Tree Warden

A Tree Warden is a person who cares for the shade trees in public and Townlands such as parks, town commons, public streets, schools, and town forests.

Since the late 1890s, according to our General Laws, all cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must have a Tree Warden to care for trees on public property.

Some of the duties of a Tree Warden include but are not limited to:

  • Pruning trees on streets and parks
  • Removing dead or dying trees (from storms, insects, disease, or old age)
  • Sighting locations and planting new trees
  • Conduct street tree inventories and hazard tree assessments

They evaluate trees and provide preventive tree maintenance programs and hazardous tree removal. They are responsible for oversight of utility arboriculture operations, running public meetings, and even outside contractors. Warden must ensure public safety and the safety of town tree workers.

One of the most satisfying tasks of the Tree Warden's job happens on Arbor Day, usually the last Friday of April in Massachusetts. Tree Wardens coordinate and implement Arbor Day observances, providing field-related educational services to School Departments and the general public. Tree Wardens also conduct continuing research in forest management and actively correspond and meet with other municipal officials and associations related to their field of work.