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Sunday - January 10, 2010

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


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.


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.




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