[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield as Title 8, Ch. 8.20, § 8.20.070, and Title 10, Ch. 10.12, of the 1986 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Except as provided by Chapter 87 of the General Laws, it is unlawful for any person other than the City Forester, or his designees, to cut, trim or remove, in whole or in part, any significant tree, even if such person is the owner of the fee in the land on which such tree is situated, except upon a permit in writing from the City Forester, and only to the extent of the terms and conditions of such permit.
The City Forester shall grant such permit only upon a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the continued present state of such tree endangers persons or property or, in his discretion, if such tree is diseased or damaged.
For purposes of this section, a "significant tree" is any tree which is 75 years old or older, or which is three feet in diameter or more.
Each person is held responsible for ascertaining the age and diameter of any tree prior to such person cutting, trimming or removing same, in whole or in part.
A person who is aggrieved by the provisions of this section and for cause shown may apply directly to the Board of Park Commissioners for a permit to cut, trim or remove, in whole or in part, any significant tree which is otherwise protected under this section so long as such Commission, in the exercise of its discretion, is satisfied that such applicant would sustain a hardship, financial or otherwise, which outweighs any detriment to the public interest that would result in the application of this section. For the purpose of this section, "hardship" is the loss of an advantage. It may include, but not be limited to, a monetary advantage or the advantage to put property to a particular use.
The Board of Park Commissioners is charged with the care of all shade trees within the limits of the highways in the City and is designated to have charge of such shade trees under the provisions of Chapter 87 of the General Laws.
No electric wires, cables, guys, poles, cross arms, brackets, insulators or other wires or fixtures shall be attached to or come in contact with any tree standing for use or ornament in any public street, court or other public place in the City, without the consent of the Board of Park Commissioners.
All wires, cables, guys and wire fixtures now attached to or in contact with such trees without such consent shall be removed by the Inspector of Wires; the cost of such removal to be charged to the company owning such wires, cables or fixtures.
No person, unless authorized by or according to statute or by some other provision of this Code, shall cut down, remove, injure or destroy any fruit, shade or other tree growing or being in any public street, common or other public ground in the City.