Can I cut or trim a Town of Amherst’s Public Shade Tree?
No, Massachusetts General Law prohibits property owners from cutting public shade trees. Chapter 87 Sec. 3 states "Public shade trees shall not be cut, trimmed or removed, in whole or in part, by any person other than the tree warden or his deputy, even if he be the owner of the fee in the land on which such tree is situated, except upon a permit in writing from said tree warden."
How do I know if a tree is a town-owned public shade tree or on private property? Please contact the Amherst Tree Warden or call the Department of Public Works at (413) 259-3050. Or, Visit the Amherst Public GIS Viewer and enter the address of the tree in question.
Can I cut or trim the limb(s) of my neighbor's tree? If the tree is clearly interfering or crossing over into your property, than you may trim it only directly to the boundary line. Trimming must not damage the tree and you cannot cut down the entire tree. It is highly recommended that you discuss this with the neighbor before you proceed to trim, otherwise it may become a legal issue.
What are the penalties for cutting down a public shade tree? M.G.L. Chapter 87, Section 10 states "Whoever without authority trims, cuts down or removes a tree, shrub or growth, within a state highway or maliciously injures, defaces or destroys any such tree, shrub or growth shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of not more than 5 hundred dollars to the use of the commonwealth."
If a tree limb seems to be weak or may have the potential of falling down, what should I do? Contact the Tree Warden Email
If the roots of a tree are interfering with the sidewalk or lifting the concrete or asphalt, who should I contact? Contact the Department of Public Works Email
Can I donate a tree to be planted on Town land? Yes, contact the Tree Warden Email Ph: 413-259-3050
Can I donate money to plant new Town trees? Yes, contact the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee. Henry Lappen's Email
How can I get a tree planted? Contact the Tree Warden. Email
What is the procedure of getting permission to remove a public shade tree? Contact the Tree Warden. by calling 413-259-3050. He will meet with you or the property owner to evaluate the tree and evaluate the impacts of the removal. If a public tree hearing is required, it will be scheduled with the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee to review the request. The policy of the tree warden for removal of healthy public shade trees requires an inch per inch replacement value based on $90 per inch Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) of tree removed.
What do I do if I have reason to believe that a public shade tree is diseased or damaged? Contact the Tree Warden. Email
Where can public shade trees be planted? Are there restriction?
The Tree Warden is responsible for the sighting and planting of public shade trees within the public right of way. With permission from the property owner, a town tree may also be planted on private property within 20 feet of the right of way.