Township of Freehold, NJ
Monmouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Shade Tree Commission of the Township of Freehold by Ord. No. O-01-24. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 10, Art. I.
Trees — See Ch. 336.

§ 400-1 Purpose.

This chapter contains Shade Tree Commission rules and regulations for the planting, control, protection and improvement of shade trees upon highways and public places in the Township of Freehold and providing penalties for the violation thereof.

§ 400-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, joint-stock company, limited liability company, public utility and/or the agents of any of the same.
PLANT CONSTRUCTION
As applied to public utilities, means appurtenances and devices, including poles, wires, cables, subsurface conduits, pipes and other requisite facilities.
PUBLIC UTILITY
The same definition as contained in N.J.S.A. 48:2-13 and shall include any person franchised by the Board of Public Utility Commissioners of New Jersey to supply electrical, gas, water, sewage, communicative (telephone), cable TV (and any other overhead wire) services.
SHADE TREE COMMISSION
The Shade Tree Commission of Freehold Township and its duly authorized representatives.
A. 
Any public, Township-accepted and maintained highway;
B. 
Any Township-accepted and maintained park, and building grounds and parkways as may be assigned to the Shade Tree Commission.
TREE
Any tree or woody plant and any shrub, both annual and perennial, located in any street.

§ 400-3 Required permits.

No person shall do to any tree on a street, without first having obtained a permit from the Shade Tree Commission, any of the following acts:
A. 
Cut, prune (except when tree is located on property owned by a person or entity doing or causing said pruning to be done), climb with spikes, break, damage, remove or kill;
B. 
Cut, disturb or interfere in any way with any root;
C. 
Spray with any chemicals or substances that can injure a tree;
[Amended 6-29-2010 by Ord. No. O-10-9]
D. 
Fasten any rope, wire, sign or other device; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prevent any agency of government from affixing, in a manner approved by the Shade Tree Commission, public notices upon a tree in connection with the administration of governmental affairs;
E. 
Remove or damage any guard or device placed to protect any tree;
F. 
Create a hazard to any tree by the placement of building materials on property on which a tree is located, or upon any property adjacent to property upon which a tree is located;
G. 
Create conditions deleterious to the health of any tree by the placement or distribution of chemicals, including salt;
H. 
Maintain a stationary fire or device which vaporizes noxious fumes deleterious to the health of any tree;
I. 
Remove soil, either for trenching or otherwise, that will affect any tree;
J. 
Construct new sidewalks, driveways, retaining walls, or similar structures, with any material whatsoever within 15 feet of any tree;
[Amended 6-29-2010 by Ord. No. O-10-9]
K. 
Plant any tree.

§ 400-4 Required permits for all public utilities.

A. 
A public utility shall first obtain a permit from the Shade Tree Commission for the trimming or removal of any tree or other vegetation located on any street, Township right-of-way or other Township property.
B. 
The Shade Tree Commission may grant to a public utility a blanket permit for the installation and the maintenance of subsurface and aboveground plant construction.
C. 
A public utility may, during periods of emergency, and without first obtaining a permit from the Shade Tree Commission:
(1) 
Install temporary attachments to any tree; and
(2) 
Make subsurface emergency repairs.
D. 
All tree work done while trimming around utility lines in and along Township rights-of-way shall be by target pruning. All trimming is to be conducted with consideration for the health of any tree while allowing for proper utility line clearance. Any improper work will void the issued permit. Any work performed under permit from the Shade Tree Commission shall be performed in accordance with current recommendations and approved standards of the National Arborist Association, American National Standards Institute ("ANSI"), ANSI-Z133.1 & 300A, and all currently accepted pruning standards for shade trees recognized by the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts.
[Amended 6-29-2010 by Ord. No. O-10-9]

§ 400-5 Public utility performance standard.

Every public utility shall insure that wires and conduits are fastened and maintained in such manner as shall prevent damage to trees, including damage by reason of leakage of gas or other substances injurious to trees.

§ 400-6 Violations and penalties; replacement assessment.

A. 
Except as provided in Subsection C below, any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as stated in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty for each such offense. Each day that a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 5-23-2006 by Ord. No. O-06-16; 10-4-2006 by Ord. No. ST-06-01]
B. 
Except as provided in Subsection C below, in addition to the monetary penalty provided in Subsection A above, the Commission may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of Chapter 336, Article II, Tree Preservation, of the Township Code, or in violation of this chapter, to pay a replacement assessment to the Township, such assessment to be determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:64-12b.
C. 
Any public utility or cable television company that clears, moves, cuts, or destroys any trees, shrubs or plants for the purpose of erecting, installing, moving, removing, altering or maintaining any structures or fixtures, necessary for the supply of electric light, heat or power, communication or cable television services upon any lands in which it has acquired an easement or right-of-way, shall not be subject to any penalty imposed by the Commission pursuant to Subsection A or B above. This subsection shall not exempt any public utility or cable television company from any penalty or replacement assessment imposed for negligent actions, or for actions not taken within its easement or right-of-way.
D. 
For purposes of this section, if a public utility or cable television company takes action violative of any provision of this chapter or of Chapter 336, Article II, Tree Preservation, of the Township Code, it shall be deemed to create a rebuttable presumption of negligence.

§ 400-7 Consent conceding limited jurisdiction to county.

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:37-11a, the Commission hereby consents to the Monmouth County Shade Tree Commission exercising jurisdiction in any circumstance involving a public utility or cable television company under which this Commission is prevented from seeking a monetary penalty under § 400-6A or from imposing an assessment under § 400-6B.