Borough of Pine Grove, PA
Schuylkill County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to plant any trees, evergreens, hedges, plants or shrubbery within two feet of the building line along any street, road, or highway within the Borough.
It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to plant any trees, evergreens, hedges, plants or shrubbery within the sidewalk area, except as hereinafter provided.
A. 
Only those trees, evergreens, hedges, plants and shrubbery listed on the attached, marked Exhibit D[1] and made part hereof, shall be permitted in the sidewalk area, but they shall only be permitted in the grass plot area between the curbing and the sidewalk hereinabove provided.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit D is on file in the Borough offices.
B. 
Specific authority is hereby granted to a duly authorized committee of the Borough Council to recommend to the Council changes in the list of permitted trees included in Subsection A of this section by reference and also to recommend such additional action with reference to trees, evergreens, hedges, plants and shrubbery in the sidewalk area provided for in Subsection A of this section under applicable Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, whereupon the Borough Council shall act on such recommendation by Resolution. Without further amendment hereof, the authority to act, herein provided, shall vest in such Shade Tree Commission as the Borough may by ordinance hereafter establish.
All trees in the sidewalk area and all trees near the sidewalk area shall be trimmed and kept trimmed by the property owners of the abutting premises, so that the same shall be without branches to the height of 10 feet above streets, highways, and sidewalks on both sides of all streets, highways and alley within the Borough.
Any trees, evergreens, hedges, plants or shrubbery planted or maintained in violation of §§ 159-14 through 159-17 of this Part 1 are hereby declared to be a nuisance and must be brought into compliance herewith; provided, however, that same which are now in existence are exempt from §§ 159-14 and 159-15, but, upon removal of any such tree, evergreen, hedge plant or shrubbery now in existence, any replacement shall be in full compliance.
[Added 12-20-2001 by Ord. No. 351]
A. 
All pruning, cutting, removal, spraying, fertilizing and tree surgery shall be done only by a person holding a Borough of Pine Grove Tree Surgeon's license.
B. 
A tree surgeon's license shall be issued to those persons who have passed an examination prepared by and administered by the Commission. A yearly license fee of $25 payable to the Borough of Pine Grove Tree Commission shall be levied for each license issued to a commercial tree surgeon. Licenses shall be renewed yearly without examination; however, the Commission may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew any license or require re-examination of any licensee if, in the opinion of a majority of Commission members, the licensee has not performed in a satisfactory manner.
C. 
Applicants for the Borough of Pine Grove Tree Surgeon's Test shall meet the following minimum insurance requirements as set forth below:
(1) 
All commercial tree surgeons are required to obtain public liability insurance in the amount of $50,000/$150,000; property damage insurance in the amount of $50,000/$100,000; and workers' compensation insurance. Noncommercial citizens need not maintain workers' compensation insurance to trim their trees.
(2) 
Each applicant shall submit to the Borough Tree Commission that the applicant maintains insurance coverage as required by this section. No license shall be issued without such proof.
D. 
Safety equipment. License commercial tree surgeons are required to use safety equipment, including, but not limited to, protective helmets, safety boots, goggles, safety harnesses, and climbing ropes. Failure to use safety equipment will result in the revocation of the tree surgeon's license.
E. 
Concerning the spraying of pesticides and herbicides of trees and shrubs, growing on the public planting area, a permit for this work shall be issued only to those Borough of Pine Grove licensed tree surgeons or other individuals who are certified under the Pennsylvania Pesticide Control Act.
F. 
All spraying of trees or shrubs shall be done with the approved materials as regulated under current Pennsylvania Pesticide Control Act.
G. 
When a permit is issued to a public utility to trim public trees, or to do other operations affecting trees or shrubs in public areas, the work shall be limited to the actual necessities of the service of the company, and such work shall be done in a neat and workmanlike manner according to current arboricultural specifications and standards or the standards designated in writing by the Pine Grove Shade Tree Commission.
H. 
The Commission may, if it determines necessary, assign an inspector to supervise the provisions of the permit, and the cost of such service shall be charged to the public utility at cost.
I. 
Minor trim work may be done by the individual homeowner to trees and shrubs planted in public areas on his property, provided he had obtained prior written approval from the Commission. The Commission shall advise the property owner whether or not the proposed work is minor. Work considered by the Commission to be major must be completed by a licensed commercial tree surgeon. No fee shall be charged for a permit to trim when the work is to be performed by the property owner.
J. 
A fee of $3 shall be charged for each permit issued in which the trimming is performed as described in Subsections B through H above when the work is to be performed by a licensed commercial tree surgeon.
K. 
The Commission shall approve all permits issued for installation and/or maintenance of public utilities that affect trees or shrubs in public areas.
L. 
Every written permit issued by the Borough shall describe the work to be done, specify the species or variety, size, nursery and grade, location, briefly specify the method of planting, method of support and trimming of all trees and shrubs concerned and contain a definite expiration date, usually six months from the date of issue. Any permits may be declared void if terms are violated.
M. 
All trimming and pruning of shade trees shall be done in a manner to ensure natural growth and a natural appearance of such trees. Poling or topping trees (removal of 2/3 or more of the crown) is specifically prohibited.
[Added 12-20-2001 by Ord. No. 351]
The PGBSTC will generally approve applications for tree removal for the following reasons:
A. 
Root damage. The roots of the tree have entered a building, floor, or basement or otherwise damaging a building or retaining wall.
B. 
Dead, diseased, or dying. The tree is diseased, dead, or dying and is beyond saving.
C. 
Damage to tree stem. The tree is damaged beyond saving due to vandalism, accident, or "acts of God".
D. 
Proximity. The tree was planted too closely to another tree and neither can survive, or the tree is too close to the structure and threatens to damage it.
E. 
Insect infestations. The tree suffers from unrelenting insect infestation.
F. 
Site incompatibility. The tree is incompatible with the planting site, i.e., its shape does not lend itself to proper trimming along the tree to comply with the chapter, it is inconsistent with the other trees on the street, etc.
[Added 12-20-2001 by Ord. No. 351]
The PGBSTC generally will not approval applications for tree removal for the following reasons:
A. 
The tree caused sidewalk raising or uneven concrete or brick pavement.
B. 
The tree's roots enter the sewer lines.
C. 
The tree is dirty, drops leaves, or shades sidewalk area.