City Council Passes Amended Tree Protection Ordinance

Spring trees

On Monday, June 28th, The Cambridge City Council passed an amendment to the Tree Protection Ordinance changing diameter and mitigation guidelines under the current ordinance. 

For any Significant Tree removal, a permit is required from the City Arborist and subject to rules and regulations under City of Cambridge’s Tree Protection Ordinance, Title 8, Chapter 8.66, of the City’s Municipal Code.

A Significant Tree is defined as any tree that has a diameter equal to or greater than six inches (6”) measured at breast height (4.5 feet above the ground). A Mitigation Payment will be required for all Significant Trees removed where an insufficient quantity of Replacement Trees is provided.

A Mitigation Payment will not be required if a Significant Tree  qualifies for one of the following special circumstances: emergency situation, significant utility infrastructure projects undertaken pursuant to State or Federal regulations or programs, for City park projects, or where a tree poses significant negative impact to an adjacent Structure as defined in 8.66.030, or for dead or dangerous trees, or a Lot is of such density with existing trees that the removal of certain Significant Trees is considered beneficial to the health of the tree canopy on the Lot.

In the event a tree had to be removed due to an emergency situation prior to receiving a permit, an application must be submitted retroactively. 

For complete permit requirements, please visit the online permitting system.

Page was posted on 6/30/2021 12:54 PM
Page was last modified on 7/6/2021 11:26 AM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via Commonwealth Connect for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc.