Manchester Tree Policy
Tree Pruning and Removal Form
LATEST NEWS: The Town's Tree Inventory is now available on the GIS system: CLICK HERE
Removing and pruning of Town trees is the responsibility of the Department of Public Works. This work is usually completed in the winter months. Fallen trees and branches that block roadways and impede access for emergency vehicles will be removed (Town trees) or pushed aside as a courtesy if blocking road access for emergency vehicles (if a resident's tree or tree limb falls onto Town land) the resident is then responsible for removal of their tree. The Town enforces Chapter 87 of General Laws of Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Tree Ordinance.
If a resident is not sure whether a tree is public or private, please start by using the link above to access the GIS system and the Tree Inventory layer. If still unclear, please contact Ruth Fitzgerald at email@example.com.
Once it has been established that it is a Town, Public Shade or Heritage tree tree (they are a few exceptions even on the tree inventory that the Tree Warden will determine) if the resident is requesting a removal, the resident should put their request in writing to the Board of Selectmen's office (please use form above). The tree will then be put onto a tree list to be discussed at a public hearing at a publicized meeting held by the Board of Selectmen.
The hearing notice will be published in The Manchester Cricket, and the tree will be posted with the date, time and location of the public hearing. Testimony will be taken from the Tree Warden, DPW personnel, and interested citizens on whether the tree should be removed. The Board of Selectmen then vote on whether or not to remove the tree. The DPW has a tree budget and any emergency removals, then approved removals take priority over pruning and stump removals.
Any resident who has concerns about overhanging limbs of Town Trees should contact the DPW office at the email address above or at this number (978-526-1242). If a Town tree's limbs are obstructing a public footpath, pavement or roadway, the Town will undertake the pruning either through the DPW or the Town's contracted tree service professional. The DPW’s first priority is to address any public safety issues resulting from overhanging, dead or diseased limbs. However, the Town Tree Warden may be available through the DPW to consult with residents on pruning any limbs that cross the vertical line of their property boundaries. Such consultation would be aimed at improving the tree’s form relative to the resident’s property as well as improving the tree’s viability. Please notify the DPW before pruning a Town tree and employ a tree professional. Be aware that any pruning that badly damages a tree will cause the resident to be responsible for its replacement.