Since You Asked: You shall bring us ... a shrubbery!

I would like to know who is responsible for keeping tree limbs and shrubbery away from sidewalks. On Black Oak and surrounding streets in East Medford some places are impassable and in other places it is impossible to walk down the sidewalk without getting hit in the face.

I often have to step on to the curb or out into the street to get around these obstructions. Are there any ordinances for keeping sidewalks clear and if it is the homeowner's responsibility, who enforces it?

— Mary M., Medford

Alas, there is no photinia patrol so it's up to people like you to report overgrown landscaping (if not talk to the property owner). Just be glad kudzu doesn't grow here. That vine gets you if you stand still too long.

Glenda Owens, who supervises code enforcement for the city of Medford, said the abutting property owner is responsible for trimming trees and things that protrude into the public right of way. Plants are not to extend out onto the sidewalk. Also, they need to be trimmed at least 10 feet high along sidewalks, and 15 feet high along streets.

Another thing property owners don't always realize is that if there is a strip of landscaping between the sidewalk and the street in front of their house, they're responsible for keeping that up, too.

Should you encounter unruly and cheeky shrubbery, contact the Medford code enforcement officers at 774-2016.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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