Many Salisbury residents might not know the township has a shade tree ordinance, but the eight-page document says trees in the public right-of-way are the responsibility of adjacent property owners.
After removing a dead tree from the public right-of way in front of her house in the 900 block of College Lane, Annabelle Dittbrenner recently appealed the part of the ordinance that requires residents to replace shade trees if they are taken down.
Commissioners reviewed conditions and agreed with her.
Dittbrenner told commissioners at their May 25 meeting she did not want to replace the tree. Over the years, its roots grew into her lawn and had caused her sidewalk to buckle.
“I didn’t know about this ordinance and I do not wish to plant another tree. I don’t have the time, the inclination nor the wish to take care of another tree,” Dittbrenner said. She said she has five other trees on her property.
Alessandro “Sandy” Nicolo, assistant zoning officer, said he has been enforcing the ordinance because many trees damaged by an early snowstorm last fall had been removed.
After reviewing photos of Dittbrenner’s property, commissioners noted that a mature tree in her front yard might conflict with another tree planted along the curb. Nicolo also said roots from a new tree growing into a gas line and a water line in the area might cause a problem.
Commissioners said conditions had changed since the street’s 1965 subdivision plan, and it appeared that there wasn’t enough room to plant a new tree between the sidewalk and curb adjacent to Dittbrenner’s lawn.