[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Florence 3-3-1988 as part of Ord. No. 1988-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No species other than those recommended by the Shade Tree Commission may be planted between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the township, which species are hereinafter referred to as "street trees," without approval of the Florence Township Shade Tree Commission.
The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the Tree Master Plan.
The distance of street trees from the curb and sidewalks will be in accordance with the Tree Master Plan.
The distance of street trees from street corners and fireplugs will be in accordance with the Tree Master Plan.
The distance of street trees from utilities will be in accordance with the Tree Master Plan.
Florence Township shall have the exclusive right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, land, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The Shade Tree Commission may remove or order to be removed any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which, by reason of its nature, is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, waterlines or other public improvements or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. This section does not prohibit the planting of street trees by any property owners, provided that the selection and location of said trees is in accordance with § 132-1.
It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm or township department 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 (3) inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. 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 provision at the discretion of the Shade Tree Commission.
Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within Florence Township shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any streetlamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of twelve (12) feet above the roadway and eight (8) feet above the walkway. Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. Florence Township shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign.
Florence Township shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within Florence Township when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within Florence Township. The Shade Tree Commission will notify, in writing, the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within sixty (60) days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, Florence Township shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner's property tax notice.
All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the Shade Tree Commission or any of its agents or agents or employees of the township while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any street trees, park trees or trees on private grounds as authorized within this chapter.
The Township Council shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Shade Tree Commission. Any person may appeal from any ruling or order of the Shade Tree Commission to the Township Council, which may hear the matter and make a final decision.
[Added 9-7-1988 by Ord. No. 1988-16]
No live trees exceeding six (6) inches in circumference measured twelve (12) inches from the ground and situate and lying within fifteen (15) feet from the curbline of any public street shall be cut down, removed, trimmed or topped without first having obtained the approval of such action from the Shade Tree Commission or its designated representative.
[Added 9-7-1988 by Ord. No. 1988-16]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to remove, cut, trim or top any tree located within the curbline of any street or any park tree or any other tree on public property or any tree within fifteen (15) feet from the curbline of any public street without first having obtained a permit to do so from the Shade Tree Commission or its designee.
Any person, firm or corporation convicted of a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.) or imprisonment for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days or a period of community service not to exceed ninety (90) days, or any combination thereof, for each offense.