City Code Enforcement Officer Tommy Wyatt issued an appeal to residents this week, asking that they trim any low-hanging branches on trees that border city streets. The branches have posed a problem for taller vehicles like school buses and for the fire department’s ladder truck, which require a minimum clearance of 13 to 14 feet.
Wyatt issued the request to property owners who bear a legal responsibility for maintaining any trees that encroach on the city’s right-of-way. He hoped, in doing so, to avoid having to send out code enforcement notices to residents who may not have been aware of the problem.
Wyatt said those tree branches should be trimmed to provide at least 13 to 14 feet of clearance. If the property owner does not trim those branches, the city will first send out code enforcement letters informing residents that their trees are not in compliance. If the problem is not corrected within 10 days, the city will be forced to abate the problem, and could charge the property owner for the cost of that service.
“We are not professionals,” Wyatt said, urging residents to make arrangements with a tree-trimming service, adding, “We have 12 field employees, but they are really busy this time of year.”
Wyatt said the worst problems he has noticed are on the tree-lined streets of Sixth and Hillside, but said the hazard is widespread. The low branches could easily damage the ladder on the fire department’s expensive ladder truck, as well as to the air-conditioning units on the top of school buses.