How do I know if a tree adjacent to my home is in the public right-of-way?

City trees are located on the strip of boulevard between the sidewalk and the street.  If you have no sidewalk, you can contact the Department of Public Works for a determination based on the street’s right-of-way.

How long does it take between phoning in a tree concern and having the tree investigated?

Under normal circumstances, the inquiry will be investigated within two days. It will be investigated immediately if it is believed to be a hazard or emergency.


How long does it take between a tree investigation and the recommended work?

Under normal circumstances, work will be completed in the same year a request is taken.  Maintenance trimming is generally done in the winter months when the tree is dormant.  Emergency work is always done as soon as possible.


Whom do I contact when a tree is interfering with power lines?

Contact Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050.


Whom should I contact if a neighbor’s private tree interferes with my tree or property?

The City has no authority in these situations and we can only suggest that you seek legal counsel if the situation cannot be worked out amicably with the neighbor.


Does the City give tree chips away?

The City does keep a pile of wood chips at the DPW garage for residents to use.  The DPW does not load the chips nor guarantee their quality.  The chips are available on a first come first serve basis.


Does the City pick up brush from trees on private property?

No.  However, a resident is allowed to drop the brush off at the DPW garage after they sign in at the office.


May I take the logs from trees that have been removed from the right-of-way?

Yes.  If the resident requests to keep the logs from a tree in front of their home, they have first right of refusal.  The logs will be placed behind the sidewalk or ROW.  The homeowner is then responsible for any cleanup that occurs after that.  The only exception to the homeowner keeping the logs would be if the tree were removed due to disease, in which case the tree will be disposed of properly by the DPW.


How long after pruning or removal is complete will the logs and brush be removed?

Under normal conditions, the debris will be picked up the same day that pruning/ removal is done.  There may be circumstances whereby a crew is needed for an emergency elsewhere in the City.  In those cases, the brush will be picked up as soon as possible.


Does the City clean up leaves or fruit from City trees?

No, we do not provide this service.


Can the public remove branches from City trees?

No, the Department of Public Works is responsible for all tree maintenance.


Does the City respond to trees obstructing sidewalks, driveways, and traffic signs?

The Department of Public Works will remove the lower branches on trees maintained by the City in order to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, signs, and pedestrians.  Tree branches over roadways are removed to a height of 15 feet, and to a height of ten feet over sidewalks and pathways.  All branches within 6 feet of a structure are also removed when requested.  Trees on private property that are causing problems are the responsibility of the homeowner.


How are tree roots able to interfere with sewer lines?

Tree roots are frequently found in sewer lines that have collapsed or leak.  Tree roots are not the cause of the problem.  While seeking water, entry is gained through a previously cracked portion of the pipe.  Cracks in a line may occur due to a deterioration of the pipe because of age, shifting or complication of the pipe bed, or because of the type of piping material used in the construction of the line.  In older systems, the line was usually constructed with clay tiles.  Modern sewer construction relies on PVC plastic pipe.  For this reason, the City will not remove publicly maintained trees because of sewer problems.


Who is responsible for repairs when tree roots interfere with sewer lines?

The maintenance responsibility of a sewer line is that of the property owner.  The City will only repair or replace the connection to the sewer main line.  Tree roots can be chemically removed from a sewer line through the application of a herbicide which burns off any obstructing roots.  Typically, these applications area required every two to three years.  The Department of Public Works will provide this service to homeowners in accordance with the current fee schedule.