Ordinances and Regulations

Important- New Tree Removal Permitting Requirements: 

Pursuant to the Tree Protection Ordinance, Title 8, Chapter 8.66 of the Cambridge Municipal Code, a permit is required to remove a "significant tree" on private property. "Significant trees" have a diameter of 8 inches or more (measured 4 feet above ground). Permits will only be issued in the following circumstances:

  • The tree is dead or dangerous;
  • An emergency exists relative to public health, safety or welfare;
  • Removal of the tree is necessary to complete a significant utility infrastructure project;
  • Removing the tree may result in a healthier tree canopy;
  • The tree poses a significant risk to an adjacent existing structure.
In each of these cases, a completed Permit Application Form and all associated documentation must be submitted to be considered for a permit. 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.

Tree Planting Details for all street trees (to be used by contractors):

Standard Planting Details: CambridgeStd Tree Detailsrev20180622

Chapter 90 Planting Details: CambridgeCH 90Std Tree Detailsrev20180622

Tree Protection
MA General Law Chapter 87

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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