What do I need to do to cut or trim trees or shrubs in front of my sign?

The Michigan Department of Transportation accepts applications for vegetation removal or trimming anytime during the year.  Applying for a permit is a three-step process:

  • obtain a survey permit
  • a survey must be completed for each sign
  • apply for a billboard vegetation removal/trimming permit

The permit is necessary to trim or remove trees or shrubs located within the right-of-way. The right-of-way is all the land owned by the department for the purpose of highway construction, operation, and maintenance. It is always considerably wider than just the paved roadway and shoulders. A permit for vegetation management is not required for trees or shrubs located on private property. A permit is required to cut grass if the right-of-way is a fenced limited access facility.

If you are not sure whether the vegetation is located on private property or state property, you may contact the Michigan Department of Transportation Service Center (TSC) in your area.