Royal Oak to begin planting trees for canopy recovery program

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published September 8, 2022

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ROYAL OAK — In October, the city of Royal Oak will begin a fall tree-planting program along residential easements and in city parks in an effort to restore the tree canopy.

On Aug. 8, the Royal Oak City Commission unanimously approved a request to purchase street trees and associated planting labor from Canton-based Crimboli Nursery and Landscaping in an amount not to exceed $257,600.

The City Commission approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the program, and it also qualifies for a $50,000 community health and resilience grant from the U.S. Forest Service.

Crimboli Nursery and Landscaping was one of two bidders who responded to a request for qualifications. The other bidder was Marine City Nursery Co., of China Township, Michigan.

“Staff recommends purchasing trees for this year’s program through Crimboli Nursery due to its lower per unit prices, adequate quantities of trees, as well as the department of public services’ previous satisfactory experience with the vendor,” according to a city memo.

Royal Oak Director of Public Service and Recreation Aaron Filipski said the purchase includes 800 trees — 100 each of zelkova, swamp white oak, red oak, red maple, sugar maple, American elm, hybrid elm and London plane tree.

Approximately 725 trees will be planted as part of the neighborhood tree restoration program and the rest will be planted in parks. According to the city memo, nearly 700 residents requested a tree as of the end of July, and staff is in the process of reviewing and confirming the locations.

Planting will begin in early- to mid-October and be completed by November, according to the city.

Filipski said the intention is to create more shade by the splash pad at Normandy Oaks Park, add more trees to create a driveway in the south end of the park, and create a tree canopy in the adjacent Robertson Homes development.

“It is critical that the city proactively and aggressively plant trees in neighborhoods now to ensure that residents enjoy the shade, beauty, and countless other benefits of trees well into the future,” Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said in a prepared statement. “Beautiful tree-lined streets 20 years from now require the city to make these substantial investments, and we need residents to help!”

Residents can sign up now to be included in a spring tree-planting program.

“We’re going to be able to take the infrastructure that we have set up to facilitate this program and be able to easily apply that in the spring,” Filipski said. “We had a lot of support very quickly, and so the program is popular. We look forward to getting these trees in the ground. I’m really proud of the residents for their enthusiasm.”

For more information or sign up, visit or call the Royal Oak Department of Public Service at (248) 246-3300.