Borough of Stroudsburg, PA
Monroe County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 25-101 Short Title.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Municipal Tree Ordinance" of the Borough of Stroudsburg, County of Monroe, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 25-102 Purpose.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, pruning, trimming and removal of trees in the streets, highways, sidewalks and public places and otherwise providing for an organized municipal tree program in the Borough of Stroudsburg.

§ 25-103 Definitions.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTHORIZED AGENT
A person or company employed by the Borough (under the authority of the Commission) to perform the duties outlined by the Commission.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Stroudsburg.
BOROUGH ARBORIST
A certified arborist, appointed and/or employed by the Shade Tree Commission and approved by the Council, who specializes in the care and maintenance of trees in the Borough right-of-way and/or on Borough property.
COMMISSION
The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Stroudsburg.
COUNCIL
The Council of the Borough of Stroudsburg.
DEPARTMENT
The Stroudsburg Street Department or any other designated department of the Borough under whose jurisdiction street and park trees fall.
HAZARDOUS TREES/BRANCHES
Any dead, diseased, broken or mutilated branches or parts of trees which are in a state of decomposition and pose a threat to public safety.
LARGE TREES
Those attaining a height of 45 feet or more at maturity.
MANAGER
The Manager of the Borough of Stroudsburg.
MEDIUM TREES
Those attaining a height of 35 feet to 45 feet at maturity.
MUNICIPALITY
The Borough of Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
PERMISSION
Approval, in writing, by the Borough Manager or his/her designee.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind, and includes the plural of each.
PRIVATE ARBORIST
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind engaged in the business of tree pruning, trimming, maintenance, planting or removal for a fee.
PROPERTY OWNER
The person owning such property as shown on the Monroe County Assessor's list.
PUBLIC PLACE(S)
All parks and other grounds owned by the Borough of Stroudsburg, including public rights-of-way or other areas under the control of the Borough.
PUBLIC TREE(S)
Shall include all trees, shrubs, bushes and all other vegetation on any street or highway or in the public parks or public places or in any other area owned by the Borough or to which the public has free access.
REPLACEMENT TREE(S)
Any tree planted by the Borough as a public tree to replace another public tree that was removed. For every public tree removed, one replacement tree will be planted. The replacement tree does not necessarily have to be immediately planted in the vicinity of the removed tree if the Commission decides it can be used at another location. However, within two years of removal, a replacement tree will be planted in the vicinity of a removed tree.
SHADE TREE
Any tree, shrub or other woody plant on any street, highway, avenue or other public place in the Borough of Stroudsburg.
SMALL TREES
Those trees attaining a height of 20 feet to 30 feet at maturity.
STREET OR HIGHWAY
The entire width of every municipal way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for the purpose of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
TOPPING
The removal of the top and upright branches with many internodal cuts, also known as "heading," "tipping" or "round over."
TREE
A large perennial plant with one main trunk and many branches.
TREE LAWN
That part of the street right-of-way adjacent to developed property, not covered by the sidewalk or other paving, lying between the sidewalk and that portion of the street used for vehicular traffic.

§ 25-104 Establishment of Shade Tree Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
There is hereby created a Commission to be known and designated as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania."

§ 25-105 Membership of Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
Said Commission shall consist of five residents of the Borough of Stroudsburg who shall be appointed by the Borough Council and shall serve without compensation for their terms of office and with all the rights, powers and duties and obligations provided for by law (Act of February 1, 1966 (P.L. 1656, No. 581). Each term shall be five years. Upon 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 the Borough Council for the then-remaining portion of the unexpired term. Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. The Commission may organize, selecting a Chair or other officers deemed necessary.

§ 25-106 Powers of Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
The Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Stroudsburg shall have custody and control of the shade trees on the public streets and highways of the Borough of Stroudsburg (hereinafter referred to as "shade trees") and shall have authority to plant, remove, maintain and protect such trees.

§ 25-107 Employees of Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
The Commission may employ and pay such necessary assistants as the proper performance of the duties devolving upon it shall require, and to enforce regulations for the care and protection of the shade trees of the Borough, provided that such expenditures are within the budget of the Commission approved by the Borough Council. No such regulation shall be enforced until it has been approved by the Borough Council and enacted as an ordinance.

§ 25-108 Commission Reports.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
The Shade Tree Commission shall annually report its actions of trees removed and planted, but not limited to this information, and expenses in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter for the last fiscal year and shall present to the Borough Council a written plan and a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year for the proposed care, preservation, maintenance, removal or disposition and planting of trees and/or shrubs in the Borough.

§ 25-109 Notices by Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
Whenever said Commission proposes to plant, transplant or remove shade trees on any street, sidewalk or highway in the Borough, 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 the Borough of Stroudsburg once a 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.

§ 25-110 Duties and Responsibilities of Commission.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
The duties and responsibilities of the Shade Tree Commission shall include the following:
A. 
To study the problems and determine the needs of the Borough in regard to trees.
B. 
To appoint a Borough Arborist to serve at the pleasure of the Shade Tree Commission.
C. 
To investigate, provide assistance and make recommendations to the Borough Manager regarding supplemental funding from sources such as but not limited to grants, loans and donations.
D. 
To develop, update and administer an annual written plan for tree care and maintenance. The plan will address care, preservation, pruning, planting, removal and disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and on other public lands. The plan will also address watering, fertilizing, dead and hazardous tree removal, safety, and insect and disease control. The plan will establish a program for the planting of donated trees and the care and maintenance of historic trees.
E. 
To maintain, with the assistance of the Borough Arborist, an updated inventory of public trees by species, member, condition and location.
F. 
To plan, implement and coordinate programs to celebrate Arbor Day in the community.
G. 
To develop and update standards of practice and arboricultural specifications relating to the following:
(1) 
Recommend species for planting by location.
(2) 
Tree removal, planting and trimming standards.
(3) 
Safety standards.
(4) 
Permit fees, bonds and insurances for the Private Arborist.
H. 
To review the planting plan of street trees within the planting strips of any new subdivision for conformity with the Borough's specifications and standards of practice. A landscape plan for the subdivision shall be submitted by the developer to the Shade Tree Commission, which shall review and provide recommendations regarding the new subdivision landscape plan and forward those recommendations to the Stroudsburg Borough Planning Commission, working within the time frame of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code for approving subdivision and land development plans.
I. 
To review any proposed change in width in a public street right-of-way or any proposed street improvement, where feasible, to include allowances for planting strips. Plans and specifications for planting such areas shall be integrated into the general plan of improvements, and it shall be the duty of the Borough Engineer to coordinate the design of such improvements with the Shade Tree Commission prior to completion of the final overall plans.

§ 25-111 Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
The Shade Tree Commission shall, by resolution, approve arboricultural specifications, which shall include but are not limited to the following:
A. 
Authorized species of trees.
B. 
Authorized planting locations and spacing of trees.
C. 
Size specifications for tree planting or replacement.
D. 
Tree trimming and maintenance standards.
E. 
Root zone controls.
F. 
Tree removal.
G. 
Distance from curb and sidewalk.
H. 
Sight easement, sidewalk and street branch height and streetlight/traffic control or sign visibility.
I. 
Utilities.

§ 25-112 Responsibility for Maintaining Public Trees.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person or private property owner(s) to plant, prune, trim or remove any public tree(s) or tree(s) in a public place(s).

§ 25-113 Maintenance of Trees on Private Property; Pruning and Trimming.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
It shall be the duty of any person or persons owning or occupying real property bordering on any street upon which property there may be trees to maintain such trees on private property in such a manner that they will not obstruct or shade the streetlights, obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, obstruct vision of traffic signs, or obstruct the view of any street or alley intersection. Based on tree species, the recommended minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be eight feet over the sidewalk and 14 feet over all streets, except truck thoroughfares, which shall have a clearance of 16 feet. Low-growing or low-limbed species shall be trimmed to allow for the safe passage of pedestrians and motor vehicles. A minimum height of eight feet shall be provided over the required open area of three feet of sidewalk for pedestrians and a minimum of 14 feet at one foot from the face of the curb for vehicle passage or parking.
2. 
Owner(s) shall remove all dead, diseased, or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs on private property which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The Borough shall have the right to prune/trim any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from the streetlight or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or street sign or sight triangle at intersections. Tree limbs that grow near voltage electrical conductors shall be maintained and cleared of such conductors by the electric utility company in compliance with any applicable franchise agreements. A utility tree trimming policy must be reviewed by the utility company and Commission prior to any trimming by the utility company.

§ 25-114 Pruning Standards.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
Tree pruning shall conform to ANSI A300-2001 Pruning Standards, Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance - Standard Practices. All work must also conform to the latest revision of the American National Standards Institute ANSI Z133.1 (Safety Requirements for Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintaining, Removing Trees and for Cutting Brush). Copies of both standards (ANSI A300-2001 and ANSI Z133.1) are on file in the Municipal Building. Any person or entity violating the provisions of this chapter by performing tree maintenance activities in violation of tree maintenance or safety standards (ANSI A300-1002 and ANSI Z133.1) shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a fine of not more than $600 for each tree affected or, in default of payment, shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days. Any tree damage caused by any person or entity is to be repaired immediately at no expense to and to the satisfaction of the Shade Tree Commission. Tree damage as judged by the Shade Tree Commission will be appraised to determine the value of the damage. 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 repair work to be completed by the Borough and billed to the person or entity that caused such damage. If damage resulted in removal or death of the tree, the Borough may accept replacement trees whose combined diameter is equal to that of the tree removed. All replacement trees shall be at least two-inch caliper, balled and burlapped, and of a species approved by the Shade Tree Commission. Replacement trees shall be delivered to the Borough between April 1 and May 15 of the year following the damage.

§ 25-115 Private Tree Care.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
The Commission shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the Borough when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the Borough. The Commission shall have the right to cause the trimming of any shade trees with branches which overhang a street or sidewalk or obstruct light from streetlights in accordance with the current Shade Tree Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice.
2. 
The Borough Manager or his/her designee shall notify the affected property owner(s), in writing, by certified mail, of such trees on private property that must be removed or trimmed.
3. 
Removal or trimming of tree(s) on private property shall be done by the affected property owner(s), at their own expense, within 30 days after receipt of the notice. If the owner(s) fail to comply with said notice, the Borough shall have the authority to remove or trim such trees and charge the cost of removal or trimming to the property owner(s) as provided for by law.

§ 25-116 Removal of Stumps.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
All stumps of street and public trees shall be removed to a depth of six inches below the surface of the ground or six inches below the top of the curb.

§ 25-117 Registration of Private Arborists.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
Any person who is employed or engaged by the Borough or the owner of any public or privately owned tree to remove, plant or maintain any public or privately owned tree must be a private arborist or employ a registered arborist and must comply with the arboricultural specifications and standards adopted by the Shade Tree Commission. Private arborists shall register annually with the Borough Manager or his/her designee.
2. 
All utility companies shall notify the Shade Tree Commission of the identity of their staff arborist or consulting arborist. Such notification shall constitute registration of said arborist hereunder.
3. 
All private arborists are required to present proof of all required insurances and credentials at the time of registration with the Borough Manager.

§ 25-118 Activities for Which Permission/Approval Required.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
No person shall plant, spray, fertilize, preserve, prune, remove, root, trim or otherwise disturb any tree or vegetation on any street, right-of-way or public place.
2. 
No person shall attach any guide rope, cable or electric wire to any such tree or tree guard support without first seeking approval in the Borough Manager's office and receiving written permission from the Borough Manager or his/her designee.
3. 
No person shall lay any pavement within a minimum area of 12 square feet around the base of the trunk of any tree in a public right-of-way or deposit any stone, gravel, cement, lumber or other material in such a way as to obstruct the free access of air and water to the roots of any tree in such right-of-way without first seeking approval from the Borough Manager or his/her designee and obtaining written permission.
4. 
Approval for Subsection three above must be made at the Borough Office or otherwise specified municipal office. Requests must be made at least 72 hours prior to the start of work.
5. 
Utilities may be issued blanket permission; however, the utility is still responsible for notifying the Borough Manager of work at least three working days prior to the start of work.
6. 
Before any permission is granted for work on private property, each applicant shall first show evidence of being a private arborist and in possession of liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, bodily injury insurance and property damage insurance as specified in the Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice.
7. 
The person receiving permission for work on private property is responsible for notifying Pennsylvania One-Call prior to planting or removing a tree.
8. 
Standards of issuance. The Borough Manager or his/her designee shall inspect the proposed work on private property and give permission if, in the Borough Manager's or designee's opinion, the proposed work is desirable and the proposed method and workmanship thereof are of a satisfactory nature. Written permission shall contain a definite expiration date, and all work must be completed by this date.
9. 
The person receiving permission for work on private property shall abide by the Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice adopted by the Shade Tree Commission.

§ 25-119 Prohibited Activities.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
The following are prohibited activities:
A. 
Fasten a carriage, animal, motor vehicle of any kind or bicycle to any shade tree, tree guard or support thereof.
B. 
Authorize or procure any gas, hot water, brine, oil, dye or other substance deleterious to tree life to lay, pour, flow, leak or drip on or into the soil about the base of a tree in any public highway, street, avenue, alley or public place.
C. 
Allow a tree on public right-of-way to be injured or removed during the erection, repair, removal or alteration of any building or structure.
D. 
Build or kindle a fire near any tree on any public right-of-way or public place as to endanger the trunk, limbs or foliage of such shade tree(s).
E. 
Attach any advertisements to any tree or shrub in any street, highway, avenue or public right-of-way.

§ 25-120 Liability for Damage.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
Any person who inflicts damage to a tree in a public right-of-way, either willfully or negligently, shall be liable to the Borough for costs of professional care in the treatment of the tree wounds. If the tree shall die within one growing season as a direct result of such damage, or if the damaged tree shall be rendered unsuitable and condemned by the Borough, then the person responsible shall pay all costs of the removal of said tree and its stump and costs of replacing it with a tree of approved specifications. Such work shall be performed by the Borough or contracted by the Borough and costs assessed to the responsible person.

§ 25-121 Violations and Penalties.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
1. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, or a plea of guilty, pay a fine not to exceed $600 for each tree affected plus replacement costs of any shade tree damaged as a result of the violation.
2. 
Any costs incurred by the Borough for violations of this chapter may be assessed to the property owner(s). Any penalty so assessed shall be a lien upon the real estate of the offender and may be collected as municipal claims are collected.

§ 25-122 Repealer.

[Ord. 861, 7/5/2006]
By enactment of this chapter, Ordinance No. 124, adopted December 7, 1921, as amended and reenacted by Ordinance No 599, adopted December 19, 1983; as amended by Ordinance No. 835, adopted November 19, 2003; and Ordinance No. 762, adopted March 18, 1998, are hereby repealed.