7.3 Maintenance of Required Landscaping

.1 The owner, occupant, tenant, and respective agent of each, if any, shall be jointly and severally responsible for the perpetual maintenance and protection of buffer yards, trees, berms, and landscaping planting required by this ordinance.

.2 Staff is hereby authorized to order diseased, infested, dying, dead or damaged landscaping required herein to be replaced.

.3 Buffer yards that, over a period of time, lose their screening ability shall be replanted to meet the requirements of this ordinance.

.4 Replacement of trees and landscaping is permitted and shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of this ordinance.

.5 Maintenance includes actions necessary to keep landscaping materials healthy, neat and orderly in appearance and free of litter and debris. Mulch and ground cover shall be organic. Tire mulch and impervious materials shall not be used in landscape areas.

.6 Pruning of trees shall be done according to the National Arborists’ Association Standards in a manner that preserves the character of the tree. Pruning shall not occur in order to give visibility to a structure, use, or sign.

.7 Once streets have been accepted by the town or the state, street trees shall be maintained and cared for by the property owner adjacent to the tree except in subdivisions where the property owners association provides maintenance and care. Prior to street acceptance, the developer shall be responsible for ensuring maintenance and care. Maintenance shall include replacement and trimming as necessary. A maintenance responsibility statement shall be provided on the Final Plat and documented within the homeowners association articles of incorporation or the restrictive covenants/deed restrictions for the development.

.8 Whenever shrubs are required for screening and buffer yards, they shall be maintained such that they retain their foliage to within 6 inches of the ground on a year-round basis. Further, such shrubs shall not be pruned to be less than the required mature height.