Forestry

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Overview 

By working with citizens and local agencies, we plan, plant, and maintain Grand Rapids' estimated 62,000 street trees and 20,000 park trees. 

Here's what we do:

  • Maintain and enhance the health and value of each tree
  • Remove unfit trees for public safety and health of the urban forest
  • Clear traffic signs, signals, street lights, and visibility obstructions
  • Maintain road clearances
  • Plan, plant, and maintain new trees through a proactive tree planting program
  • Treat over 1,400 ash trees to protect against Emerald Ash Borer
  • Provide 24-hour emergency response services for tree-related emergencies
  • Review plans, advise, and inspect development projects
  • Coordinate tree preservation, maintenance, and removal projects with local companies
  • Respond to forestry-related public questions and concerns
  • Diagnose tree problems and prescribe corrective/risk reduction actions
  • Promote and support tree planting to increase canopy potential through partnerships

We're addressing all trees identified as Priority 1 for removal or pruning. Our goal is to increase public safety and reduce long-term maintenance costs. Click below to learn more.

Priority I Forestry Initiative

In 2011, we set out to reach a 40% tree canopy goal in Grand Rapids. By filling all available planting sites on City streets, we've raised our tree canopy coverage to 34%.

To reach our goal of 40%, new trees will need to be planted on private property and in our parks. To make that happen, we partnered with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to launch the Urban Forest Project. Click below to learn more.

Visit the Urban Forest Project website

Beautify your neighborhood and help our urban canopy grow by caring for your street tree! View our guide below.

Caring for your street tree

Free Woodchips

Free woodchips are available to Grand Rapids residents at the City's yard waste drop off site. They're available from the first Monday in April through the second Saturday in December. Pick-up hours are 9:00 am to 4:45 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Tree Tours

Explore the trees in your neighborhood parks! These self-guided tree tours have identification tips and interesting facts about trees you see every day.

Cherry Park Tree Tour

Riverside Park Tree Tour

The following documents cover the current status of our urban forests as well as future goals in establishing an even more robust urban environment.