Town of Bloomsburg, PA
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019[1]]
There is hereby created a Commission to be known and designated as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania."
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Part 1, Shade Tree Commission, adopted 7-6-1987 by Ord. No. 693, as amended.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
Said Commission shall consist of five residents of the Town of Bloomsburg. The Town Council shall appoint one person for a term of three years, two members for a term of four years, and two members for a term of five years. Upon the expiration of any term, a successor shall be appointed, or the member whose term has expired shall be reappointed, to serve for a term of five years. In the event of a vacancy occurring during any term, such vacancy shall be filled by Council for the then-remaining portion of the unexpired term. Shade Tree Commission members shall serve without compensation. Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. The Commission may organize, selecting a Chairman or other officers deemed necessary.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall have custody and control of the shade trees on the public streets and highways of the Town of Bloomsburg (hereinafter referred to as "shade trees") and is authorized to plant, remove, maintain and protect such shade trees. The Commission, if it so desires, may delegate the issuance of permits required under the regulations contained herein to the Secretary of the Town or their designee.
2. 
The duties of the Commission shall be as follows:
A. 
To study the problems and determine the needs of the Town regarding shade trees on the public streets;
B. 
To recommend to property owners and the Town Council the type and size of trees to be planted upon the Town streets or parts thereof, as designated;
C. 
To assist the Town Council and Town officials in the dissemination of news and information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees upon the streets and to make such recommendations from time to time to the Town Council as to desirable legislation concerning the shade tree program and activities for the Town;
D. 
To conduct regular and special public meetings at which the subject of shade trees may be discussed by the members of the Commission, officers and personnel of the Town and all others interested in the shade tree program;
E. 
To annually report in full to the Town Council the transactions and expenses of the Commission for the previous fiscal year;
F. 
To publish notice whenever said Commission proposes to plant, transplant or remove shade trees on any street or highway, and notice of the time and place of the meeting at which such work is to be considered shall be given in one newspaper of general circulation in Bloomsburg once per week for two weeks immediately preceding the time of the meeting. The notice shall specify, in detail, the streets or portions upon which trees are proposed to be so planted, replanted or removed; and
G. 
To otherwise perform all duties and exercise all the powers conferred upon it by the adoption of Ordinance No. 693 on July 6, 1987, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: A copy of Ord. No. 693 is on file in the Town offices.
3. 
The Commission shall meet and organize by the annual election of a Chairperson. The said Commission shall then provide for the holding of regular and special meetings as said Commission shall deem advisable and necessary in order to perform the duties set forth.
4. 
The Commission may employ and pay such necessary assistants as the proper performance of the duties devolving upon it shall require and enforce regulations for the care and protection of the shade trees of the Town. No such regulation shall be enforced until it has been approved by the Town Council and enacted as an ordinance.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANSI
American National Standards Institute.
HAZARDOUS BRANCHES
Any dead, diseased, structurally defective, broken or mutilated branches or parts of trees which are in a state of decomposition and pose a threat to public safety.
HAZARDOUS TREES
Any dead, diseased, structurally defective, broken or mutilated trees or parts of trees which are in a state of decomposition and pose a threat to public safety.
LARGE TREES
Designated as those attaining a height of 45 feet or more at maturity.
MEDIUM TREES
Those attaining a height of 30 feet to 45 feet at maturity.
NATURALLY GROWING TREES
Trees that grow from natural succession (from a parent tree, without human interference) in the right-of-way.
PERMIT
A document issued in writing by the Shade Tree Commission or its designee granting permission to plant, prune, remove or sever roots. The fee for the issuance of such permits shall be established, from time to time, by resolution of the Town Council.
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization.
PRUNING
The proper removal of tree branches back to a branch collar or parent branch. No more than 25% of live crown shall be removed at any one pruning. Pruning should adhere to the most-recent edition of ANSI A300: Pruning Standards Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance - Standard Practices.
SHADE TREE COMMISSION
The body that has jurisdiction over all shade trees.
SHADE TREE or STREET TREE
Any planted tree located within the right-of-way of the public streets and highways of the Town. "Shade tree" ("street tree") does not include trees growing naturally within the Town rights-of-way.
SMALL TREES
Designated as those attaining a height of 20 feet to 30 feet at maturity.
STREET or HIGHWAY
The entire width of every public way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for the purposes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
TOWN
The Town of Bloomsburg.
TREE
A large perennial plant, usually with one main trunk and many branches, but may also have multiple trunks.
TREE LAWN
That part of the street or highway right-of-way adjacent to developed property, not covered by sidewalk or other paving, lying between the sidewalk and that portion of the street or highway used for vehicular traffic.
TREE TOPPING
The drastic removal or cutting back of large branches to stubs, which leads to decay, disease, weak limbs, starvation and tree death. Topping is also referred to as "heading," "stubbing," "dehorning," "rounding-over" or "tipping."
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
The application for any permit required shall be made, in writing, to the Secretary of the Town, or their designee, upon forms furnished by them and shall specify the particular kind of work or operation the applicant desires to perform and shall state the exact location and species of any tree or trees affected. The Town Secretary shall promptly review every application received. The Town Secretary may refer any application to the Town Engineer or the Director of Public Works for their opinions on such application. In addition, the Town Secretary may, if they deem it necessary, refer any application to the Shade Tree Commission established herein for its decision on the application. The permit, when issued, shall be effective for such length of time as the Commission shall determine, which shall be indicated on the permit, and such permit may be revoked at any time at the direction of the Commission upon proof satisfactory to the Commission that the terms and conditions upon which the permit has been issued are or have been violated. The Commission may, at its discretion, as a condition to the issuance of a permit, require the applicant to file a bond satisfactory to the Commission or to deposit securities satisfactory to guarantee the compliance by the applicant with the terms and conditions upon which the permit is issued.
2. 
Permit Required. It shall be unlawful for any person, without first obtaining a permit, to cut, prune, break, climb with spurs, injure in any manner or remove any shade tree, to cut down or interfere in any way with the main roots of any shade tree, to spray with any chemicals or insecticides any tree, to place any rope, guy wire, cable, signs, posters or other fixtures on a tree or tree guard, or to injure, misuse or remove any device placed to protect shade trees, except in case of immediate necessity for protection of life or property.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
It is the duty and responsibility of the property owner abutting streets and highways in the Town to properly maintain any street trees within tree lawns adjoining the property, including watering, pruning, mulching, fertilizing, and weeding.
A. 
Property owners shall maintain trees and other vegetation in the right-of-way in a manner so as not to create a safety or liability problem for motorists, pedestrian traffic or other activities within the right-of-way.
B. 
Where circumstances permit, it is the duty and responsibility of the property owner to plant a shade tree or shade trees, if none exist(s) (see § 25-116). Tree planting shall follow the requirements detailed elsewhere in this Part. (see §§ 25-117, 25-118 and 25-119).
C. 
Tree lawns, tree pits, and tree roots shall be preserved during sidewalk renovation, replacement or repair.
2. 
All trees and other vegetation within the Town right-of-way must be pruned or trimmed in a manner to allow for full visibility of street signage and the minimum required site distance.
3. 
In rural or undeveloped areas where sidewalks and curbs are not present, the right-of-way may vary in width but does exist. The abutting property owner shall be responsible for trees and other vegetation growing in the area between the edge of the cartway and the right-of-way line in such rural or undeveloped areas. Trees in these areas shall be pruned to conform with this Part. Likewise, tree planting in these areas shall follow the requirements detailed elsewhere in this Part (see §§ 25-116 through 25-120).
4. 
The cost of pruning, planting, or removing any shade trees and stumps within a public right-of-way in the Town shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property abutting the tree. In addition, the cost of necessary suitable guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof, and the replacement of any pavement, driveway or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the execution of such work, shall also be paid by the owner of the real estate abutting the location of the work done.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
The Shade Tree Commission may, upon 30 days' written notice, require a property owner to cut and remove trees afflicted with any disease deemed a hazard due to structural defects, or infested with any insect or other organism that threatens to injure or destroy such shade tree, in the interest of safety or to conform with the regulations of this Part. Upon failure of any such owner to comply with such notice, the Town may undertake the work to be done and collect the costs thereof from the owner of the property.
2. 
Criteria for removal of any tree shall include:
A. 
An analysis by a Shade Tree Commission member in which he or she concludes that the tree is diseased and dying, or damaged beyond recovery of health, or poses a threat to property or safety because of dying.
B. 
A condition of permission to remove a tree is that, unless the Commission says in writing otherwise, the tree shall be replanted on the same lot, and within the right-of-way of the same lot in which the tree was removed. Replacements must be planted in accordance with this Part §§ 25-116 through 25-120).
C. 
When permission is granted for tree removal, the tree stump must be ground out or cut below ground level.
3. 
Removal by the property owner of nondiseased trees, or those not infested by insects or other organisms, shall not be permitted unless, in the judgment of the Shade Tree Commission, one or more of the following criteria exist:
A. 
A tree will sustain substantial damage due to the installation or repair of underground utilities where no other alternative, such as tunneling, sleeving, or relocation, exists;
B. 
A tree is causing traffic safety problems and pruning or other less-invasive techniques would not eliminate the problem; and/or
C. 
The maintenance of overhead utilities would require that a tree be severely pruned, resulting in the removal of 2/3 or more of the crown, thereby causing irreparable damage to the tree.
4. 
In an emergency where a tree poses an immediate threat to health, property or safety, the Director of Public Works may order the removal of a tree. Prior to the removal of the tree, the Director of Public Works shall make written findings setting forth how the tree poses an immediate threat to health or safety in view of the above criteria. Prior to removal of the tree, the Director of Public Works shall notify the property owner.
5. 
Tree removal shall be carried out in accordance with the safety standards outlined in the most-recent edition of ANSI Z133.1 (Safety Requirements for Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintenance, Removing Trees and Cutting Brush).
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
No person, corporation or public utility may remove, prune or alter a shade tree along Town streets or roads without a permit issued upon application to the Shade Tree Commission. The permit shall specify the address or blocks where any such tree maintenance activity shall be undertaken. (See § 25-105, Permit Required; Application; Conditions.
2. 
All pruning of shade trees and naturally growing trees along Town streets and roads shall conform to the most recent edition of ANSI A300: Pruning Standards - Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance - Standard Practices. A copy of this standard is on file at the Town Hall. Thus, in Bloomsburg as in the ANSI standards, topping is prohibited. Improper pruning is subject to fines to the property owner (see § 25-111, unnecessary Harm to Trees Prohibited, and § 25-126, Penalty).
3. 
All work must conform to the most-recent edition of ANSI Z133.1: Safety Requirements for Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintenance, Removing Trees and Cutting Brush. A copy of this standard is on file at the Town Hall.
4. 
Whenever, in order to take down or prune any shade tree in the public highway or having branches extended over the public highway, it shall be deemed necessary to remove any wire or wires, every person having any such wires running through a public highway shall immediately notify the public utility company of his intention in order that service may not be interrupted.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
All branches of shade trees shall be kept trimmed in a manner to maintain a minimum height of 14 feet where they overhang any public street and eight feet where they overhang a sidewalk. However, the Commission reserves the right to designate a higher clearance on certain streets and highways where heavy traffic or other conditions make it expedient. All shade trees standing on private property and having branches overhanging sidewalks or streets shall also be kept pruned by the owner so the lowest branches are in compliance with this section.
2. 
In the event the property owner neglects or refuses to maintain trees at the prescribed level within the time specified as notified in writing, the Town may undertake the work to be done at the owner's expense, in the same manner as otherwise specified in this Part.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
In the event a shade tree or its parts are felled by storm or other accident, the portion of the tree on the street or road shall be removed from the cartway of the street by the Town, without charge. Property owners shall be responsible for any other removal or cleanup.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, top, kill or destroy any shade tree or set fire to or permit fire to burn any shade tree.
2. 
Permanent fixtures and punctures to a shade tree are prohibited. No person shall attach, or permit to be attached, any cables, ropes, wires, nails, spikes or other injurious fasteners to any shade tree.
3. 
No person shall allow any toxic chemicals, salt water, oil, gasoline or other materials, which are hazardous or injurious to plant life, to empty, drain, or seep onto any shade trees or their root systems or in such a way as to injure any shade tree.
4. 
No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels, holes or trenches, or lay any driveway, or deposit or store within the root protection zone (roughly the perimeter of the tree's outer branches) of any shade tree, or maintain any asphalt, concrete, stone or any other impervious material which may impede the free passage or air, water and fertilizer to the roots of any shade tree, without first obtaining a permit. In the event of imminent danger to life or property, digging near a shade tree may be undertaken without permission of the Commission, provided that such action must be reported to the Commission and a permit placed on file within 48 hours of its occurrence.
5. 
No person shall injure, misuse, or remove any device placed to protect shade trees, except in case of immediate necessity for protection of life or property or in consultation with the Shade Tree Commission, or its designee.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
In the event a shade tree is damaged, the Town shall charge for repairs or replacement, or make a charge for the appraised value of the tree, against the person responsible for the damage to said tree. Damage is to be repaired immediately at no expense to, and to the satisfaction of, the Shade Tree Commission. If the Shade Tree Commission determines that the damage warrants removal, the cost of tree and stump removal and the planting of replacement trees will be paid by the person or entity that caused such damage. Failure to comply shall cause such work to be completed by the Town and billed to the person or entity that caused such damage. If damage resulted in removal or death of the tree, the Town may require replacement trees whose combined diameter is equal to that of the tree removed. All replacement trees shall meet the planting requirements for shade trees. In addition to costs for repair or replacement, the Town may also impose penalties as provided for in § 25-126 (Penalty).
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
After removal of a tree, the remaining stump shall be removed to a point not less than six inches below the grade of the surrounding area. If a replacement tree is to be planted at the same location, the stump will be removed to accommodate the replacement tree.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
Where hazardous shade trees or branches overhang the cartway of a street or otherwise exist within the right-of-way, the Town may cause them to be removed at the expense of the abutting property owner so as to maintain public safety within the right-of-way. In the event of an emergency or hazardous situation, the Shade Tree Commission may require them to be removed within 24 hours.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
As a condition to any permit to remove any shade tree, the Town or the Shade Tree Commission may require that the permittee plant, at its own expense, another tree in place of the one removed, and in such case, direct the type, size, and location of the tree to be planted and the season within which the work shall be done.
2. 
Trees shall be added to the public right-of-way in areas where an inventory of Bloomsburg street trees has identified a need for trees, or wherever the Commission determines a need.
3. 
Street trees shall be required whenever a proposed subdivision shall average three or more lots per gross acre, or where the proposed subdivision is adjacent to any existing or recorded development having street trees (other requirements of the Town's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22] as regards trees are applicable).
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
Spacing between newly planted shade trees, unless otherwise stated in writing by the Shade Tree Commission, shall not be less than 25 nor more than 40 feet, with some variation with the species of tree(s) being planted. Whenever practicable, trees shall be planted at least 20 feet from intersections. Shade trees shall be planted at least 12 feet from a light standard, six feet from a utility pole, and six feet from a fire hydrant.
2. 
In areas where a tree lawn exists, the setback for tree planting shall be at a point halfway between the curb and sidewalk. However, no tree shall be planted in a tree lawn within 20 feet of the near edge of the curb of an intersecting street.
3. 
Where no curbing exists, the setback for tree planting shall be eight feet from the center of the drainage swale; and the setback shall be eight feet from the edge of the cartway. However, no tree shall be planted within 20 feet of the near edge of the cartway of an intersecting street.
4. 
In areas such as downtown, which have tree pits rather than tree lawns, tree pits will measure at least 10 inches wider than the diameter of the root ball, or at least five feet by five feet by three feet deep (or the depth required for the root ball), whichever is larger. In some circumstances, an equivalent area, reasonably proportioned, is permitted. Tree pits must be filled with high-quality topsoil. The use of adjoining tree pits and pavers, or of technologies such as structural soils, is encouraged. If a property owner elects to plant the tree him- or herself, the Director of Public Works must first inspect the site to ensure that the area is free of underground pipes, sewer lines or other hazard.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
Size. All replacement trees shall be at least six feet in height and measure at least 1 1/2 inches in caliper, which is diameter measured at a point six inches above planting level.
2. 
Quality. Only plant material grown in nurseries shall be procured for shade tree planting. Either balled and burlapped or bare root material is acceptable. All replacement trees shall conform to the most-recent edition of ANSI-Z60 American Nursery Standards, with particular attention to appropriate (large) root ball size on balled and burlapped stock.
3. 
Timing. Replacement trees shall be delivered and planted between April 1 and May 15 or September 30 and November 15.
4. 
Tree Species.
A. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall maintain a periodically revised list of tree species approved for planting as shade trees. The Commission may specify which species are appropriate to certain locations. (See addendum for acceptable tree species).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The addendum is on file in the Town offices.
B. 
Tree species selections for shade trees must be made from the current list of approved species and in consultation with the Commission. As not all trees on this list will be suitable for all situations, suitability will be determined by the Shade Tree Commission or its designee.
C. 
The use of any tree other than those listed above under the preferred sections requires approval by the Commission.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
The Commission shall give due consideration to the prevention of interference by the shade tree with existing overhead and underground utility fixtures. Trees planted under wires or utility lines shall be appropriate to the height and pruning requirements imposed by the presence of the existing wires or lines.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
The Commission may, in some cases, require root control devices or material to minimize the effect of root growth on sidewalks, curbs or underground utilities. The need and type of control shall be prescribed by the Commission, where necessary.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
Watering. New trees shall be given 10 to 20 gallons of water weekly from the time of planting until frost and weekly throughout the first complete growing season. In this area, rain almost never provides sufficient water, and as a general rule deep watering must be done rain or shine. Additional watering of young trees will be needed during periods of drought.
2. 
Mulching. New trees should be properly mulched to protect against mower damage, from competing weeds, and water evaporation. Mulch shall not make contact with the trunk of the tree.
3. 
Stakes, guys, or tree wraps. Except in high-traffic areas where vandalism is a possibility, staking is generally not necessary. Stakes or guys shall be removed no later than one year after staking. Tree wraps shall be removed upon planting.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
After a written, mailed, and/or delivered notice of violation, the Town, in its sole discretion, shall have the authority to plant, prune, remove or otherwise maintain any shade trees at its expense, at the expense of the affected property owner, or a combination of both, if the property owner should fail to comply with a written notice of violation.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
All trimming and pruning of shade trees and naturally growing trees along Town streets and roads shall conform to the most-recent edition of ANSI A300: Pruning Standards - Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance - Standard Practices. All work must also conform to the most-recent edition of ANSI Z133.1 (Safety Requirements for Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintenance, Removing Trees and Cutting Brush). Copies of both standards (ANSI A300 and ANSI Z133.1) are on file at Town Hall.
2. 
All tree maintenance contractors who prune, remove or otherwise maintain trees located within the Town rights-of-way shall possess general liability insurance coverage with a policy limit of not less than $500,000 for each occurrence. The permittee is required to supply evidence of such insurance to the Town prior to starting work.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
The Shade Tree Commission shall have the power, in appropriate cases, to permit deviations from the strict compliance with this Part whenever, due to special circumstances, literal enforcement of this Part would be impossible, impractical or not in the best interest of the Town.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
Payment of costs for work done by the Town shall be due and payable 30 days after proper invoice by the Town to the property owner. If the property owner does not make payment within 30 days, there shall be considered a lien against the property. Any such lien may be collected by an action in assumpsit or by the filing of a lien in the manner provided by law for the filing and collection of municipal claims.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
The provisions of this Part shall be enforced by the Town of Bloomsburg Code Enforcement Office and Shade Tree Commission.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this Part shall be fined a maximum of $600 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. This section shall not limit any other remedies and criminal sanctions provided in law or equity.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Commission may appeal to the Commission at its next public meeting. Alternatively or subsequently, any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Commission may appeal to the Code Hearing Board by filing an appeal within 30 days from the action or decision appealed from on forms to be supplied by the Town Secretary or their designee. The fee for filing such an appeal shall be the fee established, from time to time, for code appeals by resolution of the Council of the Town of Bloomsburg.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
1. 
In addition to all other immunity existing at law or in equity, nothing contained in this Part shall create an obligation or duty upon the Town. No pedestrian, passenger, driver, owner of property or any person claiming an interest otherwise affected by provisions of this Part shall have any claim against the Town for failure to perform any duty or for performance in a negligent manner.
2. 
This Part shall not be construed to hold the Town of Bloomsburg, the Town Council, the Mayor, the Shade Tree Commission, or any of their respective officers, employees or their appointed agents (collectively referred to as "municipal parties") responsible for any damages, injuries, loss or death to person, persons or property by reason of any activity, omission or commission, or act by municipal parties authorized herein or otherwise arising under this Part. The approval of any tree of type of tree shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind or nature by the municipal parties and shall create no liability upon, or a cause of action against, the municipal parties for any damage or loss.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
If any of the provisions of this Part, or the application of any provisions hereof, shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair the remainder of this Part, it being the intention of Town Council that such remainder shall continue in full force and effect.
[Ord. No. 996, 7/22/2019]
All ordinances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Part, are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
[Ord. 704, 2/8/1988, § 1; as amended by Ord. 841, 12/19/2001]
Criteria for removal of any tree shall include:
A. 
An analysis by the Public Works Superintendent in which he or she concludes that the tree is diseased and dying, or damaged beyond recovery of health or poses a threat to property or safety because of dying.
B. 
Concurrence from the Commission that the recommendation for removal is correct.
C. 
Verification of the tree's condition and the decision to remove a tree should be evident either from the Commission site visit or the Bureau of Forestry's inventory of Bloomsburg trees.
D. 
For removal, trees should not be felled unless obstructions are not present in the direction of the fall. If obstructions are present, or if felling the tree poses a safety hazard, then removal shall be piece by piece, following prevailing standards for safety (see Appendix 1).
E. 
A condition of permission to remove a tree [§ 25-108(2), Cost of Planting or Removal of Trees to be Paid by Property Owner[1]] is that the tree shall be replaced in or near the site. Replacements must be in accordance with § 25-203.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now § 25-106, Subsection 4.
F. 
In an emergency where a tree poses an immediate threat to health, property or safety, the Public Works Superintendent may order the removal of a tree. Prior to the removal of the tree, the Public Works Superintendent shall make written findings setting forth how the tree poses an immediate threat to health, safety in view of the above criteria. Prior to removal of the tree, the Public Works Superintendent shall make a good-faith effort to notify the property owner prior to the removal.
[Ord. 704, 2/8/1988, § 2]
Applications for trimming of any tree must be accompanied by specifications; permits will not be issued unless the following standards are met:
A. 
Pruning and Trimming.
(1) 
Worker Safety. Workers shall wear hard hats, climbers shall use tree saddles and safety lanyards, and also safety line with rappeling hitch for climbing at heights above 15 feet. Ground workers shall stand clear of branch drop areas and take appropriate precautions to avoid injury from the work or tools employed.
(2) 
Protection of People and Property. Tree pruning or removal performed in the vicinity of pedestrian or vehicular traffic ways shall be effectively cordoned off with pylons and/or lines, and shall have warning signs to keep people at a safe distance from the work area. Branch drop after cutting shall be controlled to avoid injury to people and property. Branches too large for controlled, one-handed dropping shall be roped and lowered by ropes or other equipment. All brush and other trimming debris shall be cleaned up and removed from the site, leaving a safe and neat ground surface upon completion of the work.
(3) 
Tree Care (see Appendix 2A). Three cuts should be employed for removing branches too large for one-handed holding. The first cut should be an undercut 1/4 to 1/2 the branch thickness, six to 12 inches from the branch base. A second cut within an inch or two of the first should made to drop the branch. A final cut should be made at the edge of the branch collar to remove the branch stub. No stubs will be left at the end of the pruning operation. No climbing spikes (gaff climbers) or devices injurious to trees shall be used on living trees. No branch should be cut flush with the trunk or mother branch, the branch collar shall be preserved intact.
(4) 
Style of Cut. After the final cut in lateral branch removal a protuberance is left. The angle of the cut needed to save the branch collar is determined by natural target pruning. This angle is equal and opposite to the angle of the branch bark ridge when present. When the branch bark ridge is not visible, the angle is determined by the swelling at the branch trunk union. The resulting knob or bump, which is called the branch collar, is neither a stub nor a flush cut. For thinning or crown reduction, a terminal shall be cut back to a lateral. This lateral must be oriented to maintain the natural shape of the tree (e.g., not growing toward the interior of the crown). The basal diameter of the lateral must be at least 1/3 the basal diameter of the terminal at the point of removal. The final cut in removal of a terminal branch shall preserve the entire branch collar of the remaining lateral; the angle of the cut shall parallel the upper angle of the remaining lateral.
(5) 
Pruning Functions. Each of the following shall be performed to whatever extent is appropriate for preserving the soundness, landscape function, beauty, form and safeness of each tree.
(a) 
Clearing. Branches shall be removed and growth redirected as needed to clear pedestrian and vehicular traffic areas, buildings and other structures, as well as other trees and shrubs.
(b) 
Cosmetic and Hygienic Pruning. The trimming operation shall include removal of dead, broken and unsafe branches, as well as shrubs remaining from prior pruning.
(c) 
Structural Corrections. Crossing branches that present current or future surface contact should be corrected by removing the least desirable branch. Shoots which are expected to become crossing branches (such as suckers, water sprouts or inward-growing shoots) shall be removed. Exceptions are interior branches needed to provide shading of trunk or interior branch bases.
(d) 
Sharp Angled Branches. When structural weakness is apparent in branch bases arising at angles of less than 30°, those branches shall be removed or lightened to curb breakage.
(e) 
Parallel Branches. If two branches within 15 inches of each other are parallel for several feet along their main stems, the less desirable one shall be removed.
(6) 
Pruning for Shape. Trees with abnormal, unsafe or unattractive imbalance should be pruned to resemble a normal shape for the particular variety. Trees which are trained as espaliers, hedges, sheared forms or picturesque styles shall be pruned in a fashion to maintain the intended effect.
(7) 
Pruning to Reduce Wind Resistance.
(a) 
Canopy Thinning. If foliage density still constitutes a wind breakage hazard after the preceding steps have been completed, the necessary thinning cuts and removal of laterals shall be done in a way which retains the natural form. Numerous small branches will be removed, rather than a lesser number of larger branches.
(b) 
Crown Reduction. If density and height of the upper crown present a breakage risk which cannot be relieved by canopy thinning, the upper crown shall be removed by drop crotch pruning, to establish a natural appearing lower crown through retention of suitable laterals.
(8) 
Size Reduction. If necessary for size control, the upper crown and/or horizontal branches shall be restricted by means of drop crotch pruning. When feasible, small terminals will be removed in preference to larger ones. When top and/or root growth must be restricted to protect surface structures, or when formal shape is desired, shearing shall be performed one to four times annually, as necessitated by existing conditions.
(9) 
Topping. Severe topping, as shown in Appendix 2B, shall be prohibited.
B. 
Wound Care. Wounds must be cleaned, loose bark and wood should be removed from the wound, using sterile tools. Wounds need not be treated with wound dressing. Less decay is formed in untreated wounds than in treated wounds. (See Appendix 3).
C. 
Damage Control/Prevention.
(1) 
Avoid root injury of trees near building or road construction or excavating, wrap trees with fencing or rope to prevent bark injury and cordon off root system (roughly the same area as the crown diameter). If trenches must be dug, cut as few roots as possible, cut them cleanly, and backfill trench quickly to prevent roots from drying out.
(2) 
Addition of asphalt, concrete, bricks or soil should be avoided around trees, any soil added to area over root systems should be porous, highly organic and not in excess of four inches.
(3) 
Drainage patterns should not be altered in anyway that will cause flooding around a tree base.
(4) 
Lowering or raising that grade near a tree should be avoided. If not possible, steps should be taken in accordance with the Town's Bureau of Forestry Report (page VI-8) to prevent tree damage as a result of grade changes.
(5) 
Upon damage by lightning, a tree should be observed for a year or two; shattered parts should be removed immediately and wounds trimmed to form clean edges.
(6) 
Mending of split trunks, crotches, limbs, branches should follow the method illustrated in Appendix 4.
(7) 
Attend to uprooted trees immediately, if small or medium size, cover roots to keep wet. Prune off damaged roots, pull back into place by gentle means and trim crown according to process described in Subsection C(8). When restored to original position, guy wires should be used, or stakes, to brace tree (see Appendix 5).
(8) 
Where moderate to severe damage is done to the root system, proper pruning and fertilization should be conducted, the tree crown should be equalized with the root system by trimming the same percentage of limbs as roots have been removed.
[Ord. 704, 2/8/1988, § 3; as amended by Ord. 841, 12/19/2001]
1. 
Requirements for Trees.
A. 
Whenever a permit is issued for removing a tree, a replacement tree is required in the original site, or near the vicinity, but at least 20 feet from a street intersection (as per requirement in § 25-107 of this chapter[1]).
[1]
Editor's Note: See now revised Part 1 of this chapter.
B. 
Street trees shall be required whenever a proposed subdivision shall average three or more lots per gross acre, or where the proposed subdivision is adjacent to any existing or recorded development having street trees (other requirements of the Town's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], as regards trees, are applicable).
C. 
Replacement trees shall be added to the public right-of-way in areas where the Bureau of Forestry's Inventory of Bloomsburg Trees has identified a need for trees removed prior to the enactment of the Tree Ordinance, or wherever the Commission determines a need.
2. 
Description. Street trees to be planted pursuant to the provisions of the Tree Ordinance shall be in accordance with these specifications and approved plans.
A. 
Preferred Tree Species.
(1) 
All plant material used shall be selected from the attached plant list, in consultation with the Town Secretary or his designee at the time of permit application. Consideration will be given to site constraints, as per the requirements of the Tree Ordinance, and to the existing species of the street for which the replacement tree is proposed (trees within the same block should be of the same species, unless the existing species has proven unfit for street use). If no species exists or the majority of trees have been removed then a selection from the attached list may be made with regard only to site constraints, and the tree's projected height at maturity.
(2) 
Trees face a bleak existence along roadways, they are subject to restricted volumes of soil, which generally have poor structure and drainage, bathed with a spray ladened with deicing salts; subject to rapidly fluctuating temperatures and intense reflected sunlight, attached by insects and diseases and subject of public insensitivity to the needs of a living organism. No tree is perfect for every location or situation. With such factors, as these, and Bloomsburg's climate, and the root systems of species, etc., the following list was developed from Street Trees, Robert Daniels, Penn State University, 1975, "Trees for Adverse City Conditions", the Penn State Cooperative Extension, South Region Report and comments from local nursery owners.
SMALL TREES – UNDER 30 FEET.
A.P. Globosum – Globe Norway Maple
Acer campestre – Hedge Maple
Acer ginnola – Amur Maple (tree form)
Amleanchier canadensis – Shadblow Serviceberry (tree form)
Amelanchier Laevis – Allegheny Serviceberry (tree form)
Crataegus monogyna – Crab Apple
Japanese
Siberian
Prunus sargentii cv. Columare – Columar Sargent Cherry
Crataegus phaenopyrum – Washington Hawthorn (thornless only)
Kousa Dogwood – Japanese or Chinese
MEDIUM TREES – UNDER 45-50 FEET.
Aluns cordata – Italian Alder
C. Caroliniana – American Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus – European Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus cv. Fastigiata – Upright European Hornbeam
Betula populifolia – Grey Birch
Cladrasrislutea – Yellowood
Corylus colurna – Turkish Hazelnut
Crataegus x lavallei – Lavalle Hawthorn
Malus cultivars – Crabapple Snowdrift
Phelodendron amurnse – Amur corktree
Pyrus – Pear varieties (Bradford, Aristocrat, Whitespire)
Sophora Japonica – Japanese Pagoda Tree
Ulmus parvifolia – Chinese Elm
Ostrya virginiana – American Hophornbeam
LARGE TREES – OVER 50 FEET.
Acer rubrum – Red Maple (Red Sunset, Autumn Flame, other patented varieties)
A.P. Columnare – Columnar Maple
A.P. erectum – Erect Norway Maple
A.P. Schwedlerii – Schedler Norway Maple
F. Pennsylvanica Lanceolata – Green Ash (seedless only)
Ginko biloba (male selections only) – Ginko (Upright)
Gleditsia triancanthos inermis – Thornless Honeylocust
Platanus acerifolia "Bloodgood" – Bloodgood Planetree
Taxodium districhum – Patented Cultivar
Tilia cordata – Littleleaf Linden
Tilia euchlora (selected cultivars) – Crimean Linden
Tilia tomentosa – Silver Linden
White Ash (patented)
Village Green Zelkova
TREES SUITABLE FOR CITY CONDITIONS, BUT NOT STREETS (i.e., Parks, Large Spaces).
Russian Olive
Hackberry
Kentucky Coffee Tree
European Larch
Japanese Larch
TREES NOT SUITED FOR STREETS OR CITY PURPOSES.
Box Elder Hopa
Horse-chestnut Mountain Ash
Silver Maple Catalpa
Mimosa Redbud
Crabapples: Columar English Oak
Almey Elm
Eleyi Pin Oak
(3) 
The use of any tree other than those listed above under the preferred sections requires approval by the Commission.
(4) 
Not all trees on this list are suitable for all situations, suitability will be determined by the Town Secretary or his designee, as new varieties are developed and existing ones improved, this list will be amended.
B. 
Acquisition of Trees. Only plant material grown in nurseries shall be procured for shade tree planting.
C. 
Tree Specifications. Trees should be true to form and typical of the species;
(1) 
Each tree shall be at least eight feet in height and have a diameter of at least 1 1/2 inches measured at a height of six inches above the finished ground level.
(2) 
Plant material shall be balled and burlapped with native soil in which the material has been growing (no manufactured balls).
(3) 
The relationship between tree caliper, tree height and diameter of the root ball shall be as follows:
Caliper
Height Range
Minimum Ball Diameter
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches
8 to 10 feet
20 inches
1 3/4 to 2 inches
10 to 12 feet
22 inches
2 to 2 1/2 inches
12 to 14 feet
24 inches
(4) 
Trees with larger caliper trunks shall have ball diameters in proportion to their size and in accordance with accepted nursery practices.
D. 
Soil Amendments. As different trees require different soil conditions, it may be necessary to add materials such as fertilizers, sand, etc., to the existing soil prior to planting. The owner should consult with experts such as those from nurseries or the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service or Bureau of Forestry.
E. 
Planting Specifications.
(1) 
Tree pits shall be at least 10 inches wider than the diameter of the root ball. Unless building debris is encountered, the hole shall be excavated to a depth no greater than to permit the top of the ball to be level with the rim of the hole. If an owner elects to plant the tree him or herself, and not utilize the Town Crew, the Public Works Superintendent must first inspect the site to insure that the area is free of underground pipes, sewer lines or other hazard.
(2) 
Planting Time. Balled and burlapped material may be planted during any period of the year when the soil is frost-free and friable. Generally, it is best to plant in the early fall (except that Red Maple, Pears, Crabapples, Oaks, Birch, and Zekova should not be planted in the fall) and in early spring of the year, do not fertilize until spring, however.
(3) 
Tree bracing should be done by one of two methods illustrated in Appendix 5.
(4) 
Planting holes shall be backfilled to 3/4 full with soil, followed by watering, tamp lightly with topsoil when water is absorbed. Wood chip or mulch.
F. 
Maintenance.
(1) 
Maintenance should begin immediately after each plant is satisfactorily installed. It should include replacing mulch that has been displaced, maintaining stakes or guys, watering when needed (consult experts at nursery, Public Works Coordinator if Town installed), estimated to be the equivalent of one inch of water per week, delivered at weekly intervals in the form of rain, or by periodic watering.
(2) 
Fertilizing should be conducted only with the advice of such experts as listed in the above Subsection D above.