Community Forestry Program

Tree City USA

The City of Ferndale, a Tree City USA designated community, 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.

Ferndale has been a Tree City USA for over 15 years.

Track Your Trees

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.

To learn more about the trees in your neighborhood or community, visit the TreeKeeper map and database.

Tree assessments for 2022's urban canopy are currently underway. The Public Works Department will be assessing the northeast quadrant of the City this winter.

Community Tree Planting Program

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. You can request a tree using our online form. After submitting the form, the Department of Public Works will contact you for billing information and to schedule delivery/planting of your tree. The DPW has a set number of trees they will be able to plant in the spring of 2023, once those spots have been filled the link for tree requests will stop working. 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.

Tree Maintenance Program

The Department of Public Works provides a variety of city services, including 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. Check it out below!  

Ferndale DPW Maintenance Door Hanger

Tree Policies

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 the urban forestry is preserved and maintained appropriately, especially in new development.

  • Vegetation Ordinance: The vegetation ordinance protects all vegetation throughout the City, with a specific section on trees. 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 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.
  • Zoning, Landscaping Section: 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.

Helpful Links

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.


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