Forestry Code

City Code
Effective Date: September 15, 1973

Section 6.06

Regulations of Grass, Weeds & Trees in Streets

Subdivision 1: City to Control Tree Planting (Standards). The City shall have control and supervision of planting shrubs and trees upon, or overhanging, all streets or other public property. The City may establish and enforce uniform standards relating to the species and types of trees to be planted, placement and the maintenance and removal thereof. Such standards shall be kept on file in the office of the City Clerk-Treasurer and may be revised from time to time by action of the Council upon the recommendation of the City Forester.

Subdivision 2: Permit to Plant or Remove Trees. It is a misdemeanor for any person to plant or remove any tree upon or overhanging streets, without first procuring from the City a permit in writing to do so.

Subdivision 3: Duty of Property Owners to Cut Grass and Weeds and Maitain Trees and Shrubs. Every owner of property abutting on any street shall cause the grass and weeds to be cut from the line of such property nearest to such street to the center of the street. If the grass or weeds in such place attain a height in excess of six inches, it shall be prima facie evidence of a failure to comply with this Subdivision. Every owner of property abutting on any street shall, subject to the provisions herein requiring a permit therefor, trim, cut, remove, and otherwise maintain all trees and shrubs in nonhazardous and healthy condition, from the line of such property nearest to such street to the center thereof.

Other Public Protection

Section 9.81

Shade Tree Disease Control & Prevention

Subdivision 1: Policy and Purpose. The City has determined that the health of oak and elm trees is threatened by fatal diseases know as oak wilt and Dutch elm disease. It has firther determined that the loss of oak and elm trees located on public and private property would substantially depreciate the value of property and impair the safety, good order, general welfare and convenience of the public. It is declared to be the intent of the Council to control and prevent the spread of these diseases, and provide for the removal of dead or diseased trees, as nuisances.

A. The term "shade tree disease" means Dutch elm disease or oak wilt disease.

B. The term "City Forester" means the Park Superintendent, or such other employee of the City as the Coucil may designate and who shall thereafter qualify, together with their duly designated assistants.

C. The term "nuisance" means (1) any living or standing tree infected to any degree with a shade tree disease; or (2) any logs, branches, stumps or other parts of any dead or dying tree, so infected, unless such parts have been fully burned or treated under the direction of the City Forester.

Subdivision 3: Scope and Adoption by Reference. Minnesota Statutes, Section 18023, is hereby adopted by reference, together with the Rules and Regulations of the Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture relating to shade tree diseases; provided, that this Section shall supersede such Statutes, Rules and Regulations, only to the extent of inconsistencies.

Subdivision 4: Unlawful Act. It is unlawful for any person to keep, maintain, or permit upon premises owned by them or upon public property where they have the duty of tree maintenance, any nuisance as herein defined.

Subdivision 5: Inspection and Diagnosis. It is the power and duty of the City Forester to enter upon public and private property, at any reasonable time, for the purpose of inspecting for, and diagnosing, shade tree disease. In cases of suspected shade tree disease, and in performing of their duties, the City Forester may remove such specimens, samples and diopsies as may be necessary or desirable for diagnosis.

Subdivision 6: Abatement of Nuisance. Abatement of a nuisance, defined herein, shall be by spraying, removing, burning, or otherwise effectively treating the infected trees or wood to prevent spread of shade tree disease. Such abatement procedures shall be caried out in accordance with the current technical and expert methods and plans as may be designed by the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Minnesota. The City shall establish specifications for tree removal and disposal methods consistent therewith.

Subdivision 7: Procedures for Removal of Infected Trees and Wood.

A. Whenever the City Forester finds with reasonable certainty that the infection, or danger of infection, exists in any tree or wood on any public or provate property, they shall proceed as follows:

  1. If the City Forester finds that the danger of infection or other trees is not iminent because of dormancy of shade tree disease, they shall make a written report of their finding to the Council which shall proceed by (a) abating the nuisance as a public improvement under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 429, or (b) abating the nuisance as provided in Subparagraph B of this Subdivision.
  2. If the City Forester finds that danger of infection of other trees is imminent, they shall notify the owner of the property, or the abutting property, as the case may be, by registered or certified mail that the nuisance exists. The City Forester shall immediately report such action ot the Council, and after the expiration of the time limited by the notice they may abate the nuisance.
  3. If the City Forester finds with reasonable certainty that immediate action is required to prevent the spread of shade tree disease, they may proceed to abate the nuisance forthwith. They shall report such action immediately to the Council and to the abutting property owner, or to the owner of the property where the nuisance is located.

B. Upon receipt of the City Forester's report required by Subparagraph A, Item 1, the Council shall by resolution order the nuisance abated. Before action is taken on such resolution, the Council shall publish notice of its intention to meet to consider taking action to abate the nuisance. This notice shall be mailed to affected property owners and published once no less than one week prior to such meeting. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting, the streets affected, action proposed, the estimated cost of the abatement, and the proposed basis of assessment, if any, of costs. At such hearing or adjournment thereof, the Council shall hear property owners with reference to the scope and desirability of the proposed project. The Council shall thereafter adopt a resolution confirming the original resolution with such modifications as it considers desirable and provide for the doign of the work by day labor or by contract.

C. The City Forester shall keep a record of the costs of abatements done under this Subdivision and shall report to the Council, on or before September 1 of each year, all work done for which assessments are to be made stating and certifying the description of the land, lots, parcels involved and the amount chargeable to each. The Council may then spread the charges or any portion thereof against the property involved as a special assessment under Minnesota Statutes, Section 429.101 and other pertinent statutes for certification to the County Auditor and collection the following year along with current taxes.

D. No damage shall be awarded the owner for destruction of any tree, wood or part thereof pursuant to this section.

Subdivision 8. Spraying Trees

A. Whenever the City Forester determines that any tree or wood is infected or threatened with infection, they may spray or treat all nearby high value trees with an effective concentrate or fungicide or both. Activities authorized by this Subdivision shall be conducted in accordance with technical and expert opinions and plans of the Commissioner of Agriculture and under the Supervision of the Commissioner and their agents whenever possible.

B. The notice and assessment provisions of Subdivision 7 apply to spraying and treatment operations conducted under this Subdivision.

Subdivision 9 Transporting Wood Prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to transport or stockpile any bark-bearing elm wood, or, in the months of April, May or June, to transport any oak wood, without having obtained a permit from the City Forester, or into or through any designated "disease control area" as defined my Minnesota Statues, Section 18.023. The City Forester shall issue permits to transport and stockpile bark-bearing elm wood during the period from September 15 through April 1 of any given year. This prohibition shall not apply to movement of such wood pursuant to an approved wood disposal or utilization program authorized by Minnesota Statutes, Section 18023, or to transportation of elm wood intended for industrial use not to include firewood, provided such transportation of elm logs for industrial use continues without interruption through the City or "disease control area" to their intended destination lying outside the City and "disease control area".

Subdivision 10 Interference Prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the City Forester while they are engaged in the performance of duties imposed by this Section.

Subdivision 11 Additional Duties of City Forester. It is the additional duty of the City Forester to coordinate, under the direction and control of the Council, all activities of the City relating to the control and prevention of shade tree disease. They shall recommend to the Council the details of a program for the control of the diseases, and perform the duties incident to such a program adopted by the Council.

Subdivision 12 Diseased Trees in Streets. The rights, duties and responsibilities of property owners set forth in this Section shall be equally applicable to, and binding upon, abutting property owners with tree maintenance responsibilities under the Section of the City Code entitled "Regulation of Grass, Weeds and Trees in Streets".

Ordinance No. 138, 3rd Series

Effective Date: September 11, 1992

Section 9.84

Rules & Regulations Governing Public Parks

Upon the recommendation of the Board of Commission having administration or advisory authority with reference to City Parks, or upon its own motion, the Council may adopt and amend such rules and regulations by resolution and it shall thereafter be unlawful to violate any such rules or regulations.