Shade Tree Information
Lewisburg Shade Tree Commission Members
Shade Tree Commission’s Mission
The mission of the Shade Tree Commission (STC) is to preserve, protect, and replace the shade trees within the Borough of Lewisburg for purposes of providing beauty, environmental health, enhanced property value and wildlife habitat. The Commission stands to promote a healthy urban forest, and to educate and influence sustainable tree care and stewardship. The Shade Tree Commission is authorized to perform its work along the Borough streets and public rights-of-way, and in municipal open space.
What is Considered a Shade Tree?
Any tree, shrub, or other woody plant on any public highway in the Borough or that part of any tree, shrub, or other woody plant which extends within the lines of any public highway. As a homeowner, the shade trees on your property are your responsibility, but that responsibility is governed by the Shade Tree Commission.
Benefits of Shade Trees
If trees are properly selected, planted and maintained, they provide many valuable benefits to the community.
Trees Increase Property Values
Property with trees and other plants is more desirable than property with lower quality landscape. Mature landscaping can increase residential property value up to 15 percent. In addition, mature landscaping can increase the sale-ability of property and development of equity. In areas with denser tree canopy, apartments and offices normally rent more quickly and have higher occupancy rates.
Trees Increase Economic Stability
A community’s trees usually provide the first impression a visitor has of a community. Trees attract businesses and shoppers to communities and tree-lined streets provide an atmosphere for people to linger and shop longer.
Strategically Placed Trees Save Energy
Trees can be planted as windbreaks to help reduce heating costs. By providing shade for parking lots, streets and buildings, trees help cool our communities.
Trees Reduce Air Pollution
Trees filter carbon dioxide, trap air pollutants (like sulfur dioxide, ozone, methane, nitrous oxides, etc.) and replenish the air with oxygen.
Water Conservation and Soil Preservation
Organic material from leaves and branches helps to increase soil permeability, which increases water absorption and reduces runoff.
Permits & Ordinances
A permit is required for the removal or the planting of any tree located in the right-of-way within the Borough of Lewisburg. If a removal of a tree is approved, the Shade Tree Ordinance in Lewisburg allows the STC to require replacement of that tree.
Applications for permits must specify the location of where the proposed (new) tree is to be planted and the tree species must be identified. The Commission may refuse a permit to plant a species of tree which, in its opinion, is not suited to the location.
Applications for permits are reviewed monthly at the public Shade Tree Commission meeting. Specific ordinances that homeowners should be aware of include the allowed height of the branches. On the sidewalk side, a tree cannot have branches that are below 9 feet; on the street side, the branches cannot be lower than 15 feet.
This allows people and vehicles safe passage. However, remember that trees should not be aggressively pruned until they reach a 5” caliper. The Borough is required to keep these passages clear, and so has the legal right to trim branches to these specified heights without notice.
To see the detailed ordinances regarding shade trees, please click on the “Borough CodesOnline” tab located on the homepage.
If you would like advice from the STC including a visit to your proposed tree location, recommendations on specific tree species or guidance for care after your tree is planted, please feel free to call the Borough Office at (570) 523-3614.
The Shade Tree Commission meets the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Borough Council Chambers, 55 South Fifth Street.
The public is welcome to attend these meetings. Permit applications and a planting guidebook with recommended street trees can be obtained at the Lewisburg Borough Office at 55 South Fifth Street.
Shade Tree Commission (STC) Announcement
As some of you may know, recently the STC had the sad duty of presiding over the removal of 170 Ash trees in the LAR Park. This was the result of an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). We plan to replace these trees, but good quality trees are quite expensive. We will be able to replant much more quickly with your help. If you’d like to sponsor a tree in the LAR Park, any amount would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so very much for your consideration!
Again, should you wish to sponsor a tree and/or make a contribution to the STC Fund, the web address is: http://www.gofundme.com/lewisburgstc