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Tree roots are opportunistic, meaning that they can find and grow into existing cracks in sewer pipe; they do not create these cracks. The majority of the homes in Madison Heights were built in or prior to the mid-1950s, approaching 70 years ago! A cracked sewer line is a function of its age, not the tree above. Additionally, the City has selected varieties of trees that do better in an urban environment than the silver maples and sycamores planted by developers at the time, with less root travel, and a smaller footprint.
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As part of this program, DPS is asking our residents to help us care for these trees by watering them at least three times per week as needed. A "gatorbag" will be provided with the tree, simply fill the bag every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the first growing season. Please note that this is not necessary when it is raining heavily.
As defined in the City Code of Ordinances, Section II, Chapter 27, Article III “Trees, Shrubs, and Plants”, The department of public services (DPS) shall have complete charge and control over all trees, shrubs and plants, planted or to be planted, in the public ways of the city including the authority to plant, cut, trim and remove such trees, shrubs or plants.
The majority of new trees do become established and thrive. Sometimes, despite doing everything right, a tree will decline and die. DPS has a warranty on all new trees planted through our nursery. If the tree does die, it will be replaced through this warranty mechanism.
The construction tree replacement program is a relatively new process. We plan for construction replacements by requesting an extra deep stump grinding during removal, which is a considerable expense. Normal tree removals leave the stump roughly three inches below the grass, which is insufficient to plant a new tree. A waiting period of 3-5 years will be necessary to allow the stump to adequately decompose.
The City provides a list of recommended ROW trees. These trees have been proven to do well in an urban environment. We also request that you select your first, second, and third choice, in the rare event that the nursery does not have your first selection available.
The tree will be planted in the late fall, allowing it to go dormant over the winter. Although a tree can be planted any time of year, it is much easier for the tree to become established in the spring.
It is the established standard of the City of Madison Heights to not remove healthy trees. If you believe the tree is in decline, please click here to fill out a request a tree inspection.