Michigan Senate approves limits on local tree-cutting regulations

The Michigan Senate has voted to restrict municipalities’ ability to regulate the removal or trimming of trees on private property.

Under a Republican-sponsored bill approved 23-15 on Thursday, local governments could still have rules protecting “heritage” trees — trees that are at least a certain height and are not diseased, dying or otherwise a safety threat.

The legislation was passed largely along party lines in the GOP-led chamber and will be considered next by the Republican-controlled House. It would apply for vegetation on agricultural, business, commercial or industrial property.

Municipalities could not prohibit or require pre-approval for the trimming, felling or removal of vegetation, except for heritage trees. They also could not impose fees or fines or require landowners to plant replacement trees.