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Shade Tree Ordinance
Ordinance 1999-26, The Shade Tree Ordinance

Section One
Title
This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the SHADE TREE ORDINANCE
Definitions
For the purpose of this Chapter the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular and words in the singular include the plural. The word "shall" is mandatory and not merely directory:
  • Contractor: Any person engaged in the construction of any structure on a commercial or residential lot within the Village limits. Large Trees: Designated as those attaining a height of fifty feet (50‚) or more.
  • Medium Trees: Designated as those attaining a height of thirty feet (30‚) to fifty feet (50‚).
  • Municipality: The Village of Elburn.
  • Native Trees: Species known to be part of the flora of Northeastern Illinois before the time of settlement by European man and as indicated by Swink and Wilhelm, Plants of the Chicago Region, 1979.
  • Park: All public parks.
  • Parkway: That part of a street or highway, not covered by sidewalk or other paving, lying between a private property line and the street or highway.
  • Person: Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
  • Property Owner: The person owning private property as shown by the County Assessor‚s plat of Kane County, State of Illinois.
  • Public Places: All grounds owned by the Village of Elburn, County of Kane, State of Illinois.
  • Public Trees: Includes all shade and ornamental trees now or hereafter growing on any street or any public areas unless otherwise indicated.
  • Shrubs: Any plant attaining a height of less than ten feet (10‚).
  • Small Trees: Designated as those attaining a height of up to thirty feet (30‚).
  • Street or Highway: The entire width of every public right of way.
  • Tree Conservator: The Tree Conservator shall be the Village Administrator, or his designee.
  • Village Tree Board: A Board of seven (7) members, appointed by the Village President, each to serve a term of one (1) year.

Village Tree Board 
A. Authority:
  1. Regulation of Planting, Maintenance and Removal: The Tree Conservator or his designated agent, with the Village Tree Board, shall have the authority and jurisdiction of regulating the planting, maintenance and removal of trees on streets and other publicly owned property.
  2. Supervision: The Tree Conservator or his designated agent shall have the authority and it shall be his duty to supervise and inspect all work done under a permit issued in accordance with the terms of this Ordinance.
  3. Affix Conditions of Permit: The Tree Conservator or his designated agent shall have the authority to affix reasonable conditions to the permit in accordance with the terms of this Ordinance.

B. Duties:
  1. The Tree Board shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing the planting, maintenance, removal, fertilization, pruning and bracing of trees on the streets and other public sites in the Municipality, and shall direct, regulate and control the planting, maintenance and removal of all trees growing now or hereafter in any public area of the Village. The Tree Board shall cause the provisions of this Ordinance to be enforced.
  2. The Tree Conservator shall have the authority to grant certain exceptions provided the intent of the ordinance is substantially observed.

C. Interference With The Tree Conservator:
  1. No person shall hinder, prevent, delay or interfere with the Tree Conservator, the Tree Board or their agents while engaged in carrying out the execution or enforcement of this Ordinance.

Village Tree Board 
The Village Tree Board will meet on a quarterly basis, unless otherwise needed, and will make recommendations to the Tree Conservator regarding Tree issues.

Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice
Authority
  • The Tree Board shall have the authority to promulgate the rules and regulations of the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice governing the planting, maintenance, removal, fertilization, pruning, and bracing of trees on public property in the Municipality

Policy

  • Compliance Required: All work on public trees shall comply with this Ordinance.
  • Standards: Standards shall be adhered to at all times, but may be amended at any time that experience, new research or laws indicate improved methods, or whenever circumstances make it advisable, with the approval of the Village Tree Board. 
  • Policy: The policy of the Village Tree Board shall be one of cooperating with the public, property owners, other Municipal departments, and appropriate not-for-profit organizations where deemed practical.
  • Removal: No trees shall be removed from public places unless they constitute a hazard to life or property, a public nuisance or because a revision of planting plan necessitates.

Species and Varieties 
  • Preparation of List: The Tree Conservator and the Village Tree Board shall prepare lists of trees acceptable for planting in the public sites of the Village. Undesirable trees shall not be recommended for general planting and their use, if any, shall be restricted to special locations where, because of certain characteristics of adaptability or landscape they can be used effectively.
  • Review of List: Only desirable, long-lived trees of good appearance, beauty, adaptability and generally free from injurious insects or disease shall be planted in public sites. The Tree Conservator or his delegate shall review at least once every two (2) years the species and varieties included on the approved list to determine if any should be removed for any reason or if certain new species or varieties of proven dependability and value should be added.
  • Acceptable Shade Tree List: The acceptable shade tree list shall be available to the public at the Village Hall during normal business hours.
  • Unacceptable Tree List: The unacceptable shade tree list shall be available to the public at the Village Hall during normal business hours.

Planting
  • Varying Species: In order to prevent the spread of insects or disease, varieties of tree species shall be planted on all public properties.
  • Species Approval: Tree species shall be approved by the Village Tree Board prior to planting in order to maintain an inventory of the various species planted.
  • Locations: All planting locations shall be approved by the Tree Conservator or his delegate before planting.
    • Spacing Between Trees: There shall be at least a thirty foot (30‚) spacing between small trees, forty foot (40‚) spacing between medium trees and fifty foot (50‚) spacing between large trees.
    • Spacing From Improvements: Trees in the parkway shall be planted at least twenty feet (20‚) from all light poles, ten feet (10‚) from all driveways and fireplugs and four feet (4‚) from all sidewalks and other paved areas. If the width of the parkway is less than seven feet (7‚), the tree shall be centered in the parkway. If the width of the parkway is less than five feet (5‚), only small trees shall be planted.
    • Corner Lot: Trees to be planted shall be at least twenty feet (20‚) from the property corner at all street intersections. On corner lots, no plantings shall be maintained higher than thirty inches (30‰) above the centerline grade of the intersecting streets if located within that triangular portion of a required front or side yard situated within twenty feet (20‚) of a lot corner formed by the intersection of any two (2) street lines.
  • Size of Trees Along Streets: Street trees to be planted or replanted shall have a trunk diameter (measured 12 inches above the ground) of not less than two and one-half inches (2 ½ „).
  • Maintenance: Proper maintenance and care shall be given to all newly planted trees and shall be replaced if not living one year after date of planting.
  • Planting in Village Parkways: Any tree that is to be planted in a Village parkway requires Village Tree Board approval.
  • Planting without Approval: Persons planting trees after the effective date of this ordinance without prior approval of the Village Tree Board may be required to either replant a tree in an acceptable position and according to Village specifications or to remove and/or replace the tree, at the violator‚s expense.

Trimming and Removal
  • Parkway Trees: All Parkway trees shall be trimmed to the Village specifications for health, safety and appearance.
  • Height Above Streets And Walkways: Trees shall be trimmed at least sixteen feet (16‚) above streets for vehicle clearance (fourteen feet (14‚) over streets where trucks are prohibited) and pedestrian safety, as well as visibility. Trees shall be trimmed at least seven feet (7‚) above the sidewalk grade and shaped for proper growth.
  • Rotating of Trimming: The Village may require that all trees be trimmed on a rotating basis once every five (5) years.
  • Annual Survey: Trees on Municipal property shall be surveyed once yearly and scheduled for removal if found to be diseased or hazardous.
  • Removal Prohibited: No person shall remove trees on public property without a permit issued by the Tree Conservator.
  • Diseased Trees: No tree shall be removed from the parkway, unless diseased, severely injured or dead as determined by the Tree Conservator. The Tree Conservator may replace such tree with an acceptable species at the Municipality‚s expense.
  • Stumps: All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.

Spraying
  • Prevention of Nuisance: It shall be the duty of any person growing a tree on his or her property to trim the trees and to treat or remove any diseased trees to prevent the trees from constituting a nuisance to the neighbor or to the public. Any tree or shrub which overhangs any sidewalk, street or other public place in the Village in such a way as to impede or interfere with traffic or travel or within sixteen feet (16‚) of the street (fourteen feet (14‚) over streets where trucks are prohibited) or seven feet (7‚) of a sidewalk level, shall be trimmed accordingly by the owner of the premises.
  • Prevention of Obstruction or Dangerous Conditions: All trees or limbs of a tree which are likely to fall on or across any public way or property of another or interfere with the vision of vehicular traffic shall be removed by the owner of the premises on which such tree grows. The Tree Conservator or his designate may trim any such tree or shrub or remove any such tree or branch thereof so that the obstruction or danger to traffic or passage shall be eliminated.

Amendment 
The Tree Board shall have the authority to modify, amend or extend the arboricultural specifications and standards of practice of the Village at any time that experience indicates improved methods are more appropriate.


Tree Replacement Program
  • Establishment of Program: There is hereby established a voluntary tree replacement program for the purpose of providing for the replacement of trees on Municipal property and for the payment of the cost thereof in equal portions by the Village and the owner or owners of properties desiring to participate in the program. The scope of the program shall be subject to available funding.
  • Administration of Program: The Tree Conservator or his agent shall administer the tree replacement program. He may determine which individual parcels in the Village are in need of replacement trees under the program and shall establish priorities for accomplishing the same. He may notify the owner or owners of property abutting the Village parkways determined to be in need of new or replacement trees under the program and may invite the owners‚ participation.
  • Implementation of Program: When the Tree Conservator and the Village Tree Board have determined that there are sufficient portions of the Village requiring replacement trees under the program, they shall obtain cost estimates and shall notify each participating property owner of his proportionate share of such cost and request deposits of such amounts to be made with the Village Collector. When such deposits have been made, the Tree Conservator shall proceed to have the tree replacement work completed. Any excess in the amount of the deposits over actual cost of the replacement shall be refunded pro rata to the participants; any deficiency in the amount of such deposits, as related to the actual cost of the work, shall be collected from each participant in the same pro rata manner.

Planting Maintenance and Removal
  • Permit Requirements:
    • Permit Required: No person shall plant, spray, fertilize, preserve, prune, remove, cut above ground or otherwise disturb any tree on any street or Village owned property without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Tree Conservator. The person receiving the permit shall abide by the standards established by the Village.
    • Application For Permit: Application for permit must be made at the Village office not less than 15 days in advance of the time the work is to be performed.
    • Application Data: The application required herein shall state the number and kind of trees to be trimmed, sprayed, preserved or removed; the kind of treatment to be administered; the kind and condition of nearest trees upon the adjoining properties and such other information as the Tree Conservator or his agent shall find reasonably necessary.
    • Standards of Issuance: The Tree Conservator shall issue the permit provided for herein, if, in his judgement, the proposed work is desirable and the proposed method and workmanship thereof are of satisfactory nature. Any permit granted shall contain a definite date of expiration and the work shall be completed in the time allowed on the permit and in the manner as therein described. Any permit shall be void if its terms are violated.
    • Notice of Completion: Notice of completion shall be given within five (5) days to the Tree Conservator or his agent for inspection.
  • Planting:
    • Application Data: The application required herein shall state the number of trees to be set out, the location, grade, species, cultivar or variety of each tree and such other information as the Tree Conservator or his agent shall find reasonably necessary to a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
    • Improper Planting: Whenever any tree shall be planted or set out in conflict with the provisions of this Chapter, it shall be lawful for the Tree Conservator or his agent to remove or cause removal of the same and the cost thereof assessed to the owner.
  • Maintenance:
    • The application required herein shall state the number and kinds of trees to be sprayed, fertilized, pruned or otherwise preserved, the kind of treatment to be administered, the composition of the spray material to be applied and such other information as the Tree Conservator shall find reasonably necessary to a fair determination of whether a permit should be issued.
  • Removal, Replanting and Replacement:
    • Replacement by Village: Whenever it is necessary to remove a tree or trees from a parkway in connection with the re-pavement of an existing sidewalk or the paving or widening of the portion of a street or highway used for vehicular traffic, the Municipality shall replace same.
    • Replacement by Owner or Contractor: No contractor or property owner shall remove a tree from the parkway for the purpose of construction, or for any other reason, without first filing an application and procuring a permit from the Tree Conservator or his delegate, and without replacing the removed tree or trees in accordance with adopted Village specifications. Such replacement shall meet the standards of size, species and placement as provided for in the permit issued by the Tree Conservator or his delegate. The contractor or property owner shall bear all costs of removal and replacement.
    • Community Notification: Whenever it is necessary for the Village to remove a tree painting an „X‰ on the tree to be removed shall provide sufficient notice that this tree will be cut down. This marking on the tree to be removed shall be painted upon the tree no later than three (3) days before the scheduled removal.
  • Tree Location: Any completed application to do work on a Village tree shall identify the location of the tree in accordance with the standards established by the Village Tree Board and the Tree Conservator.

Obstruction Pruning 
It shall be the duty of any person owning or occupying real property bordering on any street upon which property there may be trees, to prune such trees in such manner that will not obstruct or shade the street lights, obstruct the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, obstruct vision of traffic signs or obstruct view of any street or alley intersection. The minimum clearance of any overhanging portion thereof shall be seven feet (7‚) over sidewalks and fourteen feet (14‚) over all streets where trucks are prohibited and sixteen feet (16‚) on all other streets.
  • Notice To Prune: Should any person owning real property bordering on any street fail to prune trees located on private property as hereinabove provided, the Tree Conservator or his agent shall order such person, within ten (15) days after receipt of written notice, to so prune such trees.
  • Order Required: The order required herein shall be served by mailing a copy of the order to the last known address of the property owner.
  • Failure To Comply: When a person to whom an order is directed shall fail to comply within the specified time, it shall be lawful for the Municipality to prune such trees and the cost thereof shall be assessed to the owner.

Protection of Trees
  • Permit Required: No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels, trenches, or lay any drive within a radius of ten feet (10‚) from any public tree without first obtaining a written permit from the Tree Conservator or his agent.
  • Guarding from Excavation or Construction: If deemed necessary by the Tree Conservator or the Tree Board, all trees on any street or other publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building, structure or street work, shall be guarded with a good, substantial fence, frame, or box, not less than four feet (4‚) high and eight feet (8‚) square, or at a distance in feet from the tree equal to one-half (1/2) the diameter of the trunk in inches (whichever is less), and all building material, dirt, or other debris shall be kept outside of the barrier.

Hazardous Trees
The owner of every lot or parcel of land in the Village upon which any tree is growing, shall trim or cause to be trimmed, the branches thereof so that they pose no hazard to any individual‚s health and safety. When any such tree is dead, such property owner shall remove the same so that it will pose no hazard to any individual‚s health or safety. Any hazardous tree is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and failure to correct said hazardous condition within fifteen (15) days after written notice from the Tree Conservator or his agent shall be in violation of this Section.

Trimming of Trees for Protection of Wires
It shall be the duty of the various utility companies to maintain trees in such a manner that they do not interfere with service or create a hazard to life, health or personal property.

Abuse or Mutilation of Public Trees
Unless specifically authorized by the Tree Conservator or his agent, no person shall intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant, trim or remove any tree, attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters or any other contrivance to any tree, allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with them or set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat thereof will injure any portion of any tree.

Placing Materials on Public Property
No person shall deposit, place, store or maintain upon any public place in the Municipality, any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other materials which may impede the free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots of any tree growing herein, except by written permit of the Tree Conservator or his agent. 

Section Two
 
Violation and Penalty
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be subject to penalty as provided for by Section 202.99 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Elburn. Each day shall constitute a separate offense.

Section Three

Conflict
That all ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict with or inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of any such conflict or inconsistency.

Section Four

Invalidity
That if any portion of this ordinance shall be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such partial invalidity shall not affect the remainder of this ordinance. 

Section Five

Full Force and Effect
That this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage, approval and publication in pamphlet form as is hereby authorized to be done by the President and Board of Trustees.

Recommended and Prohibited Trees
The published list of Recommended and Prohibited Trees is available for download here. It is sometimes convenient to bring this list to a nursery or landscape architect when planning your project. Always remember to call JULIE before digging