A tree within the Highland Park Borough shall not be removed without proper justification, inspection, and a permit. This is done through the Department of Code Enforcement in consultation with the Shade Tree Advisory Committee. The borough has decided that this is necessary for the protection and retention of its highly valued shade trees and shrubs. This requirement pertains to all lands within the Borough of Highland Park.
It is unlawful to cut, destroy, or remove any tree without a removal permit issued by the Department of Code Enforcement. A tree on private property having a diameter of 6 inches or more measured at a height of 4.5 feet from the ground requires a tree removal permit. A tree on private property with a diameter of less than 6 inches does not require a permit. The removal permit is issued by the Department of Code Enforcement after the resident files a written application and pays a fee of $100. The Shade Tree Advisory Committee will inspect the site of the proposed tree removal and make a judgment about the removal of the tree. No tree with a diameter of 36 inches or more or having historic, landmark, or unusual species value will be removed unless the Shade Tree Advisory Committee deems it necessary. All permits have a limit of one year from the date of issuance and if removal has not occurred within that time a new permit must be applied for and will be subject to new fees.
Any tree with a diameter of 3 inches or more that is removed must be replaced by one or more trees, depending on the diameter of the removed tree(s). Please see Sec. 388-11 of Highland Park’s Municipal Code to determine how many new trees must be planted as replacement. (The Code can be found on this website.) All replacement trees must have a diameter of not less than 2 inches and the selection of the replacement tree(s) must be approved before a tree removal permit can be issued. Trees that are dead or diseased or that are determined by the Shade Tree Advisory Committee or the Department of Public Works to present a hazard do not need to be replaced.
Tree Replacement Fund
In lieu of replacing part or all of the trees removed, a payment may be made to the Borough’s Tree Replacement Fund. Payment is calculated at a rate of $500 for each deciduous tree and $450 for each evergreen tree. This fund will provide for the replacement, planting, and maintenance of trees and woody shrubs on public property in the Borough of Highland Park. Appropriations from the Tree Replacement Fund are authorized by the Mayor and Council with the advice of the Shade Tree Advisory Committee. All funds remitted to the borough for tree replacement are deposited in a specifically designated bank account.
Violations and Penalties
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity who violates any provision dictated of the tree ordinance, will be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each offense. Every illegally removed tree will constitute a separate offense.