LA GRANDE:  Work session held on trees

LA GRANDE: Work session held on trees

During a work session this week the city council in La Grande discussed the proposed revisions to the Community Forestry Ordinance. A tree ordinance is a tool to help protect and manage a community’s trees. It can be designed to regulate various aspects of tree planting, removal, and maintenance on public and private property within a municipality. By protecting trees, a well-planned, written, and implemented ordinance can enhance a community’s beauty, reduce air pollution, lower air conditioning costs, raise local property values and increase biodiversity.
La Grande’s original tree Ordinance was adopted in 1990. It does not reflect current standards or effectively supports the Urban Forestry program. It also no longer meets the requirements of the Tree City USA certification program. City staff, the Community Landscape and Forestry Commission (CLFC) and the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Community Assistance Forester have reviewed and provided input for the changes to the Ordinance.
In addition to updating the tree protection Ordinance, a Community Forestry Manual has been developed is to provide guidance for the planting and care of trees in the public spaces. The manual is designed to clarify the intent and scope of the Community Forestry Ordinance. The manual describes standards and permitting requirements for street trees and the maintenance requirements for vegetation in the planting strip. Industry standards and recommendations change over time and the Community Forestry Manual can be updated to reflect current practices. While the Community Forestry Manual focuses on the trees in the public right of way, the information presented here will also be useful in the planting and care of trees on private property.
If you are planting a tree, doing major pruning, or removing a tree in the r-o-w (the space between the sidewalk and the curb) you need to apply for a tree work permit. There is no fee for the permit, the permits help us keep track of what’s happening with trees in the r-o-w. The permit system is used to help ensure that we plant the right tree in the right place, that people use correct pruning practices, and to make sure a tree is only removed when there is a good reason to do so.