[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Milton 1-15-1957 as Ch. XVIII, Parts 1 and 2, of the 1957 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby created a Commission to be known and designated as the "Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Milton."
The Commission shall consist of three residents of the borough, who shall be appointed by the Mayor and shall serve without compensation, one of the Commissioners thus appointed shall serve for a term of three years, one for a term of four years and one for a term of five years, and at the expiration of the term of any Shade Tree Commissioner, a successor shall be appointed by the Mayor to serve for a term of five years. Vacancies in the office of Shade Tree Commissioner shall be filled by the Mayor for the unexpired term.
The Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in and upon the highways of the borough or of trees whose branches extend over and above any such highway or whose continued existence shall be a menace to the public using such highways and on all property of the borough.
The Commission may employ and pay such necessary assistants as may be required to perform the duties devolving upon it and to make, publish and enforce regulations for the care and protection of the shade trees of the borough other than those contained in this Article and for the removal of such as may be deemed a menace to the public use of its highways.
Whenever the Commission proposes to plant or transplant any shade trees or remove shade trees on any highway which may be a menace to the users of such highway, notice of the time and place of the meeting at which such work is to be considered shall be given once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the time of the meeting, such notice to be placed in a newspaper published in the Borough of Milton and to specify in detail the highways or portions thereof upon which the work is to be done.
Any appointments made by the Commission shall be made only with the approval of the Council. Regulations, other than those contained in this Article, shall be in force only after their approval by the Council and after having been published at least twice in a newspaper published in the Borough of Milton.
The cost of planting, transplanting or removing any shade trees on the highways which are a menace to the public use of such highways, the construction of guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof and the replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed shall be paid by the owner of the real estate in front of whose property the work is done, which cost as to each freeholder shall be ascertained by the Commission and certified to the Borough Council and the Borough Treasurer.
Upon the filing of the certificate of costs with the Council, the Borough Secretary shall cause 30 days' written notice to be given, by mail, to the person or persons against whose property an assessment has been made, stating the amount of the assessment, the time and place of payment and accompanied with a copy of the certificate. Said cost so certified shall be a lien from the time of filing of the certificate with the Council and, if not paid within 30 days from the date of notice, a claim shall be filed and collected by the Borough Solicitor in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.
The cost and expense of caring for trees now planted or hereafter planted by said Commission to the public highways of the borough shall be paid by the borough, the necessary amount being certified by the Commission to the Council each year and appropriated by it in like manner as other moneys for borough purposes.
The Shade Tree Commission may assess penalties for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the regulations of said Commission, not to exceed $25 for any single violation. Any penalty so assessed shall be a lien upon the real estate of the offender and may be collected as municipal claims are collected. All such penalties shall be paid to the Borough Treasurer, to be placed to the credit of the Shade Tree Commission, subject to be drawn upon by the Commission for the purposes of Article XXVII (b-1) of the Borough Code.
These regulations are adopted by the Shade Tree Commission pursuant to the provisions of Article 519, Section 2730-2757, of the Borough Code.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes individuals, firms, associations and corporations.
The Shade Tree Commission shall have exclusive custody and control of the shade trees in the borough and may plant, remove, maintain and protect shade trees on the public highways in the borough.
The Shade Tree Commission shall annually report, in full, to the Borough Council its transactions and expenses for the year.
The cost of planting, transplanting or removing any shade trees on the highways of the borough, of the necessary and suitable guards, curbing or grading for the protection thereof and of the replacing of any pavement or sidewalk necessarily disturbed in the execution of such work shall be paid by the owner of the real estate in front of whose property the work is done.
The amount each property owner is to pay shall be ascertained and certified by the Shade Tree Commission to the Borough Council and Borough Treasurer.
Upon the filing of said certificate with the Borough Council, the Borough Secretary shall cause 30 days' written notice to be given by mail to persons against whose property an assessment has been made. The notice shall state the amount of the assessment and the time and place of payment and shall be accompanied with a copy of the certificate.
No person shall plant, cut, trim or remove any shade tree under the jurisdiction of the Shade Tree Commission or fasten any sign, wire, rope or other material to, around or through any such shade tree or deposit, place or store or maintain any such stone, brick, sand, concrete or other material which will impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any such shade tree, unless he shall obtain a permit from the Shade Tree Commission so to do.
No person shall move any building or other object on or over any public street within the borough in such manner as to damage or injure any shade tree or shrub in such street unless he shall first obtain a permit from the Shade Tree Commission so to do.
To obtain such a permit he shall submit to the Shade Tree Commission an application, in writing, on a form to be approved by said Commission.
As a condition to any permit to remove any shade tree, the Shade Tree Commission may require that the permittee plant, at his expense, another tree in place of the one removed. The Shade Tree Commission, in such case, shall direct the type, size and location of the tree to be planted and the time in which the work is to be done.
As a condition to any permit to move any building or object on or over any public street, the Shade Tree Commission may require the applicant to furnish bond in an amount sufficient to cover any damage or injury to any shade trees or shrubs in such street and it may direct the route of any such moving so as to minimize damage or injury to shade trees and shrubs.
The Shade Tree Commission shall cause 10 days' written notice to be given, by mail, to the owner of the property in front of which a shade tree is planted to remove a dead, dying, dangerous or prohibited species of tree or one which is growing in or extending over the cartway. If said owner does not comply with said notice within the ten-day period, the Shade Tree Commission may remove said tree at the expense of said owner. Replacement of said tree will be made at the discretion of the Shade Tree Commission at the expense of the property owner.
The Shade Tree Commission may remove any shade tree within its jurisdiction which has any contagious disease or insect infestation without any notice to the property owner and at the expense of said property owner. In such case, the entire tree must be burned completely. Replacement of said tree will be made at the discretion of the Shade Tree Commission and at the expense of the property owner.
In the event of a shade tree being damaged by any person, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge for repairs to the tree, including the devaluation of the tree, against the person causing the damage to said tree. In the event of a shade tree being destroyed by any person, the Shade Tree Commission may make a charge for the appraised value of the tree, plus the cost of removal and replacement thereof, against the person causing the destruction of said tree.
In the event that any shade tree or trees are felled by storm or other similar casualty, said trees or stumps thereof shall be removed from the cartway by the borough without charge. Replacement of such trees will be made at the discretion of the Shade Tree Commission and the expense of the property owner.
No person shall break, injure, mutilate, kill or destroy any shade tree or set fire or permit any fire to burn where such fire or the heat thereof will injure any shade tree, and no person shall knowingly permit any leak to exist in any gas pipe or main within the root zone of any such shade tree or permit any toxic chemical, either solid or liquid, to seep, drain or to be emptied on or about any such shade tree or permit any wire designed to carry electric current to come in contact with any shade tree unless protected by a method to be approved by the Shade Tree Commission. No person shall attach any electric installation to any tree or excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or lay any drive within a radius of 10 feet of any tree without first obtaining a written permit, as hereinbefore provided, from the Shade Tree Commission.
Whenever the Shade Tree Commission determines it to be necessary in order to prune or remove any tree or for any other reason temporarily to protect, move or cut off the electricity from any such service wire, it shall serve written notice on the owner of such wire and said owner shall comply with such notice within 24 hours after service thereof.
[Amended 4-17-1985 by Ord. No. 920]
All shade trees shall be kept trimmed so that the minimum height where they overhang any public walk or street shall be 14 feet. However, the Commission reserves the right to designate a higher clearance on certain highways where heavy traffic or other conditions make it expedient. All trees standing on private property and having branches projecting over a public highway shall be kept trimmed by the owner of such private property so that the lowest branches have a minimum height of 14 feet or to such other height that may be specified by the Commission and shall be kept trimmed so as not to obstruct streetlights or the light therefrom and so as not to interfere with the use of the streets by the public or with public travel on the streets. In case the owner of such property shall neglect or refuse to trim any such tree upon being notified, in writing, by the Commission so to do and within the time specified by such notice, the Commission may, after the date specified in such notice, cause such trimming to be done at the expense of the owner, and the entire cost thereof shall be a lien upon said premises and shall be filed and collected by the borough in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected.
The Shade Tree Commission shall plant or permit to be planted trees of not less than two inches to three inches in caliper, 18 inches above the ground and symmetrical in shape and the trunk shall be clean and straight without branches for a distance of six feet from the ground.
As far as practical, the Shade Tree Commission shall plant, or permit to be planted, one specie of tree on each street.
The spacing between newly planted shade trees shall not be less than 40 feet nor more than 60 feet and may vary with the kind of tree planted. No shade tree shall be planted less than 20 feet from a street intersection nor less than 10 feet from a fire hydrant, light standard or telephone pole.
The planting of any species of tree other than those listed below will be prohibited, except by special permission of the Shade Tree Commission: pin oak, scarlet oak, red oak, silver linden (cordata or tomentosa), norway maple, schwedler maple, sweet gum, yellow wood, American elm, ginkgo, white ash and honey locust (thornless).
Whenever written notice to an owner of property is required to be given by these regulations, such notice shall be addressed to the owner at the property address of the property in front of which the shade tree or shrubs which are the subject of the notice are situated and such notice shall be deposited, postage prepaid, in the United States Mail.