Tree Management

Tree Protection and Enhancement

The NRC, which acts as the Town's Tree Wardens in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, manages a public shade tree management program that preserves and protects more than 3,000 Town-owned trees for the enjoyment of the public and the enhancement of Wellesley's environment. Routine maintenance is conducted on a four-year cycle to provide adequate safety pruning to all of these trees.

Tree Preservation Bylaw

In 2011, Wellesley Town Meeting passed the Tree Preservation and Protection bylaw to encourage the protection of large trees on private property where houses are being demolished or developed. Please see Section XVIE: Tree Protection & Preservation of the Wellesley Zoning bylaws, or read this brief summary 

Public Shade Tree Replacement Program

Public shade trees beautify our town and improve the environment in our community. 
Tree planting:
  • Adds Beauty
  • Buffers Weather Changes
  • Helps Prevent Climate Change Through Carbon Absorption
  • Improves Air Quality
  • Inspires Tranquility
  • Maintains Wellesley's Property Values and Quality of Life
  • Reduces Erosion
  • Reduces Sound and Glare
  • Replenishes Groundwater
  • Screens Unsightly Areas
  • Separates Incompatible Uses
At Town Meeting this year, $40,000 was appropriated for new tree plantings throughout Town and for shade tree replacement of trees lost due to age, disease, storms and road reconstruction projects.

Request a Tree for Your Yard 

Through the Town's tree planting program, homeowners may request to have shade trees planted on your property. An inspection is performed for each tree request to determine that the site meets the following requirements:
  • The site is within 20 feet of the public way.
  • The site demonstrates a need for a tree due to a lack of trees and shade canopy.
  • The site will support the listed trees.
  • The homeowner agrees to properly water and care for the tree after planting.

Public Shade Tree Removal Hearings & Appeals

Only when a public shade tree is severely diseased, is in substantial decline, or threatens public safety does the NRC and the Department of Public Works (DPW) propose to remove a tree, and then only after a Public Hearing that gives residents an opportunity to voice their concerns and opinions about the proposed tree removal. Wellesley has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for more than 30 years, honoring the Town's commitment to community forestry. Wellesley has held the designation for the longest period of any city or town in New England.

Contact Information & Additional Resources

Contact the NRC for more information about the tree program or to request a tree in your lawn by calling 781-431-1019, ext. 2294 or email us.

For more information, visit the Wellesley Department of Public Works Park and Tree Division Website.