City of Buda seeks Tree City USA status

The city of Buda has proposed new tree ordinances and the creation of a Tree Board as the city comes closer to Tree City USA status.

Deputy City Manager Micah Grau said the city currently meets two of the four criteria towards achieving Tree City USA status. Grau said Buda has an environmental aesthetic that can be better appreciated through Tree City USA status.

“It’s one way to honor our heritage and to show that we value the trees here in Buda. It shows we value and want to protect them,” Grau said.

The ordinance proposals would maintain current tree mitigation standards, require tree protection when construction occurs in a root zone, establishes tree planting and care standards and identifies “nuisance trees” that can be removed.

The proposed code stems from a group of professional arborists known as the Accredited Standards Committee. Their standard will be replicated in Buda’s code which said franchise utility companies shall provide advanced notice to the city for intended non-emergency pruning schedules and location of impacted trees.

“Utility industry standards need to be followed. They need to, of course, trim trees to maintain the safety of the power lines, but we don’t want necessarily a free-for-all clear-cutting of these areas. We want to make sure it’s done appropriately,” Grua said.

The creation of a Tree Board will be in the hands of the parks and recreation board.

The proposal has been approved by the park and recreation board and sustainability board, but has been tabled by city council.

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