Urban Forestry FAQ's

Hopefully the list of FAQ's will help you find the information you are looking for.

Is Cambridge threatened by the Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB?

Although the beetle has not been sighted in Cambridge yet, we do ask that you keep an eye open for it and report any sightings to 617.349.4885.

What volunteer opportunities are available in the Forestry Division?

We are always looking for individuals, community groups, and local businesses to help with tree well weeding and maintenance and tree inventory updates.  Contact the city arborist for more information or to get involved.

What do I do when the roots of the tree in front of my property is causing the sidewalk to heave?

You should report the sidewalk issue to the street & sidewalk division at 617.349.6950.  The Forestry Division works with the Street & Sidewalk Division in resolving sidewalk issues that involve trees.


Can a homeowner or resident/tenant prune, cut or maintain a street/city tree?


If you feel a city tree requires maintenance, contact the Forestry Division at 617.349.4885 or email:


What do I do if I see someone harming a tree?

Contact the forestry division immediately to report any tree-related emergency incidents or situations 617.349.4885.   It is also helpful if you could take a picture and/or record any identifying information of the offender, as it is hard for a city employee to arrive at the site while the damage is still occurring.

What are my options if my sidewalk is too narrow for a street tree?

The city offers a Back of Sidewalk planting program.  See link for all the details.

Does the city offer a memorial tree planting program?

Yes, the city offers what is called a commemorative tree planting program.  Call the arborist for more details.

How long does it take to resolve a planting request?

Depending on when the request was submitted, it may take 6-12 months for the request to be resolved

Why did you remove the tree, it looked fine?

There are many reasons why a tree might be removed.

My sidewalk is not wide enough for a street tree, are there other planting options?

The city offers a Back of Sidewalk planting program.  See the tree planting page for more details.

Who is responsible for pruning and maintaining street, park, and cemetery trees?

Public Works is responsible for the care and maintenance of city owned trees through its Urban Forestry Division.

How do I find an arborist?

You can find an certified arborist at www.certifiedtreeandlawn.org

How do I go about getting a tree planted?

Call the Forestry Division at 617.349.4558.   There are a couple of different programs for tree planting.

How long does it take to resolve a pruning request?

If the street tree is a safety hazard, it will be inspected immediately for assessment.  If it simply requires pruning, it typically takes about 3 months for the request to be resolved.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


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Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm