CHAPTER 451*
PUBLIC SHADE TREES
AND TREE PROTECTION EXAMINING BOARD

      *See Sec. 21a-9 for definition of "certificate", "license", and "registration".

Table of Contents

Sec. 23-58. Tree wardens; appointment; compensation; supervision.
Sec. 23-59. Powers and duties of wardens.
Sec. 23-60. Appropriations. Public trees; removal.
Sec. 23-61. Tree experts to be licensed.
Sec. 23-61a. Definitions. Tree Protection Examining Board. Regulations.
Sec. 23-61b. Licensing for arboriculture; examination; fees; renewal; suspension; revocation. Nonresidents. Records. Pesticides.
Sec. 23-61c. Privilege of licensee to take examination without fee for commercial applicators of pesticides.
Sec. 23-61d. Validity of custom tree worker licenses held by licensees on July 1, 1977.
Sec. 23-61e. Appeals.
Sec. 23-61f. Penalties.
Secs. 23-62 to 23-64. Tree Protection Examining Board; license. Officers; regulations; seal; revocation of licenses. Examination and renewal fees; compensation of board.
Sec. 23-65. Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Restoration. Damages. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal.
Secs. 23-65a to 23-65e.

      Sec. 23-58. Tree wardens; appointment; compensation; supervision. The selectmen of each town, except those having cities with coextensive boundaries within their limits, which cities have an officer with similar duties to those of a tree warden who in fact assumes control of all the territory embraced within their limits, and the warden or burgesses of each borough shall, within thirty days of their election, appoint a town or borough tree warden, as the case may be. Such tree wardens shall be appointed for the term of one year and until their successors are appointed and have qualified. Any tree warden may appoint such number of deputy tree wardens as he deems expedient and he may, at any time, remove them from office. A town or borough tree warden and his deputies shall receive for their services such reasonable compensation, from the town or borough, as the town or borough may determine or, in default of such determination, as the selectmen or borough warden prescribes.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3496; September, 1957, P.A. 11, S. 13; February, 1965, P.A. 614, S. 2.)

      History: 1965 act deleted provisions requiring report to state park and forest commission upon selection of tree warden by selectmen or burgesses or, alternatively, requiring report to town or borough if commission makes appointment upon town or borough's failure to do so, deleted provisions re compensation of tree wardens, their supervision by the commission, etc.

      Law applied to city whose limits are not coterminous with those of town. 85 C. 133. A tree warden is a public officer; but if he does manual labor on trees at a separate charge, he does not then act as a public officer and if injured, comes under the workmen's compensation act. 102 C. 572.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-59. Powers and duties of wardens. The town or borough tree warden shall have the care and control of all trees and shrubs in whole or in part within the limits of any public road or grounds and within the limits of his town or borough, except those along state highways under the control of the Commissioner of Transportation and except those in public parks or grounds which are under the jurisdiction of park commissioners, and of these the tree warden shall take the care and control if so requested in writing by the park commissioners. Such care and control shall extend to such limbs, roots or parts of trees and shrubs as extend or overhang the limits of any such public road or grounds. The tree warden shall expend all funds appropriated for the setting out, care and maintenance of such trees and shrubs. The tree warden shall enforce all provisions of law for the preservation of such trees and shrubs and of roadside beauty. The tree warden shall remove or cause to be removed all illegally erected signs or advertisements, placed upon poles, trees or other objects within any public road or place under the tree warden's jurisdiction. The tree warden may prescribe such regulations for the care and preservation of such trees and shrubs as the tree warden deems expedient and may provide therein for a reasonable fine for the violation of such regulations; and such regulations, when approved by the selectmen or borough warden and posted on a public signpost in the town or borough, if any, or at some other exterior place near the office of the town or borough clerk, shall have the force and effect of town or borough ordinances. Whenever, in the opinion of the tree warden, the public safety demands the removal or pruning of any tree or shrub under the tree warden's control, the tree warden may cause such tree or shrub to be removed or pruned at the expense of the town or borough and the selectmen or borough warden shall order paid to the person performing such work such reasonable compensation therefor as may be determined and approved in writing by the tree warden. Unless the condition of such tree or shrub constitutes an immediate public hazard, the tree warden shall, at least ten days before such removal or pruning, post thereon a suitable notice stating the tree warden's intention to remove or prune such tree or shrub. If any person, firm or corporation objects to such removal or pruning, such person, firm or corporation may appeal to the tree warden in writing, who shall hold a public hearing at some suitable time and place after giving reasonable notice of such hearing to all persons known to be interested therein and posting a notice thereof on such tree or shrub. Within three days after such hearing, the tree warden shall render a decision granting or denying the application, and the party aggrieved by such decision may, within ten days, appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district within which such town or borough is located. The tree warden may, with the approval of the selectmen or borough warden, remove any trees or other plants within the limits of public highways or grounds under the tree warden's jurisdiction that are particularly obnoxious as hosts of insect or fungus pests.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3497; 1957, P.A. 13, S. 83; February, 1965, P.A. 614, S. 3; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 250; P.A. 76-436, S. 463, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 84-146, S. 15; P.A. 85-216; P.A. 00-106, S. 2.)

      History: 1965 act deleted provision that cost of hearing "shall be taxed ... as provided in section 13-12" and required that appeals be made to court of common pleas rather than to state park and forest commission; 1969 act replaced state highway commissioner with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and added reference to judicial districts; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 84-146 included a reference to posting of notice on a place other than a signpost; P.A. 85-216 increased the maximum fine from $20 to $90; P.A. 00-106 changed fine for violation of regulations from maximum of $90 "in any one case" to a "reasonable" fine, increased from five to ten the number of days the tree warden must post intent to remove or prune a tree or shrub, and made technical changes.

      Tree warden doing this work himself, for pay, comes under workman's compensation act. 102 C. 573. Exclusive control in warden over trees within highway, or parts thereof even though trees themselves stand on private grounds. 128 C. 674.

      Cited. 26 CA 599. Court's jury instruction regarding tree warden statute was correct in law. 68 CA 284. In view of Supreme Court decision and statutes vesting exclusive control in town tree wardens over trees located in whole or in part in public roadways, court correctly held that owners of private, adjoining land were not liable to plaintiffs injured by falling tree, despite the fact that private landowners unintentionally created the condition that caused the tree to decay and fall, upon facts that demonstrated private landowners gave town timely notification of the decay before tree fell. 97 CA 31.

      Exclusive control of all trees standing in whole or in part within limits of a highway is vested in town or borough tree wardens even though trees stand on private grounds. 17 CS 108.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-60. Appropriations. Public trees; removal. Each town, city or borough may appropriate annually a suitable sum to be expended by the town tree warden, borough tree warden, city forester or other similar officer, in the planting, trimming, spraying, care and preservation of shrubs or ornamental or shade trees within the limits of any public highway or grounds under his control and, at the discretion of the tree warden or other similar officer and with the written consent of the owner thereof, upon land adjoining such highway or grounds, if not more than ten feet therefrom, for the purpose of shading or ornamenting such highway or grounds. All shrubs and trees planted under the provisions of this section shall be deemed public shrubs and trees and shall be under the care and control of the tree warden, city forester or other similar officer and may be removed only upon a written permit from him.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3498.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61. Tree experts to be licensed. Section 23-61 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3499; 1963, P.A. 527, S. 10; 1967, P.A. 587, S. 7.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61a. Definitions. Tree Protection Examining Board. Regulations. (a) As used in sections 23-61a to 23-61f, inclusive, "arboriculture" means any work done for hire to improve the condition of fruit, shade or ornamental trees by feeding or fertilizing, or by pruning, trimming, bracing, treating cavities or other methods of improving tree conditions, or protecting trees from damage from insects or diseases or curing these conditions by spraying or any other method; "arborist" means one who is qualified to perform arboriculture and is licensed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection as provided in section 23-61b; "board" means the State Tree Protection Examining Board established under subsection (b); "fungicide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any fungus; "fungus" means any non-chlorophyll-bearing thallophyte; that is, any non-chlorophyll-bearing plant of a lower order than mosses and liverworts; for example, rusts, smuts, mildews, molds and yeast, except those on or in any living human or other vertebrate animal; "herbicide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any weed; "insect" means any of the numerous small invertebrate animals generally having the body more or less obviously segmented, for the most part belonging to the class insecta, comprising six-legged, usually winged forms, as for example, beetles, bugs, bees, flies and to other allied classes of arthropods whose members are wingless and usually have more than six legs, as for example, spiders, mites, ticks, centipedes and wood lice; "insecticide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating insects; "plant regulator" means any substance or mixture of substances determined to be a plant regulator under chapter 441; "pesticide" means any substance or mixture of substances determined to be a pesticide under said chapter; "weed" means any plant which grows where not wanted.

      (b) There shall be in the Department of Environmental Protection a State Tree Protection Examining Board which shall consist of the plant pathologist and forester of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, who shall serve as ex-officio members, and five electors of the state, three of whom shall be public members, and two of whom shall be licensed, practicing arborists to be appointed by the Governor. Any vacancy in the appointed membership of the board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the term.

      (c) The board shall have a seal and, in any proceeding in court, a certificate under such seal shall be bona fide evidence of any proceeding or action by or before the board stated in such certificate. A majority of members acting as a board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

      (d) Repealed by P.A. 82-419, S. 46, 47.

      (e) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, with the advice and assistance of the board, may adopt such regulations as are necessary for the purpose of giving examinations, issuing and renewing licenses, inspection of work or revocation of licenses.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 1, 2, 3(k); P.A. 73-540, S. 22, 28; P.A. 77-206, S. 1-3; 77-614, S. 216, 610; P.A. 82-419, S. 46, 47; P.A. 98-229, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 73-540 defined "fungicide", "fungus", "herbicide", "insect", "insecticide", "plant regulator", "pesticide" and "weed"; P.A. 77-206 made definition formerly applicable to "custom tree work" applicable to "arboriculture" and defined "arborist"; P.A. 77-614 placed tree protection examining board within the department of consumer protection, changed membership by replacing entomologist and commissioner of agriculture with two additional electors and specifying that three shall be public members and deleted appointment provisions concerning initial members in Subsec. (b), deleted provision for election of chairman, vice-chairman and secretary-treasurer and for appointment of deputies to act for ex-officio members in examination of applicants and inspection of field work in Subsec. (c), deleted provision requiring board of control of Connecticut Experiment Station to perform fiscal duties of examining board and to provide clerical assistance in Subsec. (d) and transferred regulatory power for board to commissioner of consumer protection in Subsec. (e), effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 82-419 repealed Subsec. (d) which had specified that members receive reimbursement for expenses but no compensation as such; P.A. 98-229 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for licensure of arborists by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, amended Subsec. (b) to assign the State Tree Protection Examining Board to the Department of Environmental Protection and amended Subsec. (e) to authorize the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations under this section.

      See title 2c re termination under "Sunset Law".

      See Sec. 4-9a for definition of "public member".

      See Secs. 21a-6 to 21a-10, inclusive, re control, powers and duties of boards within Department of Consumer Protection.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61b. Licensing for arboriculture; examination; fees; renewal; suspension; revocation. Nonresidents. Records. Pesticides. (a) No person shall advertise, solicit or contract to do arboriculture within this state at any time without a license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section, except that any person may improve or protect any tree on such person's own premises or on the property of such person's employer without securing such a license provided such activity does not violate the provisions of chapter 441, subsection (a) of section 23-61a or this section. Application for such license shall be made to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and shall contain such information regarding the applicant's qualifications and proposed operations and other relevant matters as the commissioner may require and shall be accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars which shall not be returnable.

      (b) The commissioner shall require the applicant to show upon examination that the applicant possesses adequate knowledge concerning the proper methods of arboriculture and the dangers involved and the precautions to be taken in connection with these operations, together with knowledge concerning the proper use and application of pesticides and the danger involved and precautions to be taken in connection with their application. If the applicant is other than an individual, the applicant shall designate an officer, member or technician of the organization to take the examination, which designee shall be subject to approval of the commissioner except that any person who uses pesticides in arboriculture shall be licensed to do arboriculture or shall be a licensed commercial applicator under chapter 441. If the extent of the applicant's operations warrant, the commissioner may require more than one such member or technician to be examined. If the commissioner finds the applicant qualified, the commissioner shall issue a license to perform arboriculture within this state. A license shall be valid for a period of five years. If the commissioner finds that the applicant is not qualified, or if the commissioner refuses to issue a license for any other reason, the commissioner shall so inform the applicant in writing, giving reasons for such refusal.

      (c) The commissioner may issue a license without examination to any nonresident who is licensed in another state under a law that provides substantially similar qualifications for licensure and which grants similar privileges of licensure without examination to residents of this state licensed under the provisions of this section.

      (d) Each licensee shall pay a license renewal fee of one hundred ninety dollars for each renewal. All examination and license renewal fees shall be deposited as provided in section 4-32, and any expenses incurred by the commissioner in making examinations, issuing certificates, inspecting tree work or performing any duties of the commissioner shall be charged against appropriations of the General Fund.

      (e) Each licensee shall maintain and, upon request, furnish such records concerning licensed activities as the commissioner may require.

      (f) The commissioner may suspend for not more than ten days and, after notice and hearing as provided in any regulations established by the commissioner, may suspend for additional periods, or the commissioner may revoke, any license issued under this section if the commissioner finds that the licensee is no longer qualified or has violated any provision of section 23-61a or this section, or any regulation adopted thereunder.

      (g) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the board, shall establish standards for examining applicants and reexamining applicators with respect to the proper use and application of pesticides and agricultural methods. Such standards shall provide that in order to be certified, an individual shall be competent with respect to the use and handling of pesticides or the use and handling of the pesticide or class of pesticides covered by such individual's application or certification and in the proper and safe application of recognized arboricultural methods.

      (h) Any licensed arborist shall be considered to be a certified applicator under section 22a-54 with respect to the use of pesticides.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 3(a)-(g), 4; P.A. 73-540, S. 23, 28; P.A. 75-551, S. 7; P.A. 77-206, S. 4-7; 77-529, S. 27; 77-614, S. 217, 218, 610; P.A. 81-361, S. 37, 39; P.A. 89-251, S. 158, 203; P.A. 94-36, S. 5, 42; P.A. 98-229, S. 2; P.A. 02-89, S. 67; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 437.)

      History: P.A. 73-540 allowed persons to improve or protect trees on their own or their employers' property if activity does not violate Connecticut Pesticide Control Act in Subsec. (a), required that persons using fungicides or pesticides in custom tree work have appropriate license under Subsec. (b) and added Subsecs. (g) and (h) re standards for examining applicants and re correlation between license as custom tree worker and certified applicator; P.A. 75-551 clarified nature of standards to be established in Subsec. (g) with emphasis on competence; P.A. 77-206 substituted "arboriculture" and "arborist" for references to custom tree work and workers, prohibited advertising and soliciting arboriculture work without license in Subsec. (a), required renewal every five years rather than annually after first renewal in Subsec. (b) and increased renewal fee from $4 to $20 in Subsec. (d) in keeping with changed period of validity; P.A. 77-529 referred to certification rather than licensing in Subsec. (g) and distinguished clearly between examination of first time applicants and reexamination of applicators; P.A. 77-614 specified that inquiry to be made by consumer protection department in Subsec. (f) and made hearing subject to commissioner's regulations, deleting provision requiring ten days' notice of hearing and transferred power to establish examination standards from board to commissioner, retaining board as consultant in Subsec. (g), effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-361 provided that the department is to issue licenses upon the authorization of the board and that times for renewal of licenses shall be designated by the department instead of the board; P.A. 89-251 increased the application fee from $10 to $20 and increased the renewal fee from $20 to $40; (Revisor's note: In 1993 an obsolete reference in Subsec. (a) to repealed Sec. 23-61c was deleted editorially by the Revisors); P.A. 94-36 amended Subsec. (b) to delete reference to five-year renewal period, effective January 1, 1995; P.A. 98-229 provided for licensing by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and increased the application fee to $25, amended Subsec. (b) to increase the term of licensure to five years, amended Subsec. (d) to increase the renewal fee to $150, amended Subsec. (g) to authorize the Commissioner to establish standards for agricultural methods under this section and made technical changes; P.A. 02-89 amended Subsec. (a) to delete reference to Sec. 23-61d, reflecting repeal of said section by the same public act, and make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality, amended Subsec. (b) to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality and amended Subsec. (f) to replace reference to "sections 23-61a to 23-61d, inclusive" with "section 23-61a or this section", reflecting repeal of Sec. 23-61d by the same public act, and make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing fee from $25 to $50 and amended Subsec. (d) by increasing fee from $150 to $190.

      See Sec. 21a-10(b) re staggered schedule for license renewals.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61c. Privilege of licensee to take examination without fee for commercial applicators of pesticides. Section 23-61c is repealed.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 3(h), (i); P.A. 73-540, S. 24, 28; P.A. 77-206, S. 8, 9; P.A. 82-158, S. 5, 6.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61d. Validity of custom tree worker licenses held by licensees on July 1, 1977. Section 23-61d is repealed, effective October 1, 2002.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 3(j); P.A. 73-540, S. 25, 28; P.A. 77-206, S. 10; P.A. 02-89, S. 90.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61e. Appeals. Any person aggrieved by an order or finding of the commissioner may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 5; P.A. 76-436, S. 464, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 104, 125; 77-614, S. 219, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 135, 136; P.A. 98-229, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 and 77-614 replaced previous detailed appeal provisions with requirement that appeals be made in accordance with Sec. 4-183; P.A. 78-303 made technical changes; P.A. 98-229 authorized appeals of actions of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, deleting reference to "board".

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-61f. Penalties. (a) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (b), (c) or (d) of section 23-61b or of any regulation issued under subsection (e) of section 23-61a shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars.

      (b) Any person who violates any provision of chapter 441 or section 23-61a or 23-61b shall be considered under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

      (c) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of section 23-61b shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for each day such violation continues. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the commissioner, shall institute a civil action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to recover such penalty. Any such action shall have precedence in the order of trial as provided in section 52-191.

      (1967, P.A. 587, S. 6; 1971, P.A. 872, S. 432; P.A. 73-540, S. 26, 28; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 98-229, S. 3; P.A. 02-89, S. 68; P.A. 03-278, S. 84.)

      History: 1971 act placed violators under jurisdiction of environmental protection commissioner rather than that of commissioner of agriculture and natural resources and pesticide control board; P.A. 73-540 substituted "Connecticut Pesticide Control Act" for reference to Secs. 19-300k to 19-300t and reiterated transfer of jurisdiction; (Revisor's note: In 1993 obsolete reference in Subsec. (a) to repealed Sec. 23-61c was deleted editorially by the Revisors); P.A. 98-229 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) to assign jurisdiction over arboriculture violations to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and added Subsec. (c) re civil penalties for such violations (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1998 regular and special sessions of the General Assembly, effective September 1, 1998); P.A. 02-89 amended Subsecs. (a) and (c) to delete references to Sec. 23-61d and amended Subsec. (b) to replace reference to "sections 23-61a to 23-61d, inclusive" with "section 23-61a", reflecting repeal of Sec. 23-61d by the same public act; P.A. 03-278 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 9, 2003.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Secs. 23-62 to 23-64. Tree Protection Examining Board; license. Officers; regulations; seal; revocation of licenses. Examination and renewal fees; compensation of board. Sections 23-62 to 23-64, inclusive, are repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3500-3502; 1959, P.A. 616, S. 77; 1967, P.A. 587, S. 7.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 23-65. Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Restoration. Damages. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal. (a) Any person, firm or corporation which affixes to a telegraph, telephone, electric light or power pole, or to a tree, shrub, rock or other natural object in any public way or grounds, a playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing, or cuts, paints or marks such tree, shrub, rock or other natural object, except for the purpose of protecting it or the public and under a written permit from the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, city forester or Commissioner of Transportation, as the case may be, or, without the consent of the tree warden or of the officer with similar duties, uses climbing spurs for the purpose of climbing any ornamental or shade tree within the limits of any public highway or grounds, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for each offense.

      (b) Any person, firm or corporation, other than a tree warden or deputy tree warden, who removes, prunes, injures or defaces any shrub or ornamental or shade tree, within the limits of a public way or grounds, without the legal right or written permission of the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, the city forester, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Department of Public Utility Control or other authority having jurisdiction, may be ordered by the court in any action brought by the property owner or the authority having jurisdiction affected thereby to restore the land to its condition as it existed prior to such violation or shall award the landowner the costs of such restoration, including reasonable management costs necessary to achieve such restoration, reasonable attorney's fees and costs and such injunctive or equitable relief as the court deems appropriate. In addition, the court may award damages of up to five times the cost of restoration or statutory damages of up to five thousand dollars. In determining the amount of the award, the court shall consider the willfulness of the violation, the extent of damage done to natural resources, if any, the appraised value of the shrub or ornamental or shade tree, any economic gain realized by the violator and any other relevant factors. The appraised value shall be determined by the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, the city forester, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Department of Public Utility Control or other authority having jurisdiction and shall be determined in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to develop guidelines for such plant appraisal. The regulations may incorporate by reference the latest revision of The Guide for Plant Appraisal, as published by the International Society of Arboriculture, Urbana, Illinois. Until such time as regulations are adopted, appraisals may be made in accordance with said Guide for Plant Appraisal.

      (c) Any person, firm or corporation which deposits or throws any advertisement within the limits of any public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property, unless the same is left at the door of the residence or place of business of the occupant of such premises or property, or deposits or throws any refuse paper, camp or picnic refuse, junk or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds, except at a place designated for that purpose by the authority having supervision and control of such public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property without permission of the owner thereof, or affixes to or maintains upon any tree, rock or other natural object within the limits of a public way or grounds any paper or advertisement other than notices posted in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, or affixes to or maintains, upon the property of another without his consent, any word, letter, character or device intended to advertise the sale of any article, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both for each offense.

      (d) The removal, pruning or wilful injury of any shrub or ornamental or shade tree, or the use of climbing spurs upon any ornamental or shade tree without the consent of the tree warden or of the officer with similar duties or the affixing of any playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing concerning the business or affairs of any person, firm or corporation, to a pole, shrub, tree, rock or other natural object, within the limits of any public way or grounds in violation of the provisions of this section by an agent or employee of such person, firm or corporation, shall be deemed to be the act of such person, firm or corporation, and such person, or any member of such firm or any officer of such corporation, as the case may be, shall be subject to the penalty herein provided, unless such act is shown to have been done without his knowledge or consent.

      (e) The affixing of each individual playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing to a pole, shrub, tree, rock or other natural object, or the wilful removing, pruning, injuring or defacing of each shrub or tree, or the throwing of each individual advertisement or lot of refuse paper or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds or on private premises, shall constitute a separate violation of the provisions of this section. Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of a tree warden, either by himself or by a person receiving a written permit from him, to remove, prune or otherwise deal with a shrub or tree under his jurisdiction.

      (f) Any person, firm or corporation, other than a tree warden or his deputy, who desires the cutting or removal, in whole or in part, of any tree or shrub or part thereof within the limits of any public road or grounds, may apply in writing to the town tree warden, the borough tree warden or the Commissioner of Transportation or other authority having jurisdiction thereof for a permit so to do. Upon receipt of such permit, but not before, he may proceed with such cutting or removal. Before granting or denying such permit, such authority may hold a public hearing as provided in section 23-59, and when the applicant is a public utility corporation, the party aggrieved by such decision may, within ten days, appeal therefrom to the Department of Public Utility Control, which shall have the power to review, confirm, change or set aside the decision appealed from and its decision shall be final. This shall be in addition to the powers granted to it under section 16-234, provided, if an application for such permit has been made to either a tree warden or the Commissioner of Transportation or other authority and denied by him, an application for a permit for the same relief shall not be made to any other such authority. Upon any approval of such a permit by the Commissioner of Transportation, he shall notify the tree warden for the town in which the tree is located. Upon any approval of such a permit by the Commissioner of Transportation, the permittee shall notify the tree warden for the town in which the tree is located prior to cutting any such tree.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3503; February, 1965, P.A. 614, S. 4, 5; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 251, 252, 253; P.A. 75-486, S. 56, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 162, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 179, 180, 348; P.A. 98-209, S. 17; 98-228, S. 8; P.A. 00-106, S. 1; P.A. 06-89, S. 3.)

      History: 1965 act deleted reference to jurisdiction of state park and forest commission in Subsec. (b) and rephrased provisions re appeals to public utilities commission to delete reference equating that commission's powers to those of the state park and forest commission in Subsec. (f); 1969 act substituted commissioner of transportation for highway commissioner in Subsecs. (a), (b) and (f); P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority in Subsecs. (b) and (f); P.A. 77-614 replaced the authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted references to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 98-209 added a provision requiring notice by the Commissioner of Transportation to the tree warden for certain tree-cutting approved by the Commissioner; P.A. 98-228 added provision requiring permittee cutting trees with approval of Commissioner of Transportation to notify tree warden; P.A. 00-106 amended Subsec. (b) to replace penalty of $100 with penalty based on the appraised value of the tree or shrub, exclude a person with a "legal right" from the prohibitions, add provisions re determination of appraised value, require regulations re guidelines for such determination and make technical changes for the purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 06-89 amended Subsec. (b) to delete provision re fine of not more than appraised value of shrub or tree and add provisions re court ordered restoration, reasonable restoration management costs, attorney's fees and costs, injunctive or equitable relief, damages up to five times cost of restoration or statutory damages of up to $5,000 and criteria for court to consider when determining damages award.

      See Sec. 52-560a re encroachment on open space land.

      Cited. 82 C. 394. Cited. 128 C. 674.

      In view of Supreme Court decision and statutes vesting exclusive control in town tree wardens over trees located in whole or in part in public roadways, court correctly held that owners of private, adjoining land were not liable to plaintiffs injured by falling tree, despite the fact that private landowners unintentionally created the condition that caused the tree to decay and fall, upon facts that demonstrated private landowners gave town timely notification of the decay before tree fell. 97 CA 31.

      Cited. 17 CS 108. See note to section 23-59.

      Legislative intent was to vest exclusive control in tree warden of all trees standing within limits of highway and of any parts of trees extending within these limits. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 503.

      Subsec. (b):

      Selectmen cannot authorize such injury to a tree on the highway. 66 C. 569.

      "[A]ppraised value" relates only to imposition of a fine and not to proper measure of damages for unlawful cutting of trees and shrubs. 75 CA 781.


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Secs. 23-65a to 23-65e. Reserved for future use.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)