Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Sunday - January 10, 2010

From: Grand Praire, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Laws, Trees
Title: City tree ordinance information
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am writing to you in regards to city tree ordinances. I am a citizen of Grand Prairie, TX. and although the city is a Tree City, the city does not have a tree ordinance. The city arborist has been put in charge of drafting one. There has been an increased emphasis on putting together one since a few citizens have expressed concerns over the loss of so many trees on public land. I was looking for any suggestions that I could pass on to the arborist that would create a strong tree ordinance. THANK YOU.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants found these two online resources for writing city tree ordinances:

The Georgia Forestry Commission 2004 publication, Tree Ordinance Development Guidelines

The International Society of Arborists publication, Tree Ordinance Guidelines

Additionally, on the Arbor Day Foundation webpage I found a publication from the Community Tree Leadership Forum, Public Policy: How Laws and Policies Are Influenced, that has suggestions and advice on the formation of laws and ordinances for tree preservation and successful urban forests.  Their bibliography contained several useful references.  Here are a couple of those that are hardcover books.  One is out-of-print and the other is rather expensive, but they might be available at your local library:

Tree Conservation Ordinances by Christopher J. Duerksen published in 1993 and out-of-print but he also wrote the recently published (2009) The Citizen's Guide to Planning. 4th edition

U.S. Landscape Ordinances: An Annotated Reference Handbook by Buck Abbey published in 1998.

Finally, here is a link to the Austin (Texas) City Arborist Program that presents the City of Austin Tree and Natural Area Preservation Ordinance.  You can also find links to the municipal tree ordinances for other Texas cities (including one for Grand Prairie) on the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture's Texas Municipal Tree Ordinances page.

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Spring blooming Acacia farnsiana in Austin
April 04, 2007 - I've been seeing a large shrub, possibly tree, around Austin this spring - and it is covered is small ball-like orangish-yellow blooms - very tightly covered in these blooms. From the car, it looks ...
view the full question and answer

Landscape buffer in Bluffton SC
January 21, 2010 - I have to install an irrigated landscape buffer along the outside of a 6'high x 42'long privacy fence about 8' from a public sidewalk in Bluffton, SC. The property owners association requires 4' t...
view the full question and answer

Removal of Ashe juniper trees
April 19, 2015 - I have 15 acres with scattered huge oak and elm trees with tens of thousands of Ashe Juniper (cedar) trees 2 to 10 in diameter growing within the drip zone of the hardwoods. How do I take out the c...
view the full question and answer

Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
September 01, 2012 - In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.