[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Bradford 4-12-1988 by Ord. No. 3118. 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 in public parks having individual names and all areas owned by the city or to which the public has free access as a park.
- STREET TREES
- Trees, shrubs, bushes and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues or ways within the city.
[Amended 1-26-1999 by Ord. No. 3118.2]
There is hereby created and established a City Tree Board for the City of Bradford, Pennsylvania, which shall consist of three members who shall be appointed by the municipal governing body.
The term of the three persons to be appointed by the City Council shall be three years, except that the term of one of the members appointed to the first Board shall be for only one year, and the term of one member of the Board shall be for two years. In the event that a vacancy shall occur during the term of any member, his successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.
Members of the Board shall serve without compensation.
It shall be the responsibility of the Board to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas. Such plan will be presented annually to the City Council and, upon its acceptance and approval, shall constitute the Official Comprehensive City Tree Plan for the City of Bradford, Pennsylvania. The Board, when requested by the city, shall consider, investigate, make findings and report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work.
The Board shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business.
The following list constitutes the official street tree species for Bradford, Pennsylvania. No species other than those included in this list may be planted as street trees without written permission of the City Tree Board.
The following trees should not be utilized within the city as park or street trees:
The large trees can be used as street trees, provided that there are no overhead utilities.
The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the three species size classes listed in § 202-7 of this chapter, and no trees may be planted closer together than the following: small trees, 30 feet; medium trees, 40 feet; and large trees, 50 feet, except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape architect.
The distance trees may be planted from curbs or curblines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three species size classes listed in § 202-7 of this chapter, and no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following: small trees, two feet; medium trees, three feet; and large trees, four feet.
No street tree shall be planted closer than 15 to 20 feet to any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curblines. No street tree shall be planted closer than 10 feet to any fireplug.
The city shall have the right, at the expense of the property owner, to prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.
The City Tree Board may remove or cause or order to be removed, at the expense of the property owner, any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which, by reason of its nature, is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gaslines, waterlines or other public improvements or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. This section does not prohibit the planting of ST street trees by adjacent property owners, provided that the selection and location of said trees is in accordance with §§ 202-7 through 202-10 of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm or city department to top any street tree, park tree or other tree on public property. "Topping" is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three 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 chapter at the determination of the City Tree Board with approval from the municipal governing body.
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 streetlight or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight 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 when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a streetlight or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign.
The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property within the city when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property or harbor insects or a disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the city. The City Tree Board will notify, in writing, the owners of such trees. Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within 60 days after the date of service of notice. In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the city shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal on the owner's property tax notice.
All stumps of street and park 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.
It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the City Tree Board or any of its agents while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying or removing of any street trees, park trees or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating or removing street or park trees within the city without first applying for and procuring a license. The license fee shall be $25 annually in advance; provided, however, that no license shall be required of any public service company or city employee doing such work in the pursuit of his public service endeavors. Before any license shall be issued, each applicant shall first file evidence of possession of liability insurance in the minimum amounts of $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 property damage, indemnifying the city or any person injured or damaged as a result of the pursuit of such endeavors as herein described.
The City Council shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the City Tree Board. Any person may appeal from any ruling or order of the City Tree Board to the City Council, which may hear the matter and make final decision.
No person shall destroy or injure any street tree, park tree and/or memorial tree or any plaque, marker or sign or any other appurtenance of any tree.
[Amended 11-12-1991 by Ord. No. 3118.1]
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon his or its first conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000 and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both; upon his or its second conviction thereof be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both; upon his or its third or subsequent conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues after notice shall constitute a separate offense.