[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Orange 5-12-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all trees and shrubs on public areas in the Town of Orange and on private areas in the Town of Orange which endanger the life, safety or health of persons or property.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other plants within the Town of Orange. This chapter is created in recognition that trees produce oxygen, reduce the content of carbon dioxide in the air, have an important role in air purification, stabilize soil erosion, contribute to flood control, assist in neutralizing waste water as it passes through from the surface to the ground water table and lower aquifer, are an invaluable physical and psychological resource of the town, contributing to the quality of life by providing shade and natural "air conditioning," habitat for bird life, reducing noise levels and adding to the beauty of the landscape. By this chapter, the Town of Orange regulates and controls planting, removal, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs to promote and enhance the beauty of the Town.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- All operations of trimming, pruning, spraying, injecting, fertilizing, treating, bracing, surgery and cutting above or below ground.
- The permanent placement of any tree or shrub.
- PUBLIC AREA
- Includes all public ways, grounds and other lands owned by, leased
to, or under the control of the Town.[Amended 12-10-2003]
- Actual physical removal or the effective removal through poisoning or other direct or indirect action resulting in the death of a tree or shrub.
- TREES AND/OR SHRUBS
- All woody vegetation on any public or private area.
Municipalities shall not be considered a person for the purposes of this chapter.
There is hereby created the appointive office of Town Tree Warden. The Town Tree Warden shall be appointed by the First Selectman in accordance with Section 4.4 of the Orange Town Charter for a term of two years or until a qualified successor is appointed. The Town Tree Warden shall be a licensed arborist and shall have all powers, duties and authorities ascribed to tree wardens in Connecticut General Statutes Sections 23-58, 23-59, 23-60 and 23-65, as the same may be amended, and in this chapter, including the power to appoint deputy tree wardens, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen.
The Town Tree Warden shall have full power and authority over all trees and shrubs located within public areas and, to the extent provided herein, on private property. Decisions of the Town Tree Warden may be appealed as provided in Connecticut General Statutes Section 23-59.
Shall prepare an annual budget for tree planting, removal and maintenance for consideration by the Boards of Selectmen and Finance.
There is hereby established a Town Tree Committee. The Town Tree Committee shall be composed of the Town Tree Warden as an ex-officio member and five members appointed by the First Selectman in accordance with Section 4.4 of the Orange Town Charter. The First Selectman shall seek recommendations from the Conservation Commission with respect to the appointment of at least one appointed member of the Committee. The members of the Tree Committee shall serve for a term of three years, except that the initial appointments shall be as follows: two to be appointed to a term of three years, two to be appointed to a term of two years and one to be appointed to a term of one year. The members of the Committee shall elect a Chairperson to serve two years. The First Selectman will seek enthusiastic candidates for the Committee from the general public and from the various service organizations that share a common interest in trees for our community.
Active volunteers: Because the work of this Committee involves many productive and enjoyable activities for additional volunteers, the Committee is encouraged to include all residents of Orange who wish to contribute their talent and energies.
Develop, and update annually, a comprehensive plan of action to accomplish the purposes of the Committee.
Provide assistance to the Town Tree Warden in the preparation of an annual budget for tree planting.
Prepare, and update, a database containing a tree inventory of trees on public areas.
Select and identify any trees which qualify as landmark trees and/or notable trees on Town property.
Work to educate the residents of Orange regarding the care of trees and the many benefits that trees bring to our community.
Coordinate and cooperate with the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and other interested boards and commissions of the Town to maximize the effectiveness of the work of the Tree Committee.
Develop administrative procedures to implement provisions of the Town tree ordinance.
Any person, firm or corporation which affixes to a tree, shrub or other natural object in any public way or grounds a playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar things without the consent of the Town Tree Warden or an officer with similar duties shall be fined in accordance with § 360-8 of this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation, other than the Town Tree Warden, who removes, injures or defaces any shrub, ornamental or shade tree within the limits of a public way or grounds without the legal right or written permission of the Town Tree Warden shall be fined not more than the appraised value of the shrub or tree and shall be liable civilly for damages brought by the Town of Orange. The appraised value shall be determined by the Town Tree Warden.
Any tree or shrub or part thereof growing upon private or public property which is interfering with the use of any public area, or which endangers the life, health or safety of persons or property outside of the host private property, including the obstruction of adequate sight lines along any street or highway or at any intersection of any street or highway as determined by the Chief of Police or the Town of Orange Safety Commission, is declared a public nuisance. Any tree or shrub or part thereof which is infected with an infectious plant disease, which endangers the life, health or safety of trees, persons or property outside of the host property as determined by the Town Tree Warden may be declared a public nuisance.
If the Town Tree Warden shall determine, with reasonable certainty upon inspection or examination, that any nuisance tree or shrub as herein defined exists in or upon any public area in the town, he/she shall cause it to be treated, trimmed, removed or otherwise abated in such a manner as to destroy or prevent the spread of the nuisance, in accordance with provisions of Connecticut General Statutes Section 23-59. The manner in which the nuisance shall be abated shall be determined by the Town Tree Warden.
If the Town Tree Warden shall determine with reasonable certainty upon inspection or examination that any nuisance shrub or tree as herein defined exists in or upon any private premises, he/she shall in writing notify the owner or tenant having charge of such premises. Within 30 days after the issuance of said notice said person shall cause the treatment, trimming or removal and destruction of said nuisance tree or shrub as directed by the written notice. No damage shall be awarded the owner for the destruction of trees or shrubs destroyed pursuant to this chapter. In case the owner or tenant having charge of such premises shall refuse or neglect to comply with the terms of the written notice within 30 days after receiving it, the Town Tree Warden shall have the authority to take all action authorized by law, including court action to enjoin the maintenance of such nuisance, and to cause the removal, treatment or trimming of said nuisance tree or shrub. The expense thereof shall be charged to the owner of said premises on which said nuisance tree or shrub is located, and, if unpaid, shall become a lien on the property upon recordation of notice thereof on the Town land records.
No person shall unreasonably hinder, prevent, delay or interfere with the Town Tree Warden or his/her agents while engaged in the execution or enforcement of this chapter.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or who fails to comply with any notice issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to arrest and prosecution by the proper authorities and shall be subject to a fine of $100 or such lesser amount as required or such greater amount as is allowed under § 23-65 or other applicable provisions of the General Statutes.