Trees in Ferguson Township

Ferguson Township has a formal shade tree maintenance program in place to help ensure healthy and vibrant trees in our neighborhoods. Included in the program are trees within the Township right-of-way — mostly in newer subdivisions — typically located in the grass area between the street and the sidewalk. The maintenance program involves maintaining an inventory of the trees, performing routine pruning, and replacing trees that have died.

The current Tree Ordinance and Resolutions were also adopted in 2020. These documents give the Tree Commission and Public Works Department has the authority to manage street trees, approve the list of street tree species that can be planted, and to regulate other arbor work. These documents may be viewed at the links below:

Amendment to Tree Ordinance

At its Regular Meeting on October 17, 2016, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 25 Trees, Section 5, regarding hazardous and nuisance trees. The amendment states that the Board of Supervisors will authorize the Township Public Works Director to take immediate action to abate the spread of Oak Wilt disease when any private trees — within the regional growth boundary and outside the regional growth boundary in zoning districts R1 and RR — are infected. 

In addition, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to establish a program to mitigate Oak Wilt infestation and a process for educating residents about preventing its spread.

During their Regular Meeting on January 18, 2021, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinance to establish a new section regarding Heritage and Significant Trees. This ordinance allows residents to nominate trees in Ferguson Township to become a "Significant" or "Heritage" tree and protects them for years to come, learn more here.

Tours of Trees in the Township

Educational Resources
Tree Trimming

The pruning of street trees is performed by the Township Arborist or by contract under the Township Arborist's supervision. Neighborhoods within the Township are pruned on a rotation to help ensure all trees receive pruning at the proper interval. Pruning includes crown cleaning, crown thinning, structural pruning, and crown raising.

If you have a pruning request, contact the Township Arborist at or (814) 238-4651.

Tree Removal

In the fall, the Township typically removes approximately 100 trees that have died from various causes, such as girdling around the base of the tree by lawn mowers and trimmers, disease, or mulch beds too deep and touching the tree base. Extra care should be exercised when working around trees to avoid damaging the bark near the base of the tree. Mulch beds around the base of the tree reduce the damage from lawn mowers and trimmers. All street tree removals are proposed by the Township Arborist and approved at a Public Hearing held by the Tree Commission.

If you have a street tree in front of your property that is dead or unhealthy, please contact the Township Arborist at or (814) 238-4651 to add your location to the replacement list.

Tree Planting

A majority of new street trees are planted by developers at their cost when constructing new subdivisions. Once installed, these trees become the property of and are maintained by the Township.

The Township also has a street tree planting program. Typically, all trees removed by the Township the previous year are replaced the following spring either by the Public Works Department, or by contract under the supervision of the Township Arborist. The Township does plant street trees in locations where no trees were originally located subject to available funding and available planting locations.

If you would like to request a new street tree planting you should contact the Township Arborist at or (814) 238-4651.

Tree Canopy Survey

In 2020, Ferguson Township completed its first ever Tree Canopy Survey taken by the Township's consultant, SavATree. The survey used both aerial imagery and 3-D laser scanning data to capture the percentage of land cover in the Township that is covered by tree canopy: the layer of leaves, branches, and stems that provide tree coverage of the ground when viewed from above. When integrated with other data, such as land use or demographic variables, this assessment can provide vital information to help governments and residents chart a greener future. The survey assessed the tree canopy for Ferguson from 2009 to 2019.

Municipal Tree Work Application

An application is available for contractors and homeowners who want to perform work on a public street tree. This work requires permission from the Ferguson Township Public Works Director and is prohibited without the Director's approval. To apply for a tree work permit, please complete the Municipal Tree Work Application.

The Township’s permit process provides for the following:

  • keeps the Township informed about who is working on our trees
  • ensures the work is done to established arbor care standards and by competent professionals
  • allows the Township to inspect the work
  • ensures that the individuals or contractors performing this work are covered by insurance, and
  • names the Township as additional insured.

Examples of work that requires a permit include:

  • trimming tree branches
  • applying herbicide under the drip line of a street tree
  • edging and installing mulch beds under a street tree
  • excavating under the drip line of a street tree, including cutting tree roots for any purpose such as installing sidewalk, driveways, curb, conduit, utilities, and planting new trees.