Can I plant a tree in the city parkway?

With approval, yes. The City of East Lansing encourages homeowners to plant approved street trees in the parkway. A site visit will be conducted to ensure that the appropriate variety of tree is chosen, adequate space is available and no utility or infrastructure conflicts are present. Residents will be contacted, and if approved, a planting permit will be issued. There are two approaches for this work: 

DIY Planting: Property owners interested in planting a tree in the city parkway themselves must first submit a Street Tree Work application. The City will issue a permit following approval of the site and species selection, confirmation that the tree will not interfere with utilities and verification that it follows Right Tree, Right Place principles. Homeowners are not required to submit a separate Non-Utility Right-Of-Way Occupancy permit application if they are performing the work themselves with typical garden equipment (i.e. a shovel), but must have an approved Street Tree Work permit in hand prior to performing any planting, otherwise they are at risk of penalties and fines. If a property owner will be using machinery, augers or equipment other than shovels, a Right-of-Way Occupancy permit will also be required, though fees will be waived. Right-of-Way permits can be found here.

Contractor Planting: Property owners who wish to plant a tree in the public right-of-way using a landscape company, contractor, or other entity, must also apply for and receive a Street Tree Work permit as well as a Non-Utility Right-of-Way Occupancy permit. Fees for the Right-of-Way permit will be waived for approved street tree plantings, but it must be on file as the City will need the firm's proof of insurance on record. These permits also help our emergency responders know where roads may be closed or narrowed due to the presence of machinery. 

In both cases, the property owner agrees to water the trees during their establishment period at a rate of 1 inch per week per caliper of the tree for the growing season. Additional details are located in the City Tree Manual. It is also important to understand that any tree planted in the public right-of-way becomes the property of the City, which has full authority on maintenance and removal decisions.

Show All Answers

1. Do I need a permit to remove a tree on private property?
2. Can I perform work on the City street tree in front of my property?
3. Can I plant a tree in the city parkway?
4. I want the City to plant a tree in the parkway near my home.
5. Why doesn't the City allow maples to be planted along streets?