Public Shade Trees

Access Section 3: Cutting of public shade trees; public hearing; damages to fee owner.

Trees on public property, including along roads, are considered public shade trees and by law may not be removed or trimmed without permission from the Town. The Board of Public Works holds the authority to grant permission for the removal of public shade trees. The process for getting permission is outlined in the following:

  1. Call the Department of Public Works (DPW) office to request the tree be inspected. An engineer from the DPW office will determine if the tree is on private property or Town property.
  2. If the tree is deemed to be on Town property, a written request must be submitted to the DPW office with reason for requesting trimming or removal, along with a check for $250. (see attached form)
  3. A public hearing is required and approval is required before the tree can be removed. Pursuant to State law, a public hearing date is set by the DPW office. A notice of the hearing is required to be posted in a general publication/newspaper for at least 2 consecutive weeks (one day each week), and at least 2 or more public places in town (website and DPW information bulletin), and on the tree itself for at least 7 days prior to the hearing.
  4. At the public hearing any public comments are heard, along with a statement from the resident requesting the tree removal. The Board will then vote on the removal of said tree.

Scenic Road Trees

The List of Scenic Roads in Dartmouth (PDF) in the Town of Dartmouth is hereby designated Scenic Roads under the provisions of Section 15C, Chapter 40 of the General Laws. Any repair, maintenance, reconstruction, or paving work done with respect thereto shall not involve or include the cutting or removal of trees, or the tearing down or destruction of stone walls or portions thereof, except with the prior written consent of the Planning Board, after a public hearing duly advertised twice in the newspaper of general circulation in the area, as to time, date, place and purpose, the last publication to occur at least seven days prior to such hearing.

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