Trees and Forestry

 The City of Plymouth Department of Municipal Services provides maintenance to trees located in the right-of-way and on public property.

 

Front Yard Trees

Definition

A front yard tree is a tree located in the area that is between the front property and the front façade of the building or house.

 

Trimming

Front yard trees may be pruned or trimmed without a permit. 

 

Tree Protection and Care

Trees must be protected during all types of construction.  Protective fencing must be placed at the dripline of all trees that may be impacted during construction.  The ground area within the dripline shall be undisturbed from its pre-construction state.  At no time shall materials or debris be stored in the dripline or leaned against any tree.  Violation of this ordinance may result in formal notice to the property owner.

 

Removal

Each front yard tree that is removed must be replaced in a manner that meets the tree ordinance.  A front yard tree that is 6 inches in diameter as measured 4.5 feet off the ground (referred to as DBH) or greater requires a permit for removal. 

 

Replacement Requirements

Front yard trees must be replaced at a rate of 25% of the DBH of each tree removed.  If the tree(s) cannot be reasonably replaced on the front yard of the property or in the adjacent right-of-way, then the property owner shall pay into the tree fund at a cost of $150.00 per inch of replacement tree required.  If an ISA certified arborist confirms in a condition and risk assessment that the tree is dead, diseased, or dying then the tree is exempt from replacement requirements.

 

Planting

All trees must be planted to ANSI A300 standards and be 1.5 inches in caliper.  Trees must be an approved species and cannot be a prohibited tree.  A list of prohibited trees is located here.  A tree planting permit is required to ensure the location and tree species is favorable to the successful establishment of the tree and its long-term health.  All tree planting permits are processed by the Community Development Department located on the second floor of City Hall.

 

Street Trees

Definition

A street tree is a tree located in the right-of-way.  In most cases, the right-of-way is the area between the sidewalk and the curbline.  Review a boundary survey of your property, if you have one, for specifics on your property.

 

Planting

The City offers an annual Street Tree Planting Program where residents or property owners may purchase a tree that the City will plant in the right-of-way adjacent to the property.  The wholesale cost of the tree gets passed along to the property owner and then the City will plant, stake, and mulch the tree.  Please review this year’s list of trees when it becomes available.  If you are interested in a particular species we can often accommodate, depending on nursery availability. 

 

New street trees must be planted to ANSI A300 standards.  Trees must be 1.5 inches in caliper.  If you purchase a street tree through the City’s Street Tree Planting Program the City will ensure these standards are met.  If you are planting a street tree and it is not going to be planted by City crews, then you must obtain a permit application, available here.  All tree planting permits are processed by the Community Development Department located on the second floor of City Hall.

 

Tree Size and Species Selection

The depth of your boulevard (right-of-way) determines the size of tree that can be planted.  A small tree may be planted in an area that is two feet deep or greater.  A medium tree may be planted in an area that is three feet deep or greater.  A large tree may be planted in an area that is four feet deep or greater.

The full list of permitted street trees is located here.

 

Identifying Other Potential Tree Planting Conflicts

It is important to evaluate the boulevard for potential overhead and underground conflicts as well as ensuring appropriate corner clearance.  Overhead conflicts could include other tree canopies and overhead wires including power and data lines.  Underground conflicts could include storm and sanitary sewer lines, fire hydrants and water lines, other trees and their root systems, and street signs.

 

Required Distance from Conflicts

Street corners – 35 feet

Fire hydrants – 10 feet

Street signs – 10 feet

Overhead utility wire – 10 lateral feet

Underground water or sewer line – 5 lateral feet

 

 

New Construction Street Tree Planting

All new construction projects shall plant one new street tree by the conclusion of construction.  If the right-of-way adjacent to the new home is not suitable for a new street tree, then the owner shall pay $400.00 into the tree fund.  If a street tree is planned to be planted but will not be completed by the conclusion of construction, then a $400.00 bond shall be submitted prior to the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy.  Read the ordinance section here.

 

Tree Protection and Care

Trees must be protected during all types of construction.  Protective fencing must be placed at the dripline of all trees that may be impacted during construction.  The ground area within the dripline shall be undisturbed from its pre-construction state.  At no time shall materials or debris be stored in the dripline or leaned against any tree.  Violation of this ordinance may result in formal notice to the property owner.

 

Trimming

From time to time street trees need dead or broken branches to be trimmed out of the canopy.  To submit a tree trimming request please submit an online form that is available here.  You may only request tree trimming for street trees that are adjacent to your property.  City staff assess each trimming request prior to completion and assess the risk.  Non-urgent requests may take up to two months to complete.  Urgent requests where limbs are dangerous should be submitted by calling Municipal Services at 734-453-1234 ext. 0.

 

Evaluation and Removal

If you believe your street tree may be dead, diseased, or dying please submit a street tree action request here.  City staff conduct a preliminary, unofficial health evaluation.  All street trees determined not to be dead, diseased, or dying shall remain on-site.  Appeals of the City staff’s determination may be made by requesting a condition and risk assessment by an ISA certified arborist.  The City will provide one at the cost of the adjacent property owner.

 

Heritage Trees

Definition

A heritage tree means any tree that meets the size and species requirement in this table, or any tree not listed in the table that is 18 inches DBH or greater.

 

Trimming

Heritage trees may be pruned or trimmed without requiring a permit. 

 

Tree Protection and Care

Trees must be protected during all types of construction.  Protective fencing must be placed at the dripline of all trees that may be impacted during construction.  The ground area within the dripline shall be undisturbed from its pre-construction state.  At no time shall materials or debris be stored in the dripline or leaned against any tree.  Violation of this ordinance may result in formal notice to the property owner.

 

Removal

Each heritage yard tree that is removed must be replaced in a manner that meets the tree ordinance.  A heritage tree that meets the size above or is 18 inches at 4.5 feet off the ground or greater (DBH) requires a permit for removal. 

 

Replacement Requirements

Heritage trees must be replaced at a rate of 25% of the DBH of each tree removed.  If the tree(s) cannot be replaced reasonable on the property or in the adjacent right-of-way, then the property owner shall pay into the tree fund at a cost of $150.00 per inch of replacement tree required.  If an ISA certified arborist confirms in a condition and risk assessment that the tree is dead, diseased, or dying then the tree is exempt from replacement requirements.