OUR PUBLIC TREES
Arlington's public trees are cared for by the Natural Resources Division of the Department of Public Works, under the direction of Tree Warden Tim Lecuivre. All trees within a public way or on its boundaries are deemed to be public trees and, as such, may not be cut, trimmed or removed by anyone other than the tree warden or his deputy. No healthy public tree may be removed without a public hearing, notice of which must be given at least seven days in advance. To contact the Tree Division, visit arlingtonma.gov.
Arlington has been a designated Tree City USA every year since 2005. Read more to learn how municipalities earn Tree City USA status.
Arbor Day is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth on the last Friday of April. Read more.
STREET TREE INVENTORY and TREE MANAGEMENT PLAN
In May of 2017, a grant of $15,000 was awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to Arlington to conduct an inventory of Arlington's street trees, to assess their condition, and to identify potential planting sites. The tree inventory data was collected by Arlington’s Tree Warden, two hired interns, the Arlington Tree Committee, and many Arlington residents who crowd-sourced data using Open Tree Map software. The results can be seen in the Public Tree Inventory Map.
The 2017 street tree inventory found:
Arlington has 8,734 public street trees and an additional 1,219 trees in locations including cemeteries, parks, the bike path, and school grounds.
The inventoried trees provide cumulative benefits from CO2 removed, storm water filtered, energy conserved, and air quality improved estimated at $758,320 per year.
The replacement value of the public trees inventoried is $43,000,000.
The inventory identified 6,401 potential public street planting sites.
Click on the image below to visit the interactive tree inventory map.
PROTECTING OUR TREES
STATE TREE LAWS
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 87 (Public Shade Tree Law) protects the unauthorized cutting, trimming, or removal of public shade trees without approval of the Town's Tree Warden.
For additional information on street tree pruning, see Pruning & Removal.
ARLINGTON TREE PRESERVATION BYLAW
In an effort to preserve the town tree canopy, Arlington passed Article 16 Tree Preservation Bylaw in 2016 and amended it at the 2018, 2019, and 2022 Town Meetings. Article 16 states that the removal of protected trees (healthy trees 6" DBH or greater within the setback) on private property (under applicable circumstances) is prohibited unless the removal is authorized by written approval of a Tree Plan, submitted to the Arlington tree warden.
You can also view the bylaw on the town’s website.