[6-16-2015; 2016 Code]
Control over public property.
The city forester, under the control of the board of public works, shall direct the purchase, planting, maintenance, trimming, pruning and removal of all trees and shrubs in any public area of the city. No person shall plant, maintain, trim, prune or remove any tree or shrub on or from any public land without permission from the city forester. Such permit must be obtained from the city clerk and may include specific qualifications and conditions.
The terms "public property," "public area" and "public land" shall include all land within the city not privately owned or not controlled by any other political subdivision.
The city forester shall make due investigation and study of various species of trees and shrubs, with consideration given to length of life, beauty, freedom from disease, care requirements, growth habits, utility future effect of roots on adjacent sidewalks and structures, cleanliness and other pertinent characteristics. Only such species as are approved by the city forester shall be planted on public lands. The following species are specifically prohibited for such planting. Chinese elm, silver maple, mountain ash, poplar, cottonwood, willow, catalpa, box elder, tree of heaven, walnut, chestnut, birch, conifers and Russian olive.
Control over private property.
Any tree or shrub which overhangs any public land of the city, and which, in the opinion of the city forester, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, shall be declared a public nuisance. The owner shall be notified in writing of the existence of the nuisance and given a reasonable time for its correction or removal. If not corrected, action shall be taken by the city forester to abate the nuisance, and the cost assessed to the owner, recoverable by suit. The owner shall be subject to general penalty provisions of this code.
The owner of property abutting upon any street or sidewalk shall trim branches of all trees standing along such street or sidewalk so that the branches shall not obstruct the passage of light from any street light to the adjacent street or sidewalk, and he or she shall also trim all branches which overhang any street, alley or sidewalk so that there shall be a clear height of 15 feet above the street or alley and a clear height of 10 feet above the sidewalk. The owner shall remove all dead, decayed or broken trees, limbs or branches which overhang any street, alley or sidewalk.
Private activity. Whenever it is necessary for the work of the city forester to move or protect service wires, the city forester shall serve written notice on the owners of such wires and such owners shall comply with such orders within a reasonable time.
[6-16-2015; 2016 Code]
Trees purchased other than from the park department, must be planted by the property owner. Property owners will be able to choose from trees approved by the board of park and recreation commissioners, with individual tree approval and location coming from the city forester. Trees to be purchased may be planted on public property only. Whenever the board shall have declared that any trees or shrubbery situated in the space between the curb line and the sidewalk line of any street or improved street do not comply with the regulations of the board relative to style, type, planting and arranging thereof, it shall order the same to be removed or replaced or rearranged to comply with regulations. The following provisions shall apply to all planting:
No trees or shrubs are to be planted at street intersections. Such planting shall be done at least 15 feet from the intersection of the curbs.
No person shall plant or cause to be planted any trees or shrubs of any nature whatsoever within 25 feet of any hydrant or shut-off box, within the street right of way.
The following distances between trees must be adhered to:
Hard maple: 40 feet.
Norway maple or ash: 35 feet.
Hackberry, locust or linden: 30 feet.
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain, except during construction work for a period not to exceed 30 days, upon any public land, any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree or shrub growing thereon, except by written permission of the city forester.
No person shall break, mutilate, injure, kill or destroy any tree or shrub, or permit any fire to burn where it will injure any portion of any tree or shrub on public land.
No person shall knowingly permit any toxic chemical to seep, drain or be emptied on or about any tree or shrub on public land.
No person shall plant or cause to be planted any trees or shrubs of any nature whatsoever within 25 feet of any hydrant or shut-off box, within the street right-of-way.
No hedge or shrubbery shall be planted closer than 18 inches to a sidewalk and shall be kept trimmed at all times so that no part shall project over a sidewalk.
No shrub or bush growing at the intersection of any two streets in the city shall be allowed to grow taller than 2 1/2 feet from the ground within a 30 foot radius from the intersection of two curb lines.
No person shall knowingly permit electric wires to come in contact with any trees or shrubs on public land unless protected by approved methods, no person shall attach any electrical insulation to any tree on public land.
Ditches, trenches, tunnels and driveways shall be kept as far away from any trees as possible. Builders shall erect suitable barriers around trees or shrubs on public lands to prevent injury from construction work.
[12-17-1991; 2016 Code]
All persons desiring to remove a tree located upon the terrace of any lot or parcel of property located within the city shall, before removal of such tree, secure a permit from the city clerk. There shall be no fee for the issuance of such permit.
The holder of such permit shall, within a reasonable time after the removal of such tree or trees, remove any resulting stump or stumps at the permit holder's expense.
A person who violates any provision of this section shall upon conviction be subject to a Class 5 forfeiture.
[1969 Code; 1977 Code; 2016 Code]
Public utilities, under the supervision and direction of the city forester, are authorized to trim trees upon and overhanging the streets, avenues, alleys, highways, sidewalks and other public lands in the city, to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with wires and cables. Under the supervision and direction of the city forester, such utilities are authorized to cut roots of trees and shrubs under the streets, avenues, alleys, highways, sidewalks and other public lands in the city, to construct, maintain and operate their facilities in and about the city.
[12-17-1991; 2016 Code]
Except as expressly noted elsewhere in this chapter, a person who violates any provision of this chapter shall upon conviction be subject to a Class 3 forfeiture.