Community Forestry Program

Ferndale has been a Tree City USA for over 15 years

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 polices—to ensure safe, healthy tree coverage now and into the future.

Track Your Trees

The City works with TreeKeeper to document and preserve information regarding Ferndale's urban tree canopy. This includes number and variety of trees located in public spaces— parks, right 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.

Ferndale Urban Tree Canopy Report, Davey Resource Group July 2016

Ferndale Tree Management Plan, Davey Resource Group November 2018

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 (April 1-June 1).

Tree orders can be placed online at this link. The deadline for a Spring planting is January 31 prior to planting season.

All trees are sourced from local, licensed nurseries, and come with a one-year warranty. DPW staff will only plant trees on public property.

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

Highly trained volunteers may be used to help plant trees throughout the city. If you are interested in participating in the volunteer tree planting program, please contact Environmental Sustainability Planner Erin Quetell at 248-336-4361 or

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 doorhanger. 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 tree must be replaced. The City also has a 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

Find an Arborist

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

Tree Owner's Manual

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

The Process

It is the responsibility of the Ferndale Police Department to respond to citizen issues promptly and efficiently. It is also important to be aware that there may be issues that don't offer an immediate resolution. These conflicts include:

  • Agency policies
  • Environmental requirements
  • Public safety practices
  • Delivery of service
  • Employee conduct

The resolution of these issues is important to the department in order to maintain the highest professional standards.


If your complaint has not been resolved by the employee you first contacted, you may request to speak to the on-duty supervisor.  

  • This can be done in person or over the phone.  
  • If a supervisor is not available immediately, you will have the option to schedule a return phone call or an appointment.


The  supervisor on-duty will attempt to resolve your issue. If a resolution has not been met, a Citizen Complaint Form should be filled out and submitted.  

  • This is available in person or online
  • This form will be investigated by the officer’s shift Lieutenant; once completed, it will be reviewed by the Patrol Division Commander and Chief of Police.


After your complaint is processed, you will be informed of the final disposition by phone and mail. These determinations can include: sustained (sufficient evidence), not sustained (insufficient evidence), exonerated (lawful incident), or unfounded (false allegation). If additional information is desired, our staff will be happy to provide further detail or reevaluate as needed.

Water Safety Information

The City of Ferndale performs regular water sampling and testing in accordance with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, and we continue to surpass water quality standards as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The City provides comprehensive information about lead, chemicals, and other contaminants. For more information, see below.

Lead and Your Public Drinking Water

Surpasses EPA water quality standards, per GLWA testing

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) oversees mandatory annual testing of each of their community water suppliers. Most recent testing, courtesy of the 2018 Consumers Annual Water Quality Report, shows levels that once again exceed regulation requirements and standards. To learn more about lead testing and water safety, view Lead and Your Water Supply: An Informational Guide.

PFAS and Your Public Drinking Water

Not detected in any water supply, per GLWA testing

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) oversees mandatory testing of their water supply to ensure that PFAS, or chemical perfluoroalkyl substances, are not present in community drinking water supplies. Most recent testing of water in five sources (Detroit-based Water Works Park, Springwells, and Northeast water treatment plants, Allen Park-based Southwest Water Treatment Plant, and Lake Huron), performed 2222, confirmed that PFAS was not detected at any level/in any water source. You can view the report for more information.

PFAS Report: Southeast Ferndale

February 2019: The City of Ferndale learned from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now EGLE) of the discovery of PFAS at the privately owned business property located at 1221 Farrow Street, Ferndale, identified as MacDermid, Inc.—a small chemical manufacturing and warehouse facility. Monitoring occurred at the bases of two former waste lagoons, and contamination appears limited to a small, perched zone of groundwater. The designation of this groundwater prevents it from being used as a drinking water source, and stormwater runoff from the contaminated area is captured and treated before discharge to the GLWA. Because this is a reportedly contained issue on private property, EGLE is working directly with the business/property owner(s) to excavate and re-sample. MDEQ recommended no community outreach at this time; the City has elected to publish this information in an effort to maintain transparency and information.

For more information, view the MDEQ report or contact the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.


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