[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Franklin 8-5-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1461 as Sec. 9.08 of the 1997 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The city shall regulate and control the planting, transplanting, removal, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs in the city in order to eliminate and guard against dangerous conditions which may result in injury to persons using the streets, alleys, sidewalks or property of the city; to promote and enhance the beauty and general welfare of the city; to prevent damage to any public sewer or water main, street, sidewalk or other public property; to protect trees and shrubs located in public areas from undesirable and unsafe planting, removal, treatment and maintenance practices; and to guard all trees and shrubs within the city against the spread of disease or pests. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all trees, shrubs or plants growing or hereafter planted in or upon any public right-of-way or other premises owned or controlled by the city and all trees or shrubs growing or to be planted in or upon any private premises which shall threaten the lives, health, safety or welfare of the public or of the property owned or controlled by the city.
Whenever the following words or terms are used in this chapter, they shall have the following meanings:
- Person, firm or corporation.
- PUBLIC TREES AND SHRUBS
- All trees or shrubs located or to be planted on any park, playground or other property owned or controlled by the city or on any public street, alley, sidewalk or highway within the public right-of-way.
Appointment. There is hereby created the Office of the City Forester, who shall be appointed by the Mayor for an indefinite term, subject to the confirmation of the Council, and shall report to and be supervised by the Director of Public Works.
Duties and powers. The City Forester shall direct, regulate and control the planting, care and removal of all public trees and shrubs within the city and shall cause the provisions of this chapter to be enforced.
The Council shall adopt street tree plans as the city develops and permanent improvements are installed. Such street tree plans shall become effective upon adoption of such plans by resolution to incorporate said plans by reference as if fully set forth herein and attaching said plan or plans to each resolution. No person shall thereafter plant, transplant or move any public tree or shrub on any street or alley of the city except to the location on said plan and unless it is the species or variety therein designated. The City Forester may waive the requirements of this section in cases of extreme hardship where such waiver is in the public interest or necessitated by the physical characteristic of the tree or shrub.
Species of street trees. The following listed varieties or species of street trees shall be the only trees allowed to be planted on city property:
Emerald Queen Norway Maple (Acer platanoides).
Red Maple (Acer rubrum).
Red Oak (Quercus rubra).
Greenspire Pyramidal Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata).
Skyline Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos).
Imperial Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos).
Ginkgo (male) (Ginkgo biloba).
Marshall Seedless Green Ash (Fraxinums pennsylvanica subintegerrima).
Autumn Purple White Ash (Fraxinus americana).
Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).
Baumann Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).
Controversy. If there is any question as to the species of trees or shrubs or to the location of such trees or shrubs, the decision of the City Forester shall be binding.
Permit required. No person, except upon order of the City Forester, shall plant, transplant, move, spray, brace, trim, prune, cut above or below ground, disturb, alter or do surgery on a public tree or shrub within the city, or cause such acts to be done by others, without first obtaining a written permit for such work from the City Forester as herein provided.
Exemptions. No permit shall be required to cultivate, fertilize or water public trees or shrubs. The City Forester may authorize any person to do any work or act described in Subsection A without written permit whenever he or she determines that such work or act will not be detrimental to the public interest and will be in accord with the other requirements of this chapter.
Requirements and conditions of permits.
If the City Forester determines that the proposed work or planting described in an application for a permit is necessary and in accord with the master street tree plan, taking into account the safety, health and welfare of the public, location of utilities, public sidewalks, driveways and streetlights, general character of the area in which the tree or shrub is located or proposed to be located, type of soil, characteristics and physiological needs of the species or variety of tree or shrub, he or she shall issue a permit to the applicant.
As a condition of granting any permit to remove a public tree or shrub, the City Forester may require that the permittee plant one or more trees or shrubs in place of the one removed, and no permittee under such a conditional permit shall fail, refuse or neglect to plant trees or shrubs of this type, size and in the location specified in his or her permit.
Form; expiration; inspection. Every permit shall be issued by the City Forester on forms prepared by him or her and shall include a description of the work to be done and specify the species or variety, size, nursery grade and location of trees or shrubs to be planted, if any. Any work done under such permit must be performed in strict accordance with the terms thereof and the provisions of this chapter. Permits issued under this section shall expire six months after date of issue.
Permits to public utilities. Whenever a permit is issued to a public utility to move, trim, prune, cut, disturb, alter or do surgery on any public tree or shrub, the City Forester shall limit the work to be done to the actual necessities of the utility and may assign an inspector to supervise the work done under the provisions of the permit, and the expense of such inspection or supervision shall be charged to the utility.
No person shall move any building, structure or object exceeding 13 1/2 feet in height or width upon, over or along any public right-of-way or other public place without first obtaining a written permit from the City Forester, who may require the applicant to furnish a bond or cash deposit to cover the cost of repairing or replacing any public trees or shrubs which are injured as a result of the moving operations, specify the route to be taken and impose any other conditions reasonably necessary for the protection of nearby public trees from injury. Permits issued under this section shall expire 30 days after date of issue.
Injury to trees and shrubs prohibited. No person shall, without the consent of the owner in the case of a private tree or shrub, or without a written permit from the City Forester in the case of a public tree or shrub, do or cause to be done by others any of the following acts:
Secure, fasten or run any rope, wire, sign, unprotected electrical installation or other device or material to, around or through a tree or shrub.
Break, injure, mutilate, deface, kill or destroy or permit any fire to burn where it will injure any tree or shrub.
Permit any toxic chemical, gas, smoke, salt brine, oil or other injurious substance to seep, drain or be emptied upon or about any tree or shrub.
Excavate any ditch, tunnel or trench or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet from any tree or shrub.
Erect, alter, repair or raze any building or structure without placing suitable guards around all nearby public trees or shrubs which may be injured by such operations.
Knowingly permit any unprotected electric service wires to come in prolonged contact with any public tree or shrub.
Remove any guard, stake or other device or material intended for the protection of a public tree or shrub or close or obstruct any open space about the base of a public tree or shrub designed to permit access of air, water and fertilizer.
Trees to be kept trimmed. Trees and shrubs standing in or upon any public right-of-way between the lot line and the curb or edge of the improved street or upon any private premises adjacent to any public street, right-of-way, park, playground or place shall be kept trimmed by the owner or owners of the premises upon or in front of which such trees or shrubs are standing so that the lowest branches projecting over the public street or right-of-way provide a clearance of not less than 13 1/2 feet and over all other public places of not less than 10 feet. The City Forester may waive the provisions of this section for newly planted trees if he or she determines that they do not interfere with public travel, obstruct the light of any street light or endanger public safety. Any tree or shrub not trimmed as herein provided is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
Obstruction of view at intersections prohibited. No person shall maintain, plant or permit to remain on any private or public premises situated at the intersection of two or more streets or alleys in the city any hedge, tree, shrub or other growth which may obstruct the view of the operator of any motor vehicle approaching such intersection to the extent that such operator is unable to observe other vehicles or pedestrians approaching or crossing said intersection. Any such hedge, tree, shrub or growth is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
Each and every female tree of the species Populus deltoides, variety Populus balsamifera or other pistillate form of the genus Polulus, commonly known as "Cottonwoods," every female tree of the species Acer negundo, commonly called the "seed-bearing Box Elder," which is now or may hereafter become infested with Leptocoris trivittatus, commonly known as the "Box Elder" bug, or any other tree or shrub whose seeds, fruits or flowers shall fall in such manner as to interfere with the storm drainage system is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and any person having any such tree on his or her premises shall cause the same to be destroyed.
Authority over public trees and shrubs. The City Forester shall have the authority to plant, trim, spray, preserve, renew and remove public trees and shrubs or cause such work to be done as may be necessary to ensure the safety or preserve the symmetry and beauty of public streets or grounds and to protect public sidewalks, streets, sewers and mains from damage or injury.
Authority over private trees and shrubs.
Notice to abate nuisances. Whenever the City Forester shall find on examination that any tree or shrub or part thereof growing or located upon private premises is a public nuisance as previously defined in this chapter, or endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, or is infested with parasites or insect pests or disease which may spread or scatter to public trees and shrubs, he or she shall notify the owner or his or her agent, in writing or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, that the nuisance must be sprayed, removed or otherwise abated as directed in the notice within the time specified, which shall not be less than 10 days, unless the City Forester shall determine that immediate correction or removal is necessary for public safety.
Abatement by City. If the owner of such premises or his or her agent shall refuse or neglect to comply with the notice within the time specified, the City Forester shall proceed pursuant to § 178-8, Abatement of public nuisances, of this Code.
[Amended 8-17-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-2017]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection B(3), regarding authority to enter private premises, which immediately followed this subsection.
No person shall prevent, delay or interfere with the City Forester or his or her agents, employees or servants while they are engaged in carrying out any work or activities authorized by this chapter.