Weston’s Trees – Whom to Consult When You have a Question or Concern
In Weston, the rules governing trees depend on who owns the tree and where it is located. A patchwork of state and local rules, laws, and regulations can affect one’s ability to remove a tree or trim its branches. Know before you cut. Here are a few tips to get started.
Determining Tree Ownership
Example: An arborist has told me the tree at the end of my driveway by the sidewalk should probably be removed. Is it my tree? Can I remove it? Whom should I consult to be sure?
According to the Weston Tree Warden, Tom Cullen, the first stop for questions regarding tree ownership is the Town’s GIS Map.
Input your address:
Select the Town-Owned Tree layer:
See if the tree in question belongs to the town:
Note that the GIS map will not help you settle questions of ownership for trees along your property lines with your neighbors. For those, you may want to have a surveyor stake out the property lines.
I Have a Concern/Question about a Town-Owned Tree or Tree on Town-Owned Land
Example: I have a concern about a tree on my street (or in the cemetery, at the high school, on Alphabet Field, etc.).
For trees along the street contact the Tree Warden. If the tree is abutting your property, please mark the tree with a ribbon or other non-permanent device so that when DPW comes to assess it, they know exactly which tree you have concerns about.
Tree Warden - Tom Cullen
For tree questions on specific parcels that are under the care, custody, and control of various Departments (i.e., DPW, Parks and Cemeteries, Facilities, Schools, Library, etc.) contact the Department Head of those parcels.
Example: Branches from a town-owned tree are overhanging my property and interfering with my property/plantings. Should I consult someone before trimming them back?
The Tree Warden recommends contacting him before cutting or trimming any town-owned tree or tree in the public right of way.
Example: Whom should I contact about a tree that has fallen across one of the town trails on conservation land?
Send an email to WestonForestTrail@gmail.com. Please note the precise location of the fallen tree or branch and include a picture if possible.
Please note that additional rules may apply to trees in specific locations in Weston, such as Scenic Roads.
See Massachusetts General Laws for additional information on trees and tree maintenance, both public and private.
I Have a Concern/Question about a Tree on My Property
Example: I want to take down some trees in my backyard. Is that OK?
Maybe or maybe not. If you are cutting trees and the area is greater than 5,000 square feet or 20% of the lot, whichever is less, you will need a stormwater permit. You can find more Information on Weston's Stormwater By-law and stormwater management on this website.
If the tree in question is in an area under the jurisdiction of the Weston Conservation Commission, landowners must get permission from the Commission before undertaking work of any kind. If you are unsure if wetlands exist near your property, contact the Conservation Commission at (781) 786-5060 or Conservation@WestonMA.gov to see how the wetland regulations might apply to your project. See also, the Conservation Commission’s Tree Removal Policy for Landowners (PDF).