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Urban Forestry Program

The 37,500 trees lining Novi’s streets and populating the parks are one of our most cherished public assets. The maintenance of this invaluable resource is performed by the City of Novi Forestry Division. The Forestry Division is part of the Novi Department of Public Works and includes the Forestry Asset Manager, who is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. Contracted professional tree crews plant, prune, and remove street and park trees. The Forestry Asset Manager oversees the contracted tree crews, enforces the City's Woodland Protection ordinance, assesses the health of city trees, and responds to citizen tree concerns. Novi is entering its 25th year as a designated Tree City USA community, due in part to our successful Urban Forestry Program. The basic objectives of the Urban Forestry Program include:

Novi Urban Forestry Program Objectives

  • Remove dead and hazardous public trees.

  • Prevent unsafe conditions relating to tree growth

  • Trim trees for clearance of streetlights, traffic signals and signs, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as building clearance.

  • Plant trees on newly developed public properties and parks through replacement and/or new planting program.

  • Provide public information regarding the care of trees to concerned citizens.

  • Update existing tree inventory.

  • Ensure species diversity.

  • Implement recommendations in Urban Forestry Management Plan.


Forestry Services

Tree Maintenance

Tree PruningThe City of Novi has established a tree maintenance program, which consists of the care, improvement, and, if needed, removal of trees on the public property. The goal is to prune each street tree once every five to seven years. Qualified personnel perform this work, directed by the ISA Certified Arborist Forestry Asset Manager. There is no charge to the adjacent property owner. Since trees are living and growing organisms, clearance problems may occur between pruning cycles. Individual requests can be made by the property owner, then inspected by forestry staff and scheduled for pruning.

Street Tree Planting

Trees provide many benefits to our community. They shade our homes during the hot summer months and help keep our houses warm in the winter, provide screening protection, slow down harsh winds, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and create natural air filters. Studies have also shown that street trees increase real estate value. Property owners may request a street tree to be planted one time only by the City at no cost or plant a tree themselves by obtaining a Street Tree Permit, free of charge, from the Forestry Division. The Forestry Asset Manager will conduct an on-site inspection to determine where the trees can placed, recommend species for the site, as well as issue the permit.

Volunteer Opportunities

Arbor Day CelebrationArbor Day

Arbor Day is held annually on the last Saturday in April. Volunteers help with planting trees and other park beautification activities.

River Day

River Day is held at Rotary Park on the First Saturday in June. Volunteers help clean the river, pick up debris, and assist in other park beautification activities.

For more information or to volunteer, please call the Novi Department of Public Works office at 248-735-5640, or visit the Volunteer NOVI page.

Commemorative Tree Program

The commemorative tree program is a meaningful and distinctive way to pay tribute to a deceased loved one, to honor someone you love or respect, say thanks to a person or group, or commemorate life events. A tree is a living, lasting gift that will grow in size and beauty each year and will be a constant remembrance of the reason it was given. For more information, please call 248-347-0400.  Read more about this program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Mark graphicQ. Which trees in my neighborhood are maintained by the Forestry Division?

Generally speaking, those trees which are in the "street right of way" or between the street and the sidewalk are maintained by the City. This may include trees which you have purchased and planted yourself. Trees, shrubs, and other vegetation on private property are not the responsibility of the City. This vegetation is the responsibility of the property owner.

Q. Can I hire someone to work on a City owned tree or can I trim it myself?

It is a possibility, but only if you get a permit first. The permit is free; apply for one by calling the Forestry Asset Manager at 248-735-5640. The Forestry Asset Manager will inspect the tree and may meet with your contractor to be sure the work is done in a way that doesn’t harm the tree. The City will not permit topping a tree or cutting its limbs back to bare stubs. It is a violation of City ordinance to perform or have any work performed on a city owned tree without a Street Tree Work Permit.

Q. Can I plant a tree myself in the street right of way?

Yes, with the written consent of the Forestry Asset Manager who can be reached at 248-735-5640. You will be provided a list of the tree species that are suitable and permitted.

Q. What if I have an emergency with the street tree at my address?

If you have an emergency situation regarding a street tree at your address, please call 248-735-5640 during business hours or the City Police Department at 248-756-3129. Emergency calls are answered promptly.

Q. What does "Tree City USA" mean?

Tree City USA is greening communities across the country. This program is a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve care of these vital city trees. The City of Novi has held the distinct honor of being a Tree City USA for over two decades. To become a Tree City USA, your department must meet four standards:

  1. You must have a Tree Board or Department,

  2. A tree care ordinance,

  3. A Community Forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and

  4. An Arbor Day observation program and proclamation.

This certification is from the Arbor Day Foundation. Click here to learn more about the Tree City USA Program.