Tree Planting and Maintenance

The City of Ferndale is a Tree City USA-designated community, that prides itself on maintaining a healthy urban forest. The current urban canopy cover for the City is 30%, with a goal of achieving 40%. To improve our canopy, the City has created a variety of programs—including a community tree planting program, tree maintenance program, and updates to some ordinances and policies—to ensure safe, healthy tree coverage now and into the future. 


The City works with TreeKeeper to document and preserve information regarding Ferndale's urban tree canopy. This includes the number and variety of trees located in public spaces— parks, rights of ways, and medians. Surveys are completed by quadrant annually, one quadrant per year on a four-year cycle. View the full Ferndale Tree Management Plan, courtesy of Davey Resource Group in November of 2018.


Ferndale is a zero-loss community, meaning if trees are removed for a variety of reasons (new development, hazard, disease, etc.) the same number and/or size of the tree must be replaced. The City also has several ordinances that protect trees and other vegetation throughout the community. These are in place to ensure that urban forestry is preserved and maintained appropriately, especially in new development.


The vegetation ordinance protects all vegetation throughout the City. In general, this ordinance provides guidance on how to appropriately acquire, plant, maintain, and preserve Ferndale’s urban tree canopy. Every effort will be made to preserve the existing urban tree canopy. If trees are removed (due to development, disease, or hazard), there are two options for replacement: the same number or size must be replaced on-site in a different location, or the tree must be paid for based on the diameter at the breast height (dbh), a common tree measurement, and priced at $200/dbh. Monies generated from this fund will be added to the overall tree fund, which DPW will use on urban forestry projects throughout Ferndale. For exact language, please see Chapter 20 – Vegetation Ordinance.



The zoning ordinance covers all land uses throughout Ferndale. This includes the downtown, residential, and industrial areas, with variable transition zones between each zone. The landscaping component of the zoning ordinance ensures the preservation of trees, specifically on new development projects. This was carefully reviewed and coordinates with the Chapter 20 Vegetation Ordinance. For exact language, please see Chapter 24 – Zoning, Landscaping Section.


DPW provides maintenance on trees located in public spaces. Tree maintenance includes corrective pruning, watering, mulching, or removal due to pests or severe damage. DPW does not conduct tree maintenance on private property. If tree maintenance is conducted on trees in your neighborhood, DPW will notify you accordingly via a leave-behind door hanger. 


Want to contribute to Ferndale’s Urban Tree Canopy? Ferndale residents and business owners can purchase trees to be planted in the public right of way (between the sidewalk and the street) through the City's tree purchasing program.


Community tree plantings occur annually in the spring. After submitting the form, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will contact you for billing information and to schedule the delivery/planting of your tree. All trees are sourced from local, licensed nurseries, and come with a one-year warranty.


Interested in purchasing and planting your own tree? No problem! Please fill out this Tree Permit for that work before planting.


Need a tree trimmed or removed on your private property? Find a certified arborist in the State of Michigan. Selecting a Certified Arborist ensures that the tree is properly trimmed, treated, or removed safely.

The US Department of Agriculture Forest Service developed a manual for tree owners that covers everything from tree selection to maintenance.