§ 2-15-8. Permits for cutting or removal of plants or debris Replacement of damaged or removed trees.
(a) Whenever any person, firm or corporation other than a tree warden or his or her deputy, or an authorized agent of the department of transportation, or an authorized agent of the department of environmental management, or an authorized agent of the park commission of any town or city desires the cutting or removal, in whole or in part, of any public shrub or ornamental or shade tree, or the burning of any rubbish or debris upon any public highway or in any park or public grounds, that person, firm or corporation shall apply in writing to the tree warden or the department of transportation, the department of environmental management, or the park commission of any town or city, as the case may be, for permission to do the cutting, removing or burning and shall obtain a written permit before the cutting, removing or burning shall commence.
(b) When the application is made for the cutting or removal of trees along any public highway for the purpose of moving, constructing or demolishing any building, the permit shall contain a provision that the applicant shall replace any trees that are removed or in the opinion of the issuer are substantially damaged in the process at his or her own expense and file a bond in an amount and with surety suitable to the issuer of the permit to assure performance of the same. The sum of the diameter of the replacement trees shall be substantially equivalent to the sum of the diameters of the trees which were cut or removed, and shall be planted within the immediate community area.
(c) Any person, firm, corporation or governmental entity that removes or substantially damages, in whole or in part, any tree on public grounds shall replace the tree with a substantially equivalent tree or trees, the sum of the diameters of which are equal to twice that removed or damaged, in the immediate vicinity of the tree removed or damaged. This subsection does not apply to a public utility or its authorized agent when the work being performed is in accordance with a written tree trimming and tree replacement program filed with and approved by the tree warden in the municipality where the work is being done or by the state forester for work to be performed on state land and in municipalities that do not have functioning tree wardens.
(P.L. 1931, ch. 1763, § 9; G.L. 1938, ch. 225, § 9; impl. am. P.L. 1939, ch. 660, § 100; impl. am. P.L. 1952, ch. 2973, §§ 2, 4; G.L. 1956, § 2-15-8; P.L. 1979, ch. 38, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 331, § 1.)