§ 97.12  REGULAR TREE CARE.
   (A)   The Urban Forester shall have the right to prune or cause to be pruned any privately owned trees overhanging any street or public right-of-way or sidewalk: (Refer to the Arboricultural Specifications Manual for height specifications over sidewalks and streets.)
      (1)   Which constitutes a menace to the safety of the public;
      (2)   Which obstructs the light from any street lamp at the intersection;
      (3)   Which obstructs the motorist’s view of any street intersection or any traffic control device or sign; or
      (4)   Which obstructs or endangers passing vehicles and pedestrians.
   (B)   Within the city limits of Noblesville, the Street Department budget and the non-reverting tree fund budget, except as provided by divisions (D) through (G) of § 97.13, shall assume the expense of tree care as defined in this subchapter.
   (C)   All contracted routine street tree care undertaken by the city shall be initiated and inspected by the Urban Forester. Contractors shall be certified arborist, bonded and insured.
   (D)   The owner-occupant shall be responsible for the routine care of street trees in the right-of-way between their property and the street, such as watering, raking, and preparing leaves, twigs, and other debris for removal by the city. No permit is required for such activity.
   (E)   An owner-occupant may hire a certified arborist to perform routine street tree care. The arborist must secure a permit prior to performing work from the Urban Forester. (See § 97.40.)
   (F)   Public utilities may trim street tree roots and branches as necessary for the maintenance of a utility service and as is prescribed by state law and limited in § 97.13(G). The cost of such tree care is not the responsibility of the city. (See § 97.40.)
   (G)   It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person to (i) top, (ii) prune horizontally a branch of more than three inches in diameter, or (iii) cut limbs within the tree’s canopy back to stubs greater than three inches in diameter, on any street tree, unless approved by the Urban Forester.
   (H)   In the process of tree removal, all stumps of street trees shall be ground eight inches below ground level and seeded as required by the Arboricultural Specifications Manual.
   (I)   Should an owner-occupant wish to perform routine trimming on a street tree themselves in the right-of-way between their property and the street beyond that which is described in § 97.13(D) but not to the extent of § 97.13(G), he or she may do so with the proper permitting from the Urban Forester or paid city representative. Failure to do so can result in fines.
(Ord. 13-3-90, passed 5-14-90; Am. Ord. 17-4-98, passed 5-24-99; Am. Ord. 8-3-09, passed 4-28-09)  Penalty, see § 97.99