What is a Tree Warden? (See also Tree and Limb Removal)

The tree warden is in charge of shade trees on public town lands with the legal responsibility to guard public resources against destructive forces that might include persons, insects, or diseases, and enact preventive safety measures from.

Tree Fallen on carThe Tree Warden is responsible for trees on public property, as mandated by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41 Section 1 and Section 106.

A tree warden oversees the care, maintenance, or removal of all public shade trees. As both manager and advocate, the tree warden must protect the trees and, where necessary, protect the public from the trees.

The scope of the job is broad and includes responsibility for all community trees - on streets and town commons as well as in parks, schoolyards and town forests. The position of tree warden requires qualified training in arboriculture, the science of tree care. A tree warden should also have good communication skills for dealing with the public, municipal department heads, and local politicians.

The job may be physically challenging as well. On a day-to-day basis, a tree warden must plan, organize, control, and be accountable for all authorized activities in the public community forest, including

  • Infestation of Gypsy MothsPruning of trees for safety and health
  • Removal of trees that are dead or dying
  • (from storms, insects, disease or old age)
  • ldentification of appropriate planting sites
  • Planting new trees
  • Creation or updating of a tree inventory, often on computer
  • Assessment of trees for potential hazards to public safety
  • Oversight of utility arboricultural operations
  • Preparation of budget presentations
  • Supervision of town tree workers
  • Creation of bid proposals for contract tree work
  • Inspection of contracted tree work
  • Conduct of public hearings and tree hearings
  • Writing of grant proposals