Tree Removal Process

Tree Removal Administrative Approval Application
Property owners often approach the Commission for approval to remove trees in a Wetland Resource Area or Buffer Zones on their lot because they either pose a safety threat, or interfere substantially with the landowner’s use of property. Therefore, the Conservation Commission developed a Tree Removal Policy which can be found on the website.  

The Commission has jurisdiction over the following areas (Jurisdictional Areas):
  • Wetland Resource Areas, defined as 100-year flood zones, wetlands, streams, ponds, and marshes
  • Riverfront Areas (land within 200 feet of a perennial stream)
  • Buffer Zones - Land within 100 feet of a Wetland Resource Area. A strict standard of review applies to the area within 25-feet of a Wetland Resource Area (the No Disturb Zone, or NDZ).
Landowners must obtain prior permission from the Commission before work of any kind (e.g., tree or brush removal or trimming, vegetation removal or cutting, lawn expansion, soil grading, and construction) is conducted in a Jurisdictional Area. Wetland Resource Areas and Riverfront Areas may sometimes appear to be dry and thus difficult to identify, so all landowners are encouraged to contact the Conservation Office at 781-786-5068 to discuss any proposed work. 

Application Process
Landowners should print out the following application form and submit it to the Conservation office for review and approval
Review and Approval Process 
Conservation Administrator Administrative Approval 
The Conservation Administrator may administratively approve the following for trees of any size if no lawn expansion is proposed:
  1. Within the NDZ or Wetland Resource Area: Up to 5 trees; and 
  2. Outside the NDZ: Up to 15 trees that are within Riverfront Area or the 100-foot buffer zone.
Commission Administrative Approval  
The Commission may administratively approve the following, if no lawn expansion is proposed:
  1. Within the NDZ or Wetland Resource Area: 6-10 trees; and 
  2. Outside the NDZ: 16-25 trees that are within Riverfront Area or the 100-foot buffer zone.
Formal Commission Approval 
The Conservation Commission may permit the following, provided that the owner has filed a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) or a Notice of Intent (NOI) as appropriate (see the Commission website for further information about the permitting process):
  1. Any trees in a Jurisdictional Area proposed for lawn expansion;
  2. Any trees that cannot be administratively approved under IV.A. or B. above.