In order to protect Bloomfield Township’s woodland areas and the quality and character of the neighborhoods within our community, the Township has enacted a Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance.
Generally, the ordinance will apply to properties where new construction or redevelopment is planned or for any clear-cutting activity. It will not apply to currently developed properties where there is no proposed construction.
Tree Preservation Ordinance
Tree Preservation & Protection Permit Application and Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance?
An ordinance to safeguard trees on private and public property that is under development from unauthorized removal and to regulate such removal for the preservation of important physical, recreational and economical assets for both present and future generations and to provide penalties for violation thereof.
2. When is a Tree Preservation & Protection Permit required?
A tree permit is required for any person to clear-cut, remove, cause to be removed, transplant or destroy any protected tree or landmark tree on any property in Bloomfield Township that is undergoing new construction or redevelopment. In addition, a tree permit is required for any clear-cutting activity on any property in Bloomfield Township.
3. What is clear-cutting?
Clear cutting is the removal of a significant amount of trees and vegetation from an area such that the removal negatively affects the overall character of the lot.
4. Which trees are regulated/protected under the Ordinance?
Protected trees are eight (8) inches Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) or greater provided they are not classified as landmark trees. A Landmark Tree is any tree that is twenty-four (24) inches DBH or greater, as well as any tree with the botanical name and diameter identified in the Table under Section 42-2.86(I). Definitions of the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance.
5. If regulated trees are proposed to be removed, how is the replacement rate calculated?
Protected trees, other than landmark trees, must be replaced at a rate of 50% of the total DBH removed. Landmark trees must be replaced at a rate of 100% of the total DBH removed. Each protected/landmark tree(s) must be replaced with a tree that is a minimum of three (3) inch caliper or eight (8) feet in height for evergreens.
6. Where can I obtain a copy of the ordinance and an application for permit?
Permit Applications are available on the Township website click here. In addition, copies of the application are available at Planning, Building & Ordinance Department.
7. What other items are required to be submitted with the application for permit?
In addition to the completed application for permit, the applicant shall submit a tree survey performed by an arborist, as defined in the ordinance, and pay the application and permit fee as established by resolution of the Township Board.
8. How can I learn more?
Questions regarding application processing or completeness should be directed to: the Planning, Building & Ordinance Department at 248-433-7715 or the Engineering and Environmental Services Department at 248-594-2800.
9. Do I have to replace a sick or dead tree for a property under development?
Determination of the health/condition of the tree for a tree permit is determined by utilizing the Tree Health/Condition Scoring contained in the ordinance Section 42-5.14.4. The health/condition of the tree shall be determined by an arborist or other qualified professional, utilizing the Tree Health/Condition Scoring in the ordinance. Any tree with a score of nine or less could be eligible as non-protected. Any tree with a score of 10 or greater qualifies as a protected tree, and requires replacement.
10. Do I need a Tree Preservation & Protection Permit for routine yard maintenance?
No. Owners of legal lots of record can perform routine yard maintenance and/or alteration to their property as long as the property is not subject to site plan review and/or approval for a building permit. However, under no condition can a property owner clear cut a property.
11. I have a dead tree in my yard; do I need a tree permit to remove it?
No. A tree permit is not required for removal or trimming of dead, diseased or damaged trees for a property that is not subject to a site plan review and/or approval for a building permit.
12. Do utility companies need to obtain a Tree Preservation & Protection permit for tree trimming and maintenance of utility lines?
A tree permit is not required for the trimming or cutting of trees associated with the repair or maintenance work performed by public utilities. In fact, DTE Energy has established a process in Bloomfield Township to notify and work with property owners affected by their tree trimming program. More information on this notification process with DTE can be found on the Township website at the following location:
DTE ENERGY TREE PROGRAM
13. Can I cut down a tree if it is located in a wetland or Natural Feature Setback?
Trees in wetlands or the natural feature setback can be cut down as long as hand removal methods are used (no mechanical equipment), the soils are not disturbed, and the roots and stump are left in place.
Updated September 6, 2017
For more information regarding the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance please contact the Planning, Building & Ordinance Department at 248-433-7715 or the Engineering and Environmental Services Department at 248-594-2800.
Arbor Day Foundation – Benefits of Trees
USDA – The Effects of Urban Trees on Air Quality