2/6/2018 2:12:00 PM City issues warning to tree services
In response to multiple recent instances of trees being either cut or pruned without authorization within the city limits, the City has sent a letter out to all tree service professionals in the area, reminding them of several important requirements.
The exact penalties for the recent infractions are currently under consideration by the City's legal counsel.
Providers were instructed to be sure their work will comply with specific guidelines before performing any tree work in the city. Sisters has earned the designation of Tree City USA for 10 years.
"The City of Sisters leadership and broader community takes the management of our urban forest very seriously," read the letter that was sent out over the signature of Public Works Director Paul Bertagna.
The four main guidelines regarding work performed on trees within the city limits of Sisters include:
Work performed within the city requires that you have a City-issued business license even if your business is based outside the city limits.
All trees located within the public right-of-way or on City-owned property are City property and may not be trimmed, cut or have decorative lighting attached without securing affirmative, written approval from the City prior to commencing the work. Any materials cut from these projects may only be disposed of in accordance with conditions of approval specifically written for each request.
Sisters municipal and development codes contain specific requirements for altering or removing trees on public and private property. Additionally, there are significant penalties including fines that the City may assess if trees are altered or removed without permission.
You may also be liable for timber trespass if you cut or damage a tree belonging to another, including trees owned by the City, without the owner's permission. State statute provides that a timber trespasser may be liable for up to three times the value of an illegally taken tree. It is your obligation to determine ownership of a tree, and secure proper permission, before beginning work.
Regulations were reiterated by Bertagna with, "Failure to follow ordinances and regulations protecting City trees could result in significant fines, penalties, and other consequences. Please always contact the City before working on any tree!"
These requirements apply to property owners as well as service providers.
This mailing came as a result of trees being removed over the last several months from City rights-of-way by the Sisters School District and by contractors hired by private citizens living along South Pine Street.
Additionally, the school district conducted extensive thinning of ponderosa pine and juniper trees on school grounds, which raised concern on the part of residents, the City, and the Urban Forestry Board. A stop-work order was issued by the City until review of the project was completed by the Urban Forestry Board and recommendations issued by the City Forester Dan Galecki.
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018
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A BIG shout out of THANKS to the City of Sisters Leadership for definitively spelling out the guidelines for tree cutting/removal to all!