The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission is gathering information on the town’s current Tree Preservation and Protection bylaw in response to concerns raised by residents about the many trees removed on private property in recent years. As the official Tree Warden for the town, the NRC is responsible for protecting and enhancing the urban tree canopy on all town-owned land, in accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 87.
The NRC is asking residents to complete a brief online survey to give feedback. The survey is also on the NRC website. Residents are asked to respond by Friday, February 2, 2018.
Wellesley has more than 3,000 public shade trees that beautify our town and benefit our community. These trees are managed by the NRC in partnership with the Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) through a regular maintenance and planting program. Wellesley has been named a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation for 34 consecutive years, the longest-running designation in the northeast. 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. However, the effectiveness of this bylaw was questioned by residents at Annual Town Meeting last spring during discussions surrounding Wellesley’s Demolition Review bylaw prompting the NRC and the Wellesley Planning Board to review the existing tree bylaw.