Chapter 544: Trees, Weeds and Grass


Cross references

  • Power to regulate shade trees and shrubbery - see Ohio R.C. 715.20
  • Assessments for tree planting or maintenance - see Ohio R.C. 727.011
  • Notice to cut noxious weeds - see Ohio R.C. 731.51
  • Destruction of weeds - see Ohio R.C. 971.33 et seq.
  • Injury or destruction of trees and growing products - see GEN. OFF. 541.06
  • Care of trees during street excavations - see Streets & Public Services 901.03(q)

544.01   Trimming of trees, shrubbery

The owner of every lot or parcel of land within the Municipality upon which a tree, plant or shrubbery stands with any part thereof upon or overhanging a public street or sidewalk shall conform to the regulations herein provided; otherwise, the Municipality shall cause such trees to be trimmed or cut down and removed in accordance with such regulations and assess the cost thereof against the owner of such lot or parcel of land.

  1. (a) Such owner shall trim or cause to be trimmed such tree, plant or shrubbery so that a clear height of eight feet between the lowest branches of the same and the street or sidewalk is maintained.

  2. (b) Such owner shall trim or remove, as the case may require, every dead, decayed or broken tree, plant or shrubbery, or part thereof, so that the same shall not fall to the street or sidewalk.

  3. (c) Such owner shall cut down and remove any tree, plant or shrubbery, or any part thereof, as may be necessary to provide a clear and unobstructed view of traffic from all directions at any street intersection, or to abate any nuisance necessary to protect life, limb or property of persons, drivers of any vehicles or pedestrians using such street or sidewalk.
    (Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.02   Removal of weeds by owner or occupant; notice

The owner, occupant or person having the charge or management of any lot or parcel of land situated within the Municipality, whether the same is improved or unimproved, vacant or occupied, within 10 days after written notice to do so, served upon such person in conformity with Section 1340.08 shall cut or destroy or cause to be cut or destroyed any noxious or poisonous weeds or vines or any wild or uncontrolled growth upon any such lot or parcel of land and prevent the same from blooming or going to seed or exceeding a height of 12 inches.
(Ord. 2019-43. Passed 7-8-19.)

544.03   Removal of trees, weeds, grasses by municipality

In the event the owner does not trim or remove any tree, plant or shrubbery, or any part thereof, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, then the Chief Administrative Officer is hereby authorized and it is hereby declared to be his duty to have enforced the provisions of this chapter and to cause to be trimmed or removed such tree, plant or shrubbery, or part thereof, and cut and remove all grass and weeds. Prior to the Village removing any tree, the property owner where the tree is located, or the abutting residential property owner if the tree is on public property, shall be given notice of the pending removal and will have ten days to obtain another opinion as to the health or stability of the tree. In any event, the final decision to remove will be the Chief Administrative Officer’s.
(Ord. 1983-34. Passed 9-26-83.)

544.04   Assessment of costs by municipality

Whenever any tree, plant or shrubbery, or part thereof, or weeds and grass are growing in any street, public place or upon private property contiguous to a street, sidewalk or public place, and is trimmed or removed by the Municipality, then, after the work is done, the Municipality shall give five days notice, by regular mail, to the owner of such lot or parcel of land, at his last known address, to pay the cost of such trimming or removal of trees, plants, shrubbery, grass or weeds, or parts thereof, which notice shall be accompanied by a statement of the amount of cost incurred. If the same is not paid within thirty days after the mailing of such notice, then such amount shall be certified to the County Auditor for collection of same as other taxes and assessments are collected.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.05   Removing or interfering with trees or materials in tree lawn areas

No person, firm or corporation, including public utilities, shall, without consent of the Chief Administrative Officer, remove, destroy, cut or otherwise interfere with any trees, bushes, shrubs, poles, dirt or other structures, vegetation or materials placed or allowed by the Municipality to remain within the limits of any public street or other public property, unless otherwise authorized in this chapter.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.06   Trimming hedges or growths at intersections

No person owning property at the intersection of any of the streets within the Municipality who has growing upon such property a hedge or other growth, shall fail to keep the same trimmed to a height of not more than three feet from the ground for a distance of fifty feet from the property line where the same intersects the street line.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.07   Trimming hedges along public ways

No person owning property upon which a hedge or other growth, by reason of its height, constitutes a hazard to pedestrian and vehicular traffic upon a road or highway which such property abuts, shall fail, upon notice being given, to trim such hedge or other growth to a height of not more than three feet from the ground to a distance back from such road or highway of fifty feet.
(Ord 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.08   Certain trees prohibited

No silver maple, poplar, box elder, basswood, willow or honey locust tree shall be permitted upon any tree lawn in the Municipality. The Chief Administrative Officer in his discretion may cause any or all such trees now existing to be forthwith removed.

Any silver maple, honey locust, poplar, basswood, box elder or willow tree upon private property in the Municipality in such proximity to any public place as will permit the roots of such tree to penetrate through or under the surface of any public place is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated forthwith by the Chief Administrative Officer.

No person, firm or corporation shall plant or cause to be planted or transplanted anywhere within the Municipality, any tree of a variety not contained in the list of permitted trees in Section 544.12.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.09   Dutch elm disease and “elm blight”

Council finds and determines that Dutch Elm Disease and the virus disease Phloem Necrosis, commonly known as “Elm Blight”, threaten shade trees in the streets and public grounds and on public property in the Municipality, that shade trees infected with such diseases are public nuisances and that in order to protect and preserve shade trees in the Municipality it is necessary to discover and control such diseases and to provide for the destruction of diseased trees and the abatement of such nuisances.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.10   Inspection and removal of diseased trees

The Chief Administrative Officer is hereby authorized to inspect any tree within the Municipality reported or supposed to be infected with Dutch Elm Disease or the virus disease Phloem Necrosis, commonly known as “Elm Blight”, or any other disease. If upon such inspection the Chief Administrative Officer determines that such tree is infected with either of such diseases, he may, if the tree is in any public street, ground or way within the Municipality, immediately remove and burn the same in such manner as to prevent as fully as possible the spread of such disease. If such tree is located on private property, the Chief Administrative Officer may immediately serve upon the owner of such property a written notice that such tree is so infected and the same must be removed and burned under the supervision of the Chief Administrative Officer within five days of the service of such notice. If such owner cannot be found, a copy of the notice shall be posted upon the infected tree. If the tree is not so removed and burned within five days after the service or posting of the notice, the Chief Administrative Officer may cause such tree to be so removed and burned.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)

544.11   Examination and diagnosis of suspected infected trees

If upon inspection of any tree within this Municipality reported or supposed to be infected as aforesaid, it is impossible to determine with certainty the existence of either of such diseases in such tree, the Chief Administrative Officer may forward specimens from such tree for complete examination, diagnosis and report to either the Ohio State Outlying Agricultural Research Station in Wooster, Ohio, or to the United States Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, or to their successor agencies regardless of where they may be located, and the action of the Chief Administrative Officer under this chapter shall await and be determined by the report received from such examination and diagnosis.
(Ord. 2019-43. Passed 7-8-19.)

544.12   Trees permitted to be planted on municipal property

  1. (a) The following is a list of trees, the planting of which may be permitted on Municipal property with an appropriate permit granted by the Chief Administrative Officer pursuant to Section 544.13.

    Binomial name Common name
    Acer Campestre Hedge Maple
    Acer Platanoides Norway Maple
    Acer Rubrum Red Maple
    Acer Saccharum Sugar Maple
    Almus Cordata Italian Alder
    Carpinus Betulus Fastigian Pyramidalis Pyramidal European Hornbeam
    Cercidiphyllum Japonicum Katsura Tree
    Crateagus Phacnopyrum Washington Hawthorn
    Encommia Ulmoldes Hardy Rubber Tree
    Ginkgo Biloba Maiden Hair Tree (Male)
    Liquidambar Styraciflua Sweet Gum
    Nyssa Sylvatica Sour Gum
    Ostrya Virginiana Hop Hornbeam
    Pyrus Calleryana Callery Pear
    Quercus Imbricarea Shingle Oak
    Quercus Palustris Pin Oak
    Quercus Phellos Willow Oak
    Quercus Schumardi Texas Red Oak
    Sophora Japonica Chinese Scholar Tree
    Tilia Cordata Littleleaf Linden
    Tilia Tomentosa Silver Linden
    Ulmus Parvifolia Chinese Elm
    Zelkova Serrata Keaki Tree

    (Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83; Ord. 2002-71. Passed 11-25-02.)

  2. (b) Wherever and whenever the Chief Administrative Officer determines that the planting of a tree by the Municipality on the tree lawn or other portion of public right of way would be impractical or not desirable, then, at the request of the abutting private property owner, the Municipality may furnish to such private property owner, a tree from the variety contained in the foregoing list to be planted on the private property by the owner thereof.

  3. (c) It is hereby determined that whenever any new construction is commenced within the Municipality, the permit issued therefor shall contain therein a condition that the permit holder shall plant at least one tree at the site of the construction, the site to be approved by the Chief Administrative Officer, if the same is a single-family residential dwelling, or one tree per unit for multi-family construction, in a location to be determined by the Chief Administrative Officer, and which tree shall be one of those varieties contained in the foregoing list. The trees shall be a minimum of 3″ in diameter measured at a point 12″ above ground level.
    (Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83 )

544.13   Permit; bond; contractors’ license

  1. (a) No person shall hereafter plant any tree in a public place or street right of way without first obtaining a written permit from the Chief Administrative Officer. Permits also shall be obtained for pruning, trimming or cutting down of trees, bushes and shrubs on public streets or ways or in public places; provided, however, that the abutting property owner or agent of the Village shall not be required to obtain a permit for this purpose if such cutting or pruning is otherwise regulated by this chapter.

  2. (b) Each permit shall be valid for a period of thirty days from the date of issuance; provided, however, that such permit may be revoked by the Chief Administrative Officer when it is determined that any permittee is operating in violation of this chapter.
    (Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83; Ord. 2005-28. Passed 6-13-05.)

  3. (c) No permits will be issued without also providing a commercial general liability insurance policy, or surety bond, naming the permit seeker and the Municipality as insureds or beneficiaries, as the case may be, in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) per claim for injury or death or damage of personal property, and payment of a Twenty-Five Dollar ($25.00) permit fee. A contractor may be licensed on an annual basis, for a Fifty Dollar ($50.00) permit fee and providing proof of the required insurance or bond.
    (Ord. 2019-43. Passed 7-8-19.)

544.14   Establishment and powers of Shade Tree Commission

(Editor’s note: The Shade Tree Commission was established on October 1, 1950, by Resolution 1950-632.)

  1. (a)

    1. (1) There is hereby created a commission to be known as the “Shade Tree Commission” composed of six (6) members appointed by the Mayor, and one (1) Council person. Council shall appoint its representative. Two (2) of the six (6) of the Mayoral appointees shall not be required to be residents of the Village.

    2. (2) The term of the members of the Commission appointed by the Mayor shall be three (3) years. In the event that a vacancy occurs during the term of any member, his or her successor shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term.
      (Ord. 2018-26. Passed 6-11-18.)

    3. (3) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.

  2. (b) The Shade Tree Commission shall have the power to study, investigate, plan, advise, report and recommend to Council and the Mayor any action, program, plan or legislation which the Commission finds or determines to be necessary or advisable for the care, selection, preservation, trimming, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in public ways, streets, alleys, highways and other public places; and it shall be the further purpose of the Commission to assist in securing the cooperation of the residents of the Village in a coordinated, planned program of tree protection and planting on public and private property.

    The Commission shall choose its own officers, make its own rules and regulations and keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of the members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business. All plans, findings, advice, reports and recommendations made by the Commission shall be in writing and designate by name those members of the Commission approving or concurring therein, and members who do not so approve or concur therein shall have the right, as a part of such report, to state their reasons for refusing to approve or concur.

    The Commission, when requested by Council, the Mayor or the Chief Administrative Officer, shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of its work,

    The Commission shall survey and appraise the condition of all of the trees located on public property in the Village and shall, at least once each year, report to Council its recommendations for the protection, care, preservation, planting and replanting of such trees.
    (Ord. 2011-71. Passed 11-14-11; Ord. 2017-13. Passed 3-13-17.)

544.99   Penalty

Whoever violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(Ord. 1982-36. Passed 1-24-83.)