Detroit launches Dead, Dangerous, and Diseased Tree Program; new initiative to help residents clean up trees in neighborhoods across the City
The City of Detroit today announced the launch of the Dead, Dangerous, and Diseased Tree program, which will allow residents to report trees on their private property they feel need to be trimmed or removed. If the trees qualify, they will be trimmed or removed, with no charge to the resident. The program will be funded with up to $8.3 million, $5 million from the FY 22-23 budget surplus and an additional $3.3 million allocated in the FY 23-24 budget, both approved by City Council.
While the City has always been responsible for maintaining the trees between the sidewalk and streets, some residents require financial help to handle the dead, damaged, or diseased trees on their private property.
“As Detroit's tax base continues to recover thanks to our ongoing job growth, we are always going to look for opportunities to add new services that are impactful for Detroiters who stayed,” explained Mayor Mike Duggan. “This program will help give some of our most vulnerable residents peace of mind and I'm grateful to Council President Pro Tem Tate for his leadership."
Officials say the safety of residents was the city's first consideration when creating the new program.
"We have experienced a lot of extreme weather recently and falling trees have caused power outages and severe damage to public and private property, which could potentially cause physical harm to our residents," explained Jerrell Harris, Deputy Director of the General Services Department. "Our goal is to work with as many residents as possible to help keep them safe while also relieving them of what could be a financial burden."
“Many underestimate the impact trees have on homeowners' peace of mind. Look around Detroit and there are trees, some as old as the city,” said Detroit City Council President Pro Tem James Tate. "Unfortunately, many have roots and limbs wreaking havoc. Heavy rain and wind pound the weakened trees and dead branches end up on people’s cars and roofs, making an already expensive and dangerous problem worse as the years go by.”
How will the program work:
If a resident believes they have a dead, dangerous, or diseased tree on their private property, they can go to the Department of Neighborhoods website and submit a request. After the request is processed, a tree inspector will evaluate the tree to see if it is indeed dead, dangerous, or diseased. If it qualifies, the city will schedule a contractor to come out and do the trimming or removal. We expect to begin the actual trimming/removal this summer.
“This program will prioritize the most vulnerable Detroiters – our seniors, differently abled, and low income households – but all should apply," Pro Tem Tate added. "My colleagues joined me in adding additional funds for this program when we approved the city FY23-24 budget. This is an $8.3 million program, and we want to help as many Detroiters as a possible."
"Our priority is to focus on the health and safety of our residents, and we will address the most dangerous trees first - while also prioritizing our senior and disabled residents," Harris emphasized.