[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington 9-4-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 75.
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 76.
Weeds and obnoxious growths — See Ch. 91.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 83, Trees, adopted 1-8-1974 by Ord. No. 28-73, as amended.
No person, firm, corporation or individual connected with such firm or corporation shall do or cause to be done by others to any tree, in the right-of-way area, public highway or place, either purposely, carelessly or negligently, without the written permission of the Shade Tree Commission, any of the following acts:
Nothing herein shall prevent any governmental agency from tying a temporary public notice upon a tree in connection with administering governmental affairs.
Shovels and all other implements, machines and tools shall be used or operated in such a manner as not to damage or destroy any tree in any public highway or location in the right-of-way area.
Where in authorized excavations it becomes necessary to expose or cut roots more than one inch in diameter, it shall be the duty of the contractor to protect such roots under advice from the Shade Tree Commission.
Every person, firm or corporation having or maintaining any electric, telephone, telegraph or other wires running through a public highway shall securely fasten and maintain such wires in such a manner as will safeguard the trees against any damage therefrom and shall make periodic adjustments whenever necessary to prevent damage to trees growing in any public highway or place.
No person, firm or corporation shall, without written permission of the Shade Tree Commission, attach or fasten any wire, insulator or other device for holding any wire to any tree in any public highway or location in the right-of-way area.
Any utility company or its agents may, with prior permission from the Shade Tree Commission, prune and remove trees for line clearance of utility wires.
In new subdivisions or when the development of commercial property occurs, the Washington Borough Shade Tree Commission shall review landscaping plans and may require street trees to be planted in any of the streets, parking lots, parks and other public places abutting lands henceforth developed and/or subdivided.
No variety of tree other than nursery-grown trees listed in the Shade Tree Federation of New Jersey publication "Trees for New Jersey Streets" shall be planted in or upon the public highways and parks of the Borough of Washington unless the prior approval of the Borough of Washington Shade Tree Commission has been obtained to deviate.
Notice must be given to a member of the Shade Tree Commission two weeks prior to the start of planting in order that the Commission may inspect the stock for variety, condition, size and quality. Each case will be determined on an individual basis. All work shall be subject to the general supervision and approval of the Borough of Washington Shade Tree Commission.
No such trees shall be planted unless the same shall be not less than 2 1/2 inches' caliper measured three feet above the ground nor less than 10 feet high. Such trees shall be well-branched, branches to start not less than six feet from the crown of the root system.
Where authorized for placement, flowering decorative trees may be of smaller size than shade varieties. Such trees shall be not less than two inches' caliper measured three feet above the ground nor less than eight feet high. They shall be well-branched, branches to start not less than five feet from the crown of the root system.
All such trees must be planted within the right-of-way of the street or highway. The exact location of such trees shall be determined by the Shade Tree Commission but shall be at least 30 feet from intercepting curbs at street corners. Such trees shall be approximately 50 feet apart.
No trees coming within the jurisdiction of the Washington Borough Shade Tree Commission shall be planted between May 15 and the following October 1.
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, the following steps are recommended for planting trees. Dig a hole at least one to two feet wider than the root ball. Using a tape measure, stick or a shovel, measure the height of the root ball and then measure the depth of the hole. Add or remove soil in the hole so the top of the root ball will be flush with the ground. If the root ball has a wire basket, remove the bottom 1/3 of the basket. Gently roll the root ball in the hole. Do not move the tree by its trunk. Look at the tree from a few angles making sure that the tree is straight. If needed, add soil under the root ball. Once the tree is straight, remove the rest of the wire basket. If the tree was balled in burlap, pull the burlap away from the trunk or remove the burlap completely. Slightly compact the soil as you fill the hole. Proceed to mulch around the tree in a donut shape and water thoroughly. Continue to water the tree as needed. When planting a tree, keep in mind its adult size. In order to avoid interference with electrical wires and cables, smaller trees ranging in height from 20 to 30 feet are a suitable choice. Larger trees should intentionally be planted away from any overhead wires. These recommendations must be followed to the best of the landscapers' ability.
All stakes for such trees shall be of white or red cedar and must be eight feet long and not less than two inches in minimum diameter. Stakes must be driven into the ground to a depth of 12 inches below the excavation before planting the tree and are to be placed preferably on the northwest side of the tree trunk. Trees shall be guyed to the stakes, using No. 10 wire in a piece of rubber hose. The wire shall be stapled to the stake in such a manner that the wire will not slip nor come in contact with the tree trunk.
After planting of such trees, removal of all debris in the disturbed area shall be made immediately. The property where such planting is made must be left in a neat and orderly condition in accordance with good and accepted planting and tree surgery practice.
All trees which fail to survive for a period of one calendar year following planting shall be replaced by the developer at no cost or expense to the Borough. Said replacement shall be made within 60 days following written demand for such replacement from the Borough Council or other designated official or within such more-extended period as may be specified.
Where permission, consent or approval of the Shade Tree Commission is required by the provisions of this chapter, any person, firm or corporation required to obtain such permission, consent or approval shall first make application therefor, in writing, to the Secretary, Shade Tree Commission, Borough of Washington, County of Warren and State of New Jersey.
Any person, group of persons, partnership, association or corporation, individually or collectively, who shall violate or aid in, take part in or assist in the violation of this chapter shall be subject, upon conviction, to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or to both. Each and every day that such violation occurs or continues to exist shall be considered a separate and specific violation.