Chapter 156 URBAN FORESTRY.
Section 156-5 PLANTING, MAINTENANCE AND PROTECTION OF PUBLIC TREES.
1. Any tree or shrub planted on public property shall be of an approved
species as outlined in
"The Preferred Species List" adopted by this Commission.
2. Any tree or shrub not on the preferred species list shall not be planted on
without the specific approval of the Urban Forestry Advisory Commission.
3. Any tree or shrub shall be properly planted according to the standards and
adopted by this Commission.
1. All outside contractors hired for pruning and/or maintenance
of Town owned trees shall
meet the following minimum requirements:
a. Have current Town Business License.
b. Provide proof of liability and Workmen's Compensation Insurance in
amount established by
the Town Council.
c. Have at least one Virginia State certified arborist on staff to generally
oversee all work.
2. All Town-owned trees shall be maintained in accordance with the American
Standards Institute's ANSI A300 Standard Practices (or most recent update). No town-owned
tree shall be "topped" nor shall any climbing spurs be used when working on live trees.
3. All tree pruning around utility lines shall be performed in accordance with
the guidelines in
"Pruning Trees Near Electric Utility Lines" by Dr. Alex L. Shigo.
4. No private citizen shall cut, prune, or elevate any town-owned tree in conflict
guidelines adopted by the Urban Forestry Advisory Commission, without prior approval of the
5. The Town of Front Royal should maintain elevation of Town owned trees to a
thirteen (13) feet over roadways and a height of eight (8) feet over public sidewalks where
6. Town maintenance of trees and vegetation in public rights-of-way.
The Town is not required to cut and/or remove weeds, brush, plants, grass or other
vegetation growing in the public alleys, unimproved streets and other unimproved
rights-of-way except as provided in Section 170-2 of the Town Code. Any adjacent
property owner, tenant or citizen, at their own expense, may cut and/or remove any
weeds, brush, plants, grass or other vegetation, except trees in excess of three (3)
inches (3") caliber measured 12" from the ground, growing in the public alleys,
unimproved streets and other unimproved rights-of-way and in the unimproved portion
of the public right-of-way lying between any public property and private property
b. If any tree growing in a public alley, unimproved street or other unimproved
dead or growing in such a manner that the branches, limbs or other parts of the tree extend or
protrude onto private property in a manner that constitutes a danger to citizens or property, the
Town will cut and remove or prune such tree once it has been notified of the condition of the
tree. It shall be the responsibility of the adjoining property owner or tenant to notify the Town
when a tree is growing in such a manner that it needs to be cut and removed or pruned.
1. Abuse, mutilation, or damage to public trees.
Unless specifically authorized by the Urban Forestry Advisory Commission, it shall be unlawful
for any person to intentionally damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree on public
property, nor attach any rope, wire, nails, advertising posters or other contrivance to any public
tree, nor allow any gaseous liquid or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in
contact with them, nor set fire or permit any fire to burn when such fire or the heat
injure any portion of any public tree. Any person found to violate the provisions of this section
shall be responsible for the cost of repair, or removal and replacement, of any public tree so
damaged. The owner of any vehicle that accidentally damages any tree on public property shall
be responsible for the cost of repair, or removal, and replacement, of any public tree damaged.
2. Protection of trees.
a. Where any excavation or construction of any building
or structure is proposed within the
dripline of a tree located on any street or other publicly owned property, such tree shall be
guarded with a good substantial fence placed at least three (3) feet from the trunk of the tree, or
at a distance in feet from the tree equal to the diameter of the trunk measured in inches at breast
height, whichever is greater. All equipment, building material, dirt or other debris shall be
outside the barrier.
b. Except in an emergency situation as determined by the Town Manager, no person
excavate any ditches, tunnels, trenches, or lay any drive within a distance equal to one-quarter
(1/4) the distance from the dripline to the trunk of any public tree without approval of the Urban
Forestry Advisory Commission. When a tree is removed on an emergency basis the Urban
Forestry Advisory Commission will be notified so proper tree replacements can be made where
(Ord. No. 10-02 Amended (b) 5-28-02)
c. To the maximum extent possible, all Town Department will coordinate
with the Urban
Forestry Advisory Commission during the planning phase of public improvements that might
require the removal of or cause injury to any street tree, or its root system, or interfere with the
fulfillment of any adopted street tree plan. The Commission's response should include
recommendations as to whether removed trees are to be replaced and if so, the type of
replacement to be planted.
(Ord. No. 10-02 Amended (c) 5-28-02)
d. When advance coordination with the Urban Forestry Commission is not practibable due to
unforeseen or emergency circumstances, the Town Departments should request the Commission's
recommendations on an expedited basis. In such instances, the Commission will make every
effort to respond within forty-eight (48) hours and will forward its recommendations through the
Office of the Town Manager.
(Ord. No. 10-02 Added (d) 5-28-02)
e. If in the opinion of the Commission the tree being considered for removal is a heritage
specimen, or other tree of significant historical status, then the decision of the Commission shall
be binding unless appealed to the Town Council pursuant to Section 156-7.
(Ord. No. 10-02 Added (e) 5-28-02)
3. Placing materials on public property.
Except for refuse collection activities, no person shall deposit, place, store or maintain upon any
public place of the Town any stone, brick, sand, concrete or other materials that may impede the
free passage of water, air and fertilizer to the roots within the dripline of any tree growing
thereon, except by written permit of the Urban Forestry Advisory Commission.
4. Improper planting.
Whenever any tree is planted or set out in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, the Urban
Forestry Advisory Commission may pursue removal of said tree and initiate effective remedies.