Forestry Division

Powers of the Tree Warden:

Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 87 is the most important law governing public shade trees.  It outlines the powers of the Tree Warden, procedures for removing shade trees, procedures for planting public trees, and penalties for violating provisions of the law. Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 40, Section 15C augments Chapter 87 with additional requirements concerning the removal of trees on Scenic Roads.  Key elements of Chapter 87:

  • All trees within the public way are defined as public shade trees.
  • The Tree Warden is responsible for the care, control, protection and maintenance of all public shade trees, except those within a state highway, and shall enforce all the provisions of law for the preservation of such trees.
  • No other person may plant, trim, cut or remove a public shade tree without permission of the Tree Warden.
  • No person, including the Tree Warden, may cut, trim or remove any tree, greater than one and one half inches in diameter, without a public hearing.

Swampscott is a current Tree City USA member!

Staff Contacts

Name Title
Gino A. Cresta Jr. Director of Public Works
Gene Gardner Tree Warden