[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of New Carrollton 12-20-2006 by Ord. No. 07-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PARK TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land owned by the City, excluding street rights-of-way.
- STREET TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying within the City right-of-way.
The City shall establish an official street tree list, which will identify tree species suitable for planting in City street rights-of-way. The list shall be approved by the City Council. No species other than those included in this list may be planted as street trees without written permission of the City Public Works Director or his/her designee.
The spacing of street trees will be based on soil volume available exclusively to the tree (assuming a two-foot rooting depth) and the species size classes listed on the official street tree list. Small trees shall have a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) cubic feet of soil available, medium trees shall have a minimum of three hundred (300) cubic feet of soil, and large trees a minimum of four hundred (400) cubic feet; except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape architect and/or the City Horticulturist.
No person or firm shall plant any park tree on City property without the written permission of the City Public Works Director or his/her designee, which shall approve the location of the proposed planting and the type of tree to be planted.
No street tree planting shall occur without the written permission of the City Public Works Director or his/her designee. Any owner of a private residence wishing to plant a street tree shall reimburse the City for the cost of the street tree(s) obtained, and City crews will plant the tree(s).
No street tree shall be planted within twenty-five (25) feet of any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted within ten (10) feet of any fire plug.
The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the right-of-ways of all City streets and City property, as may be necessary to insure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds. The above activities may be performed by persons other than City staff with the written permission of the City Public Works Director or his/her designee. The City Public Works Director or his/her designee may cause or order to be removed, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric lines, gas lines, water lines, or other public improvements, or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.
It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or City department to top any street tree or park tree on City property. "Topping" is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three (3) 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 other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this section at the determination of the City Public Works Director or his/her designee.
Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the City 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 and so that there shall be a clear space of eight (8) feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The City shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property, at the owner's expense, when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign.
No person shall remove or destroy or cause the removal or destruction of a tree on any City property or undertake construction or other action that may significantly and permanently detract from the health or growth of such tree without having first obtained written permission from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the City Public Works Director or his/her designee. Such trees may be removed only by the City Horticulturist or his/her agent, unless this condition is waived by the City Public Works Director.
All stumps of street 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.
Persons or firms found to be in violation of this chapter shall be subject to a municipal infraction as established by the City.
The penalty for violation of this chapter shall be one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation. In a case where multiple trees are impacted by violation of this chapter, each tree impacted shall be considered a separate violation of this chapter.