53067. (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following: (1) That trees and other woody plants respond in specific and predictable ways to pruning and other maintenance practices. (2) That careful scientific studies indicate that arboriculture practices including, but not limited to, "topping" are often misunderstood and misapplied. (3) That the results of the 1988 California urban forestry survey prepared by Plant Science and Research for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Urban Forestry Program summarizes that an estimated 5.9 million street trees are managed by California cities of which approximately 30 percent of the cities and 20 counties do not have tree ordinances of any kind. That in 1988 an estimated one hundred nine million dollars ($109,000,000) statewide was spent on municipal tree maintenance, less than 1 percent of most city and county budgets, with an average of sixteen dollars and 82 cents ($16.82) per street and park tree per year and an average of four dollars and 68 cents ($4.68) per resident per year. California' s city governments support urban forestry. Support for tree programs is highest in communities where citizens are involved. Conclusions of the urban forestry survey state that most cities need an aggressive tree planting program to maintain tree densities at current levels, to keep pace with urban growth, increase species diversity, maintain the health and vigor of their trees, and put more effort into long-term master planning of urban forests. To derive the maximum ecological benefit from the urban forest, the current trend towards planting smaller trees will need to be reversed. Counties lag far behind cities in urban forestry efforts. Most tree programs need to put greater emphasis on educating the public on the benefits the urban forest provides. A healthy flourishing urban forest cannot be developed and maintained without foresight, proper care, and good management. (4) That the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Tree Ordinances 1991 publications states that an ordinance shall be developed for the purpose of prohibiting topping of public and private trees. Topping is the practice of cutting back large diameter branches of a mature tree to stubs and is a particularly destructive pruning practice. It is stressful to mature trees, and may result in reduced vigor, decline, or even death of trees. In addition, new branches that form below the cuts are only weakly attached to the tree and are in danger of splitting out. Topped trees require constant maintenance to prevent this from happening and it is often impossible to restore the structure of the tree crown after topping. Unfortunately many people believe that topping is a proper way to prune a tree, and this destructive practice is prevalent in some communities. (5) That in an effort to promote practices that encourage the preservation of tree structure, and public safety and health, these standards developed through careful scientific studies by leading industry consultants, United States Department of Forestry scientists, and professors of horticulture and plant pathology, are recognized standards by the Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, University of California Co-operative Extension Farm advisers, the National Arborist Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, American Forestry Association, and numerous tree planting and preservation organizations throughout the state and nation. (6) That those standards are working guidelines, recognizing that trees are individually unique in form and structure and that their pruning or maintenance needs may not always fit strict rules. (7) That the International Society of Arboriculture founded in 1924 with over 21 chapters throughout the world publishes the monthly Journal of Arboriculture which is devoted to the dissemination of knowledge in the science and art of growing and maintaining shade and ornamental trees. The Journal of Arboriculture, March 1988, Volume 14, No. 3, page 76, states that properly trimmed trees not only require less manhours on their next cycle but some may not even need trimming. This conclusion was based on a study performed at Delmarva Power in Maryland during the 1982-84 trim cycles. Results indicate a 25 percent reduction in work force and a 7.4 percent reduction in costs in the first three years. (8) That the use of proper tree maintenance techniques benefits the public because of reduced costs, reduced hazards, reduced public liability, protection from premature decline or death (conserving energy reducing carbon dioxide and ozone, absorbing particulate matter, producing more oxygen by increasing canopy spread, reduction in wind speed, reducing noise pollution, increasing real property values, enhancing visual and aesthetic qualities that attract visitors and businesses, serve as a source of community image and pride by providing maximum shade and canopy cover). As canopy cover increases the public benefits increase. (9) (A) The Legislature's findings recognize that topping of trees is a widespread misunderstood consumer request and this form of pruning detracts from public benefits including, but not limited to, safety and property values, and causes premature decline, death, disease, insects, woodrot, and increased maintenance costs. These findings also recognize that a great number of personnel performing maintenance on trees unknowingly and unintentionally produce irreversible harm. (B) The Legislature finds that nonregulated commercial tree service firms that advertise topping are widespread among commercial advertising including the yellow pages, but not limited to newspaper advertising, and that millions of dollars have been spent topping trees including publicly owned trees. (C) The Legislature finds that modern techniques utilized by certified arborists through scientific study and continued education are of value and benefit to the citizens of California and to all who care for our resources. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection through Sections 4799.06 to 4799.12, inclusive, of the Public Resources Code, shall to the extent possible, furnish to every public agency, including the state, but not limited to, a city and county, school district, or community college district copies of these publications as listed: Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture Pruning Standards, California Department of Parks and Recreation specifications for pruning trees, and National Arborist Association Standards of pruning shade trees. Reference: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html;click Government Code and enter 53067 in search box. Click on search result item. When document appears,scroll down to code section 53067.

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