Some trees banned, but not yet by code

CLINTON — Clinton resident Robert Kreitler returned on Tuesday to the city council to address commissioners.  Kreitler questioned the legitimacy of an ordinance violation notice he recently received.

Kreitler reported during the last city council meeting he received a violation notice from the city code enforcement officer to clean up brush on his property.  He expressed frustration with what he felt was not sufficient time to correct the issue.

On Tuesday, Kreitler questioned if an order he received to remove mulberry trees from his yard was legitimate.

“When officer Woliung came down to my property and was pointing out what was illegal down there, he said mulberry trees are illegal in the city,” Kreitler said.

Larry Woliung is the city’s code enforcement officer.

Kreitler said the only reference in city code he could find about prohibited plants was the barberry bush.  Barberry shrubs produce a berry often used in medicinal supplements.

“I’m not seeing anything in here where it says I can’t have trees on the property here,” he said.

Kreitler said the only reference was to grass over eight inches tall and brush declared a nuisance.

“When it’s as big around as my arm, that’s not brush, that’s a tree.”

Mayor Roger Cyrulik referred the question to commissioner John Wise, a member of the Clinton Tree Commission.

Wise said the commission had compiled a list of trees residents were prohibited from planting.

“They’re not legally planted in Clinton anymore because the berries produce a nuisance for the neighbors or the big, sticky balls from sweet gums plug up drains, sycamores have that dust and dirt …,” Wise said.

Wise said the Tree Commission established the list through guidance from Tree USA.

• See the complete story in the Friday, Sept. 23 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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