§ 98.06  PUBLIC TREE CARE.
   (A)   Care of street trees.  The city shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants, and shrubs within the rights-of-way of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes and public grounds as may be necessary to ensure the public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of the public grounds. No other planting may be done without consent of the Forestry Department.
   (B)   Removal of trees endangering utilities or other public improvements.  The Forestry Department may remove or cause or order to be removed any tree or part thereof which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason of its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines or other public improvements, or is affected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest. Every tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the city shall be pruned so that the branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection, and so that there shall be a clear space of at least eight feet above the street or sidewalk. Dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs which endanger the safety of the public shall be removed.
   (C)   Protection of trees against piling up of building and other materials. No building material or any other material of any description shall be piled against any street or park tree unless the tree is first sufficiently protected by a proper guard to prevent possible injury and all instructions issued for that purpose by authority of the Forestry Department shall be promptly complied with by the persons to whom the instructions are applicable.
   (D)   Trees on private property.
      (1)   The Forestry Department shall have the authority to order the trimming, treatment and removal of trees, shrubs or plants upon private property when action is necessary to protect the public or to prevent the spread of disease or insects to trees, shrubs or plants located on public property. Any tree or shrub situated upon private property but so situated as to extend its branches over the improved portion of a public street or highway easement, shall be so trimmed by the owner of the real property upon which the same is located, so that there is a clear height of at least eight feet over that portion of the easement that is used for vehicular traffic and over that portion of the easement used for pedestrian travel; and the persons shall remove the dead or diseased branches or stubs of trees which are or may become hazardous to the public use of the easement. Any trees obstructing traffic-control signs or devices from the view of the pedestrian or motorist shall be pruned to a height established by the Forestry Department to ensure proper safety for motorists or pedestrians. All orders to trim, remove or treat trees, shrubs or plants given pursuant to this section, shall be in writing and shall be served personally in the same manner as a summons in civil proceedings or by certified mail return receipt requested upon the owner of the property. The notice shall give the owner of the property a period of at least 14 days after the mailing or service of the notice to comply with the order. It shall be unlawful for any owner of property receiving an order to fail to comply with the order in the time specified.
      (2)   If the required action is not taken by the property owner within the specified time, the Forestry Department may cause the trees, shrubs or plants concerned to be trimmed, removed or treated, with the costs being borne by the property owner. If not voluntarily paid to the city by the owner, the costs of the trimming, removal or treatment may be recovered by the city by special assessment levied upon the property owner under M.S. §§ 429.011 et seq., as they may be amended from time to time.
(Ord. 419, passed 3-9-1992)  Penalty, see § 98.99