It is the policy of the City to protect all public trees from needless removal and every effort is made to preserve and protect public trees until such time removal is warranted and prudent.
There are many reasons why trees need to be removed in an urban area and City staff evaluates each tree considered for removal on a case-by-case basis. The criteria listed below are used by urban forestry staff when evaluating trees for possible removal. The criteria are not listed in order of importance and individually may not justify removal.
Tree Removal Criteria
The following criteria are used in evaluating a public tree for possible removal:
- Tree is dead or dying.
- The tree is deemed hazardous, when the hazardous condition cannot be corrected through pruning or other reasonable arboricultural practices.
When trees are not deemed dead, dying or hazardous, the following factors will be considered:
- Life expectancy of the tree.
- Desirability of the tree species.
- Amount of space allowable for tree growth.
- Overall quality and structural integrity of the tree.
- Persistent and uncontrollable insect, disease or fruiting problems.
- Frequency and extensiveness of the tree’s maintenance requirements.
- Feasibility and timeliness in which a replacement tree will be planted.
- Proximity and quality of trees near to the one considered for removal.
- Wishes and desires of the adjacent property owner/resident
- Quality and extent of past pruning and other tree maintenance practices the tree has undergone.
- Extent and frequency of damage the tree is causing to surrounding infrastructure such as sidewalks, streets, sewers, etc.
- Location of the tree with regard to streetlights, traffic control devices, intersection sight lines and the requirements of the tree related to available growing space.
Shortly after the tree is removed the stump will be ground out.
When trees to be removed are growing immediately in front of a single residence property and the resident has not requested the removal, staff will attempt to notify the occupants by leaving a card at the front door which states the reason for the removal and provides a phone number to call to receive further information.
The City tries to replant where trees have been removed, but in many instances the replacement tree may not be planted in the same spot due to the presence of utilities and other concerns.