Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- STREET TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other wood vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or right-of-ways within the Town.
- PARK TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other wood vegetation in public parks having individual names, and all other areas owned by the Town of Weymouth.
Tree species. The list of the official street trees will be in accordance with the tree species size and classes listed below, and no trees may be planted closer than the restrictions listed in Subsection (d).
Distances. The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the tree species size and classes listed in Subsection (b) of this section, and no tree may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following:
Public tree care. The Town shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the beauty of such public grounds. The Town may remove or order to be removed, any tree thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature can cause injury to sewer, electric, gas, water lines, or other public improvements, or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect, or other pests.
Topping and pruning. It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or Town department to top any street tree, park tree, or any other tree on public property. "Topping" is defined as severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so 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 pruning practices are impractical, may be exempt from this section at the determination of the Town Tree Board. Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the Town shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection, so that there shall be a clear space of 12 feet above the surface of the street and eight feet from the surface of the sidewalk.
Said owner shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs, which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The Town 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 the visibility of any traffic control device or sign.
Stump removal. 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.
Penalty and enforcement. Any person who violates any provision of this section and who is prosecuted by criminal complaint pursuant to the provisions of § 1-110 shall be subject to a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $120 per inch of the diameter of the tree or the branch removed. The Tree Board may approve replacement trees as long as they are equal to one tree for every 2 1/2 inches. Enforcement of the provisions of this section as a municipal infraction shall be punished by a penalty of $50 for each violation.
Creation of a Town Tree Board. A Tree Board, as provided in § 3-219 of these ordinances, shall consist of the Director of Public Works, the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Public Works, and the Town Arborist.
Duties and responsibilities of the Tree Board. It shall be the responsibility of the Tree Board to study, investigate, counsel, and develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, removal or deposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets, and in other public areas. Such a plan will be presented semi-annually to the Mayor.
Tree replacements. Any person, firm, corporation, or agency that in the course of construction, subdivision development, or for any other such reason wishes to remove any living public shade tree, 2 1/2 inches in diameter at breast height (dbh) or greater, in accordance with MGL c. 87, § 3, must first obtain a permit from the Tree Warden or Director of Public Works. If removal is permitted, it shall be at no cost to the Town within the Spring or Fall months following completion of construction and replaced in locations specified by the Tree Warden or Director of Public Works with a number of small trees determined to be equivalent on the following basis:
The total dbh of all replacement trees shall equal or exceed the total dbh of all trees to be removed, except in cases where a public shade tree is cut or removed prior to obtaining a permit as required herein, for which replacement trees or equivalent shall be provided at double the dbh of all lost trees.
Replacement trees shall be balled and burlapped, not less than 2 1/2 inches dbh, and shall be planted by a professional Arborist, nurseryman, or landscaper in accordance with the National Arborist Association. The Tree Warden or Director of Public Works shall determine species, size, and planting locations.
At the option of the applicant, the Town may, upon payment of the agreed-upon sum, replace said trees according to the standards herein set forth.
Partial relief may be granted by the Tree Warden or Director of Public Works, from the replacement requirements herein, only in cases where the health, location, or condition of the tree to be cut warrants. However, in no case shall any tree of less than 2 1/2 inches dbh be required for each tree lost.
If any automotive machine causes damage to a tree or woodland, the Department of Public Works shall be notified, whereupon a certified arborist will inspect the damage and place a value on the damage. The Town of Weymouth will bill the insurance company accordingly to utilize the money to plant trees at the locations of its choice.