|16||Establish a tree board or commission||6,8|
|17||Specify cooperation between departments and agencies||6,7|
|18||Develop a comprehensive management plan||1,2,3,4,5,7|
|19||Resolution of conflicts between trees and structures||1,2,4|
|20||Exemption from Solar Shade Control Act (California)||1|
|21||Responsibilities of property owners||5|
|22||Help for citizens performing tree maintenance||2,8|
|24||Permit required for planting trees in the public right-of-way||5|
|26||Situations which are declared to be public nuisances||2|
|27||Abatement of hazards and public nuisances||2|
|28||Licensing of private tree care firms||2|
|29||Harming public trees forbidden||2|
|30||Permit required for activities that may damage city owned trees||1,2,4,5|
|31||Permit required for activities that may damage protected private trees||1,2,4|
|32||Conservation of forest and woodland resources during development||1,3,4|
|33||Procedures to be followed in resolving tree disputes||9|
|34||Standards for resolution of tree disputes||9|
|35||Apportionment of tree dispute resolution costs||9|
|36||Recording for notification of future owners||9|
|37||Enforcement of tree dispute resolutions||9|
16. Establish a tree board or commission
Purpose: To establish a citizen advisory board, commission, or committee.
|There is hereby created a City Tree Advisory
Board which shall consist of five members....The members shall be lay citizens
and others with established professional competence in a pertinent discipline,
and the following characteristics or attributes may serve as guidelines
in making appointments to the Board:
1. Members of the public interested in trees as a major component of Carpinteria's physical and aesthetic environment.
2. Arborists, ornamental horticulturists, and landscape architects and designers, or those with a technical background in a related field. At least two members of the Board shall have such a professional background....
[Carpinteria, CA: City Code Section 12.28.080]
There shall be a beautification or tree commission in the city consisting of 7 members, appointed by the mayor, subject to approval of the city council. Their terms of office shall be 3 years and until their successors are appointed and qualified... The members shall serve without compensation, but all necessary expenses shall be paid by appropriate council action.
The city council may remove any appointed member of said commission from office prior to the expiration of their term, with or without cause by an affirmative vote of not less than three-fifths of the members of the city council. Vacancies on the commission, ... , shall be filled by appointment by the mayor, subject to approval of the city council.
The commission shall hold regular meetings at least once each month, and may hold such addition meetings as it deems necessary. A majority of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting the business of the commission. The commission shall, as soon as practical after the time of the annual appointment of a member to the commission, elect a chairman, vice-chairman, and a secretary thereof...
The secretary of the commission shall keep a record of all proceedings, resolutions, findings, determinations and transactions of the commission, which records shall be a public record, and a copy of which record shall be filed with the city clerk as clerk of the city council...
[Burlingame, CA: City Code Chapter 3.28]
Purpose: To require cooperation between municipal departments in matters pertaining to tree resources.
|A. The Public Works Department shall notify
the Parks and Recreation Department of any applications for new curb, gutter,
sidewalks or driveway installations, or other improvements which might
require the removal of or cause injury to any street tree, or interfere
with the fulfillment of the street tree plan.
B. Any public utility maintaining any overhead wires or underground pipes or conduits shall obtain permission from the Director before performing any maintenance work on the wires, pipes, or conduits which would cause injury to street trees. The public utility shall in no way injure, deface, prune, or scar any street tree until their plans and procedures have been approved by the Director...
[Modesto, CA: City Code Section 12-5.08]
In order to provide for coordination and the maximum feasible use of all public lands, areas and funds, plans and specifications for city street and public area planting proposed by the landscape supervisor shall be submitted to the city engineer, traffic engineer, planning director, and where appropriate, special district directors and managers, for their recommendations, and such recommendations shall be made within thirty days after receipt of such plans and specifications. To facilitate the planting and maintenance of trees in new subdivisions, developments, streets and public areas, the planning director shall advise and cooperate with the landscape supervisor in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
[Camarillo, CA: City Code 13.12.080]
Purpose: To develop an integrated management plan for the urban forest.
Some elements to be considered in the management plan include:
|Within three years of the adoption of this
Ordinance, the Director with the advice and participation of the Tree Board
shall adopt an Urban Forest Management Plan. The Division thereafter shall
use its best efforts to insure that activities of the Division are guided
by such plan. The plan shall incorporate the following elements:
(a) A clear, concise, and comprehensive Statement of Policies and Objectives for urban forestry management in the City, which statement is to be developed by the Director with the advice and participation of the Tree Board through a process of at least three public hearings;
(b) A designation of proposed urban forestry treatments for major traffic routes and districts within the City consistent with the City's Master Plan, together with a program, schedule, and suggested budget for implementing such treatments;
(c) An inventory of every street tree and any other trees deemed necessary by the Division, which inventory shall include, as appropriate, species, age, condition, maintenance records, names of adjacent property owners, record of fees and fines, and any other information necessary or usable in the long-range planning or day-to-day planting and maintenance of the City's urban forest;
(d) A Street-Tree Renewal Plan, based on an evaluation of species characteristics and performance as recorded in the inventory, providing for rotational reforestation of diseased or declining trees and break-up of potentially problematic monocultures;
(e) A set of Standards for the Division, and the public for street-tree installation, landscape-tree installation, pruning and maintenance, acceptable tree species and any other standards, criteria, or administrative procedures deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this Ordinance and the Urban Forest Management Plan;
(f) A process for continual update and improvement of the Urban Forest Management Plan elements.
[San Francisco, CA: Public Works Code Section 806]
Management program. In consultation
with the parks commission, planning commission and public works department,
the director of parks and recreation or his/her designee, shall develop
and implement a public tree policy consistent with other city regulations
designed to provide an orderly program of tree management. Such program
shall include all public property and rights-of-way including parks,
public greenbelts and other city-owned property except Lake Chaplain.
The development of such a program include the following objectives:
[Everett, WA: City Code Section 8.40.040]
Purpose: To set priorities for solving conflicts between trees and street improvements.
|A. When roots of a tree planted within the
planting area damage city curbs, gutters and sidewalks (including driveway
ramps), the city shall be responsible for appropriate corrective measures
which are least damaging to the tree.
[San Luis Obispo, CA: City Code Section 12.24.150]
Where sidewalk or curb damage due to tree roots occurs, every effort shall be made to correct the problem without removing or damaging the tree. The city forester shall be responsible for developing or approving corrective measures in consultation with the city engineer.
[Example code by the authors]
Purpose: To exempt a local jurisdiction from the provisions of the California Solar Shade Control Act.
Notes: The original Solar Shade Control Act of 1979 (California Public Resources Code Section 25980 et seq.) declared that it was a public nuisance for a landowner to permit trees or shrubs on their property to shade (more than 10% shade between 10 am and 2 pm) a solar collector on another person's property. The 1979 version of this code had at least one problem to which many jurisdictions objected: trees that were in place before a solar collector was installed could come to be in violation through further growth. The original ordinance allowed cities and counties, by majority vote of the governing body, to exempt themselves from the provisions of the act.
As the result of a court case related to this Act, it was superseded by the California Solar Shade Control Act of 2009 (Public Resources Code section 25980-25986). This revised Act has a number of provisions that reduce its impact on trees. The Act does not apply to:
(a) trees or shrub planted before the solar collector was installed
(b) trees planted, grown, or harvested on timberland or on land devoted to the production of commercial agricultural crops
(c) the replacement of a tree or shrub that had been growing prior to the installation of a solar collector and that, subsequent to the installation of the solar collector, dies, or is removed for the protection of public health, safety, or the environment.
(d) a tree or shrub that is subject to a city or county ordinance (such as a tree protection ordinance).
In addition, solar collectors that are designed and intended to offset more than the building's electricity demand (i.e., providing a profit to the solar collector owner) are not covered in the act. In addition, violations of the Act are classified as private nuisances (as defined in Section 3481 of the Civil Code), rather than public nuisances.
The 2009 Act indicates that local (city or county) ordinances specifying requirements for tree preservation or solar shade control have precedence within the jurisdiction. As in the original Act, a city or county can pass an ordinance to exempt themselves from the Act.
|The city is exempt from the provisions of
Chapter 12 (commencing with Public Resources Code section 25980), Division
15 of the Public Resources Code which chapter is known as the Solar Shade
[Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA: City Code 12.28.050]
Purpose: To set forth any responsibilities for maintenance of trees, either public or private, assigned to property owners.
|(a) It shall be the duty and responsibility
of all property owners to maintain the grounds of maintenance strips on
the owner's property, regardless of whether such property is developed.
This maintenance shall include watering as needed and keeping such strips
free from weeds or any obstructions contrary to public safety. Property
owners shall be responsible for watering mature city street trees whenever
landscaping of the property is changed in such a manner as to deprive the
tree of its normal source of moisture. Such watering shall be continued
during dry weather until the street tree becomes acclimated to the new
environment, but need not exceed three years. All watering requirements
shall be waived to the extent they are inconsistent with governmental restrictions
on water use.
(b) It shall be the duty and responsibility of every person owning or occupying any real property within the City of Sacramento, to keep all trees on that property trimmed in such a manner that there is a clearance of at least fourteen feet above any street or alley, and a clearance of at least seven feet over any sidewalk. It shall also be the duty and responsibility of every person owning or occupying any real property within the City of Sacramento to keep all trees on that property trimmed in such a manner that they do not obstruct the view of any traffic sign or device for vehicle traffic in the direction controlled by that traffic sign or device.
[Sacramento, CA: City Code Section 45.5]
The owner or occupant of any corner lot or premises in the town shall keep trees, hedges and growth at the corners of intersecting streets, whether between the curb line and the private lot line, or within the private lot or premises, so trimmed that the height of the same shall not exceed three feet above the curb level for a distance of thirty feet measured horizontally in any direction from the point of intersection of the property lines at street corners; provided, that trees whose main trunks are exposed to a height of seven and one-half feet above the curb need not be so trimmed or cut.
[Los Gatos, CA: Town Code Section 31-15]
The duty is imposed upon a property owner to notify the parks and recreation department when any tree, palm, shrub or plant in a public street adjacent to his property is injuring or damaging any public sidewalk...
[Carlsbad, CA: City Code Section 11.12.120]
Purpose: To assist citizens in meeting requirements mandated by the local government.
|...On application of any person to whom there
has been issued a permit to trim, prune or remove a tree from a City right-of-way,
the City Engineer may trim, prune or remove such tree described in such
permit provided the cost thereof is paid by the permittee and provided
there shall first be deposited with the City Engineer a sum determined
to be the estimated cost of such work. All such deposits shall be placed
in a trust fund. Following completion of the work the City Engineer shall
determine the actual cost of the work and transfer that portion of the
deposit to the appropriate City fund and return the balance to the depositor.
Should the original deposit be insufficient to cover the actual cost of
the work the permittee shall be liable to the City for the unpaid balance
and shall promptly pay such amount to the City upon demand of the City
[San Carlos, CA: City Code Section 6504]
|If the Director determines that a property
owner who has submitted a Notice of Intent to Prune an Oak Tree, cannot
properly prune his or her Oak Tree without the assistance of a professional
tree trimmer, and that said property owner cannot afford to hire a professional
tree trimmer because he or she does not have the financial resources to
pay for such services, the Director may provide financial assistance to
said property owner for the purpose of pruning the tree or trees, if the
following conditions are met:
(b) The aggregate gross income of all persons eighteen (18) years of age or older residing on the property does not exceed the minimum amount as may be set from time to time, by resolution of the City Council, pursuant to this subdivision; and
(c) The Director determines that it is necessary to prune the tree to remove hazardous conditions, remove disease, rot, pests, other harmful conditions, or promote healthy growth of the tree(s).
[Visalia, CA: Ordinance Code Section 2349]
Purpose: To prohibit the practice of topping and/or other especially destructive maintenance practices in public and private trees.
Ordinances that restrict topping may apply to public trees only, or may extend to all trees, both public and private, within the community. For example, the City of San Juan Capistrano, California, has detailed regulations regarding topping. The regulations define topping (as "severe trimming"), prohibit it in certain zoning districts, and describe the type of pruning which is to occur.
Rather than including detailed specifications in the ordinance itself, we recommend that the ordinance authorize the preparation, adoption, and enforcement of tree pruning standards by the tree program manager (see provisions 15 - Designate administrative responsibilities and 18 - Develop a comprehensive management plan). This allows for greater flexibility and easier updating of the standards when necessary.
|..."Severely trimmed" shall mean the cutting
of the branches and/or trunk of a tree in a manner which will substantially
reduce the overall size of the tree area so as to destroy the existing
symmetrical appearance or natural shape of the tree in a manner which results
in the removal of main lateral branches leaving the trunk of the tree in
a stub appearances as shown is Exhibits A and B... ...No property owner
or his agent in the Tourist Commercial, ... or any residential zoning district
located within 500 ft of a scenic highway or drive ... shall cause any
tree on his property to be severely trimmed ... ...The following standards
identify trimming methods which will give maximum benefits to both trees
[San Juan Capistrano, CA: City Code Section 9-3.625]
The following example includes selections from a portion of an ordinance that restricts topping ("hatracking") and several other destructive practices under the general term "tree abuse". The code includes specific definitions of what practices are and aren't prohibited, a mechanism for waivers and appropriate penalties, which include remedial maintenance or, if necessary, replacement (see also provision 11).
(a)Declaration of intent. The city commission (city) finds and declares that regulation of the cutting, trimming, and pruning of trees within the city will help ensure that the health, function and value of trees are protected, and will help to prevent dangerous branching conditions that may result in danger or injury to citizens or property...
(a.3) Tree abuse means:
(5) Violator means a person who abuses a tree or otherwise violates this section. The owner of property upon which the abused tree is located shall also be deemed a violator if the tree abuse is undertaken by the owner's employee, agent or person under the owner's control...
(b.1) No person shall abuse a tree unless
one (1) of the following exemptions applies:
(b2) Any person may apply to the planning
and development department for an administrative waiver from the terms
of this section, provided that:
[Sunrise, FL: City Code Section 16-173]
While it is probably impossible to construct a concise list of all the ways that trees may be damaged, restricting the most common damaging practices may be of value if combined with an ongoing campaign of public education on proper tree care practices. Another approach to improving tree care, targeted at individuals and firms that perform tree work for hire, is discussed under provision 28 - Licensing of private tree care firms.
Purpose: To ensure that street tree selection and placement conforms with municipal standards.
|No person shall plant any street tree except
according to policies, regulations and specifications established pursuant
to this chapter...
[San Luis Obispo, CA: City Code Section 12.24.130 F.]
All trees planted in the public street or sidewalk area and all tree planting required by this code shall be located and planted under the supervision of the city forester, who shall supervise such planting and locating. In the performance of such work, consideration shall be given to the following factors; provided, that setbacks permit and considerations of safety do not interfere. These factors are determined to be of primary importance in maintaining the city forest.
A. Trees that must be removed shall be replaced by new planting, except in unusual circumstances.
B. Wherever feasible, trees shall be planted near old and dying ones in anticipation of their removal.
C. Unnatural regularity of spacing and arrangement shall be avoided; staggered, or irregular locations or a simulated forest arrangement being preferred.
D. Species selected may vary, depending on location; however, the preference of native species is urged; the Monterey pine is to be perpetuated as our dominant forest tree within the city.
E. The coordinating of tree planting on public ways with landscaping on private property so as at achieve the above purposes is deemed desirable.
[Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA: City Code Section 12.28.230]
|Whenever any tree is planted or set out in
conflict with the provisions of the Article, it shall be lawful for the
Parks Superintendent to remove or cause removal of the same. The cost of
removal of such tree may be charged to the property owner responsible for
the planting thereof.
[San Buenaventura, CA: City Code Section 8421.2]
25. Planting requirements
Purpose: To ensure appropriate tree planting in new developments, including parking lots.
Notes: Some communities include tree planting requirements in a separate landscape ordinance, or in the zoning code under various development standards. However, in many cases, tree planting requirements are appropriately placed in the tree ordinance or at minimum should be cross-referenced in the tree ordinance. It is very important that basic performance standards be set in this provision. The provision can specify minimum tree densities (e.g., numbers of trees per street mile) or canopy standards (e.g., amount of canopy cover or shading to be provided within a set period of years). The tree program manager should then be given the latitude to develop appropriate implementation standards and approve specific plans.
Responsibility for planting and maintenance varies by community. If developers do not perform the actual planting, they are normally required to pay in-lieu fees and tree planting is handled by the local government.
The building permit approval process is frequently used to ensure compliance with tree planting regulations. Communities may withhold occupancy permits until trees have been satisfactorily installed, and require performance bonds to ensure establishment. Performance bonding should be for at least three years to guarantee good long-term survival. Furthermore, unacceptable tree growth or condition, as well as actual tree death, should be grounds for bond forfeiture. Trees that are of poor quality when planted or are maintained poorly may not actually die within three years, but their future survival and performance may still be unacceptable.
|No subdivision shall be approved unless it
is found to include planting of official, approved street trees within
the adjacent parkways in conformity with the Street Tree Management Plan
and under the Director's supervision...
In-lieu fees, which are established by resolution of the City Council, may be deposited by the developer or applicant upon the recommendation of the Director. In cases when a subdivision is being approved, and the building process may be over a prolonged period of time, in-lieu fees may be required...
In the event a subdivider desires to plant trees within the parkway adjacent to a new subdivision, he may apply to the Director for a permit. Such permit may be issued by the Director only after the subdivider has posted a a bond pursuant to Chapter 2.17 of this Code, guaranteeing the planting of all street trees, and paid the estimated cost of all irrigation and maintenance for a three-year period. All such planting shall be done in accordance with the Street Tree Master Plan, as shall any necessary replanting which would be required should any of the planted trees die within [or be deemed unacceptable by the Director at the end of] the three- year period.
The costs of planting and the first three years of maintenance, including irrigation, of all street trees in a new subdivision, shall be borne by the subdivider. The Director shall determine the cost involved for each subdivision, which shall be paid to the City prior to City Council approval of the final map of the subdivision. The Director shall plant, maintain, and irrigate such trees at such times and places as the development of the subdivision, its occupants, and other conditions make feasible.
[Carpinteria, CA: City Code Section 12.28.160]
B. Before planting, all street trees must be inspected and approved by the city arborist or his designee...
F. So the city arborist can determine the tree requirements for site development, any subdivider or developer shall submit to the city a plot plan of the proposed subdivision which shall:
[San Luis Obispo, CA: City Code Section 12.24.100]
Especially in warm climates, unshaded parking lots become extremely hot, contributing to both the urban heat island effect and increased air pollution through enhanced volatilization of reactive hydrocarbons from parked vehicles (Scott et al 1999; Center for Urban Forest Research 2001a). Hence, many communities require that newly constructed or reconstructed parking lots be shaded by incorporating tree plantings into the parking lot design. Requirements for tree planting in parking lots are sometimes enacted though a specific parking lot shading ordinance, but the code may be incorporated into the city code related to trees, landscaping, parking lots, or elsewhere.
Based on their analysis the Center for Urban Forest Research (2001b) notes several additional factors that should be considered when developing parking lot tree shade ordinances. These include:
As discussed under the special topic Evaluating parking lot shading, the success of parking lot tree shade provisions depends on good implementing regulations or guidelines. The Center of Urban Forest Research (2001b) suggests guidelines for tree planter size, irrigation, and planting methods to ensure good tree growth. Local empirical data on tree growth in parking lots is needed to develop realistic estimates of tree canopy cover after various time intervals. Technical information and specifications, such as lists of tree species and their respective canopy spread after a set number of years, examples of shade calculations, and construction details, are needed to implement this and other planting provisions. However, these technical details are better placed in accompanying guidelines and regulations. Inserting such technical details into the ordinance code not only clutters it unduly, but can interfere with routine updating needed to keep specifications up to date.
Finally, even with monitoring, the ordinance must provide for enforcement of the provision, either as part of the provision or under a synoptic enforcement provision (provision 12). Enforcement is somewhat problematic because the party that submits the original planting plan is typically not the eventual owner of the parking lot, and ownership of the lot may change periodically. Hence, one enforcement method (e.g., withholding of occupancy permits) may be appropriate for the planning stage whereas another enforcement method (e.g., fines, abatement orders) may be appropriate for the long-term maintenance of required plantings.
|At least 50% of the paved area surface [of
parking areas] shall be shaded by tree canopies within 15 years of acquisition
of building permits. Trees to be planted to develop such a canopy shall
be in accordance with the City's Master Street Tree Plan and the requirements
of the Director of Parks and Trees. Plans submitted to the Development
Review Board shall show the estimated tree canopies after 15 years of
growth, the specific names, sizes and locations of trees to be planted,
and the total area in square feet of the area shaded by tree canopies.
In determining the area shaded, the following methodology shall be used:
[Oroville, CA: City Code Section 26-49.k.10)
Tree Shading. Trees shall be planted and maintained throughout the surface parking lot to ensure that, within fifteen (15) years after establishment of the parking lot, at least fifty (50) percent of the parking area will be shaded.
1. Surface Parking Lot. Except as provided below, all surfacing on which a vehicle can drive is subject to shade calculation, including all parking stalls; all drives within the property, regardless of length, and including drive-through lanes; and all maneuvering area, regardless of depth. The following surfaced areas are exempt from this shade requirement: (i) truck loading area in front of overhead doors; (ii) truck maneuvering and parking areas unconnected to and exclusive of any vehicle parking; (iii) surfaced areas not to be used for vehicle parking, driving or maneuvering, provided they are made inaccessible to vehicles by a barrier such as bollards or fencing; (iv) automobile dealerships, display/sales/service/vehicle storage areas (required parking for auto dealerships is still subject to shading); and (v) existing surfaced areas.
2. Shading. Shading should be calculated by using the diameter of the tree crown at fifteen (15) years. Each planting area shall be of adequate size for the landscaping approved and shall have adequate irrigation for that landscaping. All landscaping (trees, shrubs, and turf) in these planting areas shall be properly maintained. The city landscape architect shall establish a list of species appropriate for providing shade in parking lots, and shall review site plans of each parking lot to determine whether or not the lot complies with this chapter. Trees planted in order to comply with the regulations of the chapter shall be selected from the list prepared by the landscape architect. The city landscape architect shall have the discretion to modify tree shading requirements under power lines and other obstructions which prohibit strict compliance with shading requirements, and to give shading credit for photovoltaic arrays, off-site trees and structures, sidewalk canopies, and other structures, where appropriate.
[Sacramento, CA: City Code Section 17.64.030.H.]
(d) Interior parking areas shall be landscaped in addition to the required landscaped strip. Trees must be provided in each parking lot at a minimum average density of one (1) shade tree (three inch caliper minimum) for each fifteen (15) parking spaces provided, or any fraction thereof. In the case of mini warehouses, such parking spaces shall be determined by the number of parallel parking spaces contained in the required loading and unloading lanes. Additionally, interior parking lot landscaping shall be provided in accordance with the following table...
(e) Except for customer and employee parking, parking lot landscape requirements do not apply to storage or standing parking spaces incidental to uses, such as sales and rental of motor vehicles, mobile homes, boats, trailers or other similar uses.
(f) To calculate the total parking area and the subsequent percentage of required interior lot landscaping, total the square footage of parking spaces, planting islands, curbed areas and all interior driveways and aisles except those with no parking spaces located on either side. Landscaped areas located outside the parking lot may not be used to meet the interior landscaping requirement.
(g) The required landscaping for parking lots shall be more or less evenly distributed throughout the parking lot, although adjustments may be approved by the Community Development Department where the shape or size of the parking lot, the location of existing trees or other natural constraints reasonably prevent such distribution.
(h) All landscaped areas, including the permeable areas and drip lines around trees and planting beds used for visual screening which abut any parking lot or vehicular travel area, shall be protected with curbs, parking blocks or similar barriers sufficient to protect them from vehicular intrusion.
(i) An automatic irrigation system is required for all landscaping. Water conservation is encouraged.
[Lewisville, TX General Development Ordinance Sec 6-103]
Percent of interior paved area occupied by 6 ft by 8 ft planters (1 tree/planter)
Projected parking lot shading after 15 years (average crown diameter= 21 ft)
5% of paved area
7% of paved area
10% of paved area