a good substantial frame or box not less than four (4) feet square and six (6) feet high. All building material, dirt or other debris shall be kept at least three (3) feet from each tree or shrub.
B. 
No person shall excavate any ditch, tunnel or trench or lay any drive within a radius of ten (10) feet from any tree or shrub growing in a street or upon a public area without first obtaining a written permit from the City Forester.

Section 255.220 Placing Materials On Public Property — Permit.

[CC 1984 §23-42; Rev. M.C. 1963 §62.12; Ord. No. 3140 §23-23]
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain on any street or upon any public area of the City any stone, brick, sand, cement, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree or shrub, except by written permit of the City Forester.

Section 255.230 Civil Penalty.

In addition to any other penalty imposed by the City, any person who causes damage to any tree, shrub, etc., shall replace said tree or shrub with one of equal value. In the event the tree, shrub, etc., cannot be so replaced, the person causing injury or damage shall reimburse the City for the value of said tree, shrub, etc.