Tree Trimming & Removal

Print

Overview

Trees that are located on private property, including within any adjacent terraces, are the responsibility of the property owner, per City ordinance.  Trees that are located within or extend out into the public right-of-way must be maintained to ensure the safety of pedestrians and vehicles utilizing the sidewalk, street, or alley. 

Tree Trimming 2014

City Ordinance 8.20 "Dutch Elm, Emerald Ash Borer, and Other Diseased, Infested, Infected, Damaged, and/or Unsafe Trees"

As diseased, infested, infected, damaged, or otherwise unsafe trees are reported, it is the City’s current policy to give the property owner the opportunity to remove the dead or dying tree at their own expense within a reasonable time frame. If the property owner fails to remove the tree, the City will utilize a contractor to perform the work at the property owner’s expense, per City Ordinance 8.20.080.

For more information regarding Emerald Ash Borer beetles and infestations, please visit the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) webpage.

City Ordinance 12.24 "Streets and Sidewalks: Trees and Shrubbery"

A property owner is required to maintain trees on their property, including those located on the terrace between the curb and lot line, according to the following Ordinance provisions:

• All limbs, branches, and foliage must be maintained at a height no less than fifteen (15) feet over the curb of a street and no less than seven (7) feet over a sidewalk. Bushes and shrubbery must not have branches, leaves, or other foliage extending over any street or sidewalk.

• Any aged, decaying, or dead branches or limbs of trees or shrubbery located within the public right-of-way must be removed to eliminate the safety hazard created by falling limbs or branches.

• Trees and shrubbery within or adjacent to the public right-of-way that are over thirty (30) inches above curb grade, except trees trimmed to the trunk and at least seven (7) feet above the sidewalk, must not obstruct traffic or vision of traffic and must comply with the vision triangle requirements set forth in the Ordinance. Similarly, trees and shrubbery must not obstruct vision of traffic signs.

Abatement Process

As non-compliant trees and/or shrubbery are reported by residents or City staff, it is the City’s current policy to give the property owner the opportunity to trim the tree(s) to the proper height at their own expense within a reasonable time frame. If the property owner fails to correct the situation, the City will utilize a contractor to perform the work at the property owner’s expense, per City Ordinance 12.24.050.

Tree and/or Shrubbery Trimming

  1. A notice will be issued to the property owner after non-compliance has been verified by City inspectors. The notice may be in the form of a door hanger left at the property and/or a letter mailed to the property owner.
  2. After 12 days, City staff will re-inspect the property. If the work has not been completed satisfactorily, the City will perform the work at the expense of the property owner. Before and after photographs are taken of all work completed by City staff and/or City-hired contractors.

Tree Removals

  1. A notice will be issued to the property owner after non-compliance has been verified by City inspectors.  The notice may be in the form of a door hanger left at the property and/or a letter mailed to the property owner.  **Please note:  As of 2016, the City's notification policy has changed for tree removals.  In previous years, a total of three (3) notices were issued to property owners.  As of January 1, 2016, only one (1) notice will be issued for tree removals.
  2. After 30 days, City staff will re-inspect the property.  If the work has not been completed satisfactorily, the City will obtain a contractor to perform the removal(s) at the expense of the property owner. 
  3. If the property owner fails to contact City staff with a reasonable timeline for completion of the tree removal, the City will perform the work at the expense of the property owner.  Before and after photographs are taken of all work completed by City staff and/or City-hired contractors.

For more information or to report a violation, please call the City Services Center at 755-3110.

Tree Service Contractors

Beginning in 2015 and in consecutive years as needed, the Operations Division will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) annually to establish a list of qualified contractors for tree trimming and removal services for the upcoming calendar year.  To be listed on the "Approved Contractors List" and be eligible to bid on tree trimming and removal services for the City, contractors must meet minimum qualifications and respond to the RFQ prior to the deadline. 

For more information, please contact the City Services Center at 755-3110.

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.