Officials cite this statute as justification for removing all trees in the right-of-way, yet the language makes it clear that removal of trees from the right-of-way is an option and a judgement call - not a requirement.
5543.14 County engineer to trim or remove vegetation along roads.
The county engineer may trim or remove any and all trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing in or encroaching onto the right-of-way of the county roads of the engineer's county, and the board of township trustees may trim or remove any and all trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing in or encroaching onto the right-of-way of the township roads of its township, as is necessary in the engineer's or board's judgment to facilitate the right of the public to improvement and maintenance of, and uninterrupted travel on, county and township roads. The engineer or board is not required to compensate the abutting landowner for trimming or removing such trees, shrubs, and other vegetation as is necessary to facilitate these rights. The department of agriculture or other proper department may, with the consent of the proper authorities, take charge of the care of such trees to facilitate these rights. Such department may, with the consent of the proper authorities of the township, county, or state, plant trees along the public highway and may use any funds available for the development of forestry in the state to pay the expense of the planting and care of such trees. The ownership of all trees, so planted, shall remain in the public.
Effective Date: 03-18-1999 .