Tree Ordinance

Chapter 103 , TREES
Excerpt from Town of Bethel Charter

[HISTORY: Adopted by Town Meeting of the Town of Bethel 1-15-1960. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Subdivision of land - See Ch. 95.

§ 103-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

PERSON - Extends and applies to associations, firms, partnerships and corporations as well as to individuals.

PUBLIC HIGHWAY - All land lying between private property lines on either side of all public streets, highways, avenues and other routes of pedestrians and vehicular travel maintained by the Town of Bethel.

PUBLIC TREE - The root system and all growth above ground level of any tree, shrub, plant or woody vegetation growing in a public park or public area under the jurisdiction of the Tree Warden or in a public highway within the confines of the Town of Bethel.

TREE WARDEN - The person in charge of all public trees in the Town and Village of Bethel.

§ 103-2. Tree Warden.
  1. The Tree Warden shall be a licensed tree expert; however, if in the Town there shall be no licensed tree expert, then an unlicensed person may be appointed as Tree Warden, after qualifying in the care of trees. Each such Tree Warden shall be appointed to serve during the term of the Board of Selectmen appointing him, and, if he is not removed from such appointment, he shall serve until his successor shall be duly appointed and shall have qualified. Said Tree Warden may be removed at any time by the Board of Selectmen. A Tree Warden shall receive for his services such reasonable compensation from the Town as the Selectmen shall determine.
  2. The Tree Warden, as official representative of the Town of Bethel, shall have charge, custody and control of all public trees.

§ 103-3. Cutting, pruning and spraying trees.

No person shall cut, prune, spray or otherwise treat or alter the structure or condition of any public tree without the permission of the Tree Warden.

§ 103-4. Attaching objects to trees.

No person shall fasten or attach to or around or apply to a public tree any foreign object or substance without the permission of the Tree Warden.

§ 103-5. Operations involving damage to trees; repair of damage.

A permit must be secured from the Tree Warden for building construction, house moving, excavating or similar operations which involves or seems likely to involve damage to or altering of a public tree or trees, and requirements for the aftertreatment and/or repair of such damage may be specified by the Tree Warden. The cost of such aftertreatment and/or repair of such damage is to be borne by the person to whom the aforementioned permit was issued or by the person causing the aforementioned damage.

§ 103-6. Removal, planting and transplanting of trees.

The Tree Warden may approve a request for such treatment, removal, planting or transplanting of a public tree, but if such treatment, removal, planting or transplanting is of no immediate advantage to the general public but is of immediate advantage only to the person requesting such treatment, planting, removal or transplanting, such person shall pay the cost of such treatment, removal, planting or transplanting, and the work shall be done under the supervision of the Tree Warden.

§ 103-7. Planting trees in public areas; approval of species, size and type.
  1. No tree shall be planted in a park or public highway without the permission of the Tree Warden, and the Tree Warden shall approve the species, size and type of tree to be so planted. Editor's Note: A list of desirable trees is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
  2. The Tree Warden may permit the planting of trees in public parks and public areas under his jurisdiction and in public highways by persons who purchase such trees, and the Tree Warden may plant said trees at public expense in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A of this section.
§ 103-8. Maintenance.

Any tree not growing in a park or public highway but so located as to extend its branches over a public park or highway shall be so maintained by the owner of the tree or by his agent or agents that there shall be a clear height of at least 14 feet above the surfaces of the public park or public highway adjoining the tree unobstructed by any branches or foliage of the tree, and the owner of the tree or his agent or agents shall remove or cause to be removed at the owner's expense all dead wood or broken branches or stub which are or may become, in the opinion of the Tree Warden, a hazard to travelers or vehicles.

§ 103-9. Violations and penalties. [Amended 12-1-1979]

Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not to exceed $100.