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Tree Regulations
The Forestry Division administers the City's Street Tree Ordinance, and in conjunction with the Planning and Building Departments, the Tree Conservation Ordinance.

Under the Street Tree Ordinance, a permit is required for planting or removing street right-of-way trees, and for any activity (e.g. construction) which may affect right-of-way trees. Planting permits are free. Right-of-way permits for removal or other activities are $50.00.

The Tree Conservation Ordinance applies to certain undeveloped properties having any trees six inches in diameter or larger. Requirements vary depending on the nature of the development. For single-family residential developments, a minimum percentage for trees on site must be preserved. On individual lots, builders are encouraged to preserve as many trees as possible outside the building envelope. In general, developers and builders are responsible to replace any trees that are removed or damaged by construction activities. Remaining trees must be protected from construction activities.

The goal of these ordinances is to preserve and enhance the quality of life within the city by protecting existing trees and woodlands, while at the same time permitting economic growth and development.

When is a Tree Permit required?

Trees in the public street right-of-way
  • All trees located between the property line and the street are regulated by the Street Tree Ordinance and require a removal permit.
  • Application Fee is $50.00

Trees on private property
  • All property platted prior to August 3, 1988 is not regulated by the Tree Conservation Ordinance and does not require a removal permit.
  • All property platted after August 3, 1988, and all unplatted property with trees 6 inches in diameter and larger at 4 1/2' above the ground, is regulated by the Tree Conservation Ordinance and requires a removal permit.
  • Application fee is $90.00.

Tree Regulations

For Ornamental Trees (Crabapple, etc) and Evergreens

Shows tree regulation height for ornamental trees and Evergreens
(Click photo for larger image)


For Bike Pathway and Sidewalk Vegetation Maintenance
Image showing the tree regulations for bike pathway and sidewalk vegetation maintenance
(Click photo for larger image)

  • Property owners must maintain vegetation at least 1' off the edge of the pathway or sidewalk to a height of 10'. If vegetation is not maintained by the property owner, city crews are authorized to trim to a distance of 3' off the edge and 10' in height. The city may assess the cost of the work to the property owner. 
  • New plantings can be no closer to a pathway or sidewalk than the following distances:
    • 5' for high branched trees (shade trees) and shrubs
    • 10' for low branched trees (evergreen and ornamentals)
  • A permit is required for planting in the City right-of-way (available free from the Forestry division).


For Shade Trees and Shrubs
Tree regulation visual for shade trees and shrubs
(Click photo for larger image)


For further information regarding the need for a Tree Removal Permit, contact the Forestry Division at 248.656.4673. or visit the Forestry webpage.







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