To preserve the quality of life and ensure public safety, minimum standards for the maintenance and removal of trees are established by ordinance. Ordinances set a minimum height for tree limbs above right of ways and require the removal of hazard trees.
In order to ensure unobstructed use of public of right of way areas, tree limbs overhanging public streets, sidewalks, or paths must be maintained and trimmed to a minimum height above such ways. Limbs overhanging sidewalks may be no lower than 10 feet in height and limbs overhanging streets may be no lower than 13 feet in height. Limbs that overhang both a street and a sidewalk may be no lower than 13 feet in height.
Hazard trees, as identified by the City’s Natural Resources Coordinator, must be removed. Following removal of any hazardous tree, City ordinance also requires appropriate storage or disposal of all yard waste. A hazard tree is any tree which has structural defects in the roots, stem, or branches that may cause the tree or tree part to fail, and such failure may cause property damage or personal injury. Two important criteria must be present for a tree to be considered hazardous: a tree must have a significant defect and there must be a target within falling distance, if the tree failed. A tree considered hazardous near a structure or public use area might not be considered hazardous in a wooded area where there may not be a target. Branches hanging in a precarious manner, either above right of ways or neighboring structures are hazards and may be ordered to be removed by City staff.
Please contact Natural Resources Coordinator Jessica Schaum at 952.953.2461 with any questions regarding tree maintenance, disease, or hazard trees. To report a tree limbs overhanging right of way areas and/or blocking sightlines contact Ben Pierson in Code Enforcement at 952.953.2571, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.