Tree Warden

Tree Warden Responsibilities

  • Conducts frequent hazardous tree assessments
  • Plans tree plantings
  • Prescribes treatments
  • Oversees removals and trimming
  • Participates in public hearings on issues related to trees as needed
  • Routinely responds to citizen inquiries and requests for service

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 87, Section 3 (Public Shade Tree Law) defines all trees within a public way or on the boundaries thereto as public shade trees. If it is doubtful whether the tree is within the public way, it shall be taken to be within the public way until the contrary is shown. Public shade trees cannot be cut, trimmed or removed without a prior written permit from the Tree Warden after a Public Hearing duly advertised.

The procedure for securing a permit to cut, trim or remove a public shade tree is as follows:

A written request is made to the Tree Warden to remove a public shade tree by sending a letter to the Department of Public Works, 131 Oak St, Westborough, MA 01581

The Tree Warden will perform a site visit to inspect the tree(s) and resident concerns. He will determine if a hearing is warranted and will schedule a public hearing if necessary.

Notice of the public hearing is given by the Tree Warden, identifying size, type and location of the shade tree or trees to be cut down or removed. The notice shall be posted in two or more public places in the town and upon the tree at least seven days before such hearing and published in a newspaper of general circulation in the town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than seven days before the hearing.

Upon completion of the public hearing, the Tree Warden issues a finding for the removal of the tree or trees.

If written objection is made by one or more persons to the Tree Warden at or before the public hearing, a permit to cut or remove cannot be issued unless approved by the Select Board.