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It is the policy of the City of Summersville to maintain existing trees and to provide for and encourage the planting of new trees within Summersville to the greatest extent possible.
(a) Desirable Trees. The Summersville Forestry Council shall have on file in the City Office copies of the WV Division of Forestry brochure entitled "Trees for Cities and Communities" listing trees desirable trees by size class for planting in public places. Copies of the brochure shall be maintained at the Summersville Municipal Building and shall be made available to the public.
(b) Undesirable Trees. The Summersville Forestry Council will provide a list of trees undesirable for planting in public places in the City to insure public safety and welfare. Trees, such as tree of heaven, silver maple, poplar, box elder, catalpa, or willow whose roots cause damage to any public sidewalk, street, utility or other infrastructure in the City, are hereby declared to be undesirable species of tree for street planting.
(c) Prohibit Topping. The practice of tree topping is prohibited on all public trees unless specifically allowed by a permit issued by the City. Topping is also strongly discouraged as a tree care practice for private trees. The practice of tree topping is prohibited on all public trees unless specifically allowed by a permit. Acceptable pruning methods will be described in the Urban Tree Specifications and Standards Manual developed by the Summersville Forestry Council.
(d) Dead or Dying Tree. Any dead or dying tree on public or private property that poses a safety or health risk to the public or to other trees shall be removed as soon as possible. The City shall make a risk determination of dead or dying trees on public and private property and cause their removal as appropriate.
(e) Hazardous Trees. Any tree, shrub, or hedge, or part thereof, growing upon public property or private property and which shows evidence of severe decay or defect, overhangs or interferes with the use of any public walk, street or highway, park or public place within the City, which in the opinion of the majority of the Summersville Forestry Council, endangers the life, health, safety or property of the public, shall be declared a public nuisance. The City will cause all trees declared a public nuisance to be removed or pruned as necessary to correct the situation and eliminate the hazard in a manner and time commensurate with the severity of the risk posed by the trees.