Parks & Forestry FAQ

Who do I call if a Tree needs work?

  • If your tree of concern is a privately owned tree on your property, you may hire an arborist.
  • If tree is on a neighbor’s privately owned lot.  you will need to notify the owner of the property of origin that you have a concern.

What is a “Town Tree”?

  • The Town maintains trees growing on Town property. This includes trees growing on opened and maintained rights of way (Streets & sidewalks), in parks, and on other Town property.
  • If you are not sure if a tree is a Town tree or a private tree, please call DPW at 781-455-7550 and we will be happy to assist you.

I think my tree is a “Town Tree” and should be cut down.  Will Forestry do that?

  • The Parks & Forestry Division will inspect requests for tree removal. If a tree is found to be hazardous, then we will remove the tree. If the tree is not hazardous, but maintenance work is required, we will perform the maintenance work needed.
  • If you want a tree removed, you must submit your request in writing to the Tree Warden at 500 Dedham Ave, Needham, MA 02492. The process can be found here:

I have got a tree in my backyard that needs some work.  Will Forestry do this work?

  • Parks & Forestry can only work on trees growing on Town property. Private tree work can be done by hiring a private tree company or an arborist.

There is a tree in my neighbor’s yard that makes me nervous.  Will Forestry help me?

  • Parks & Forestry can inspect trees if your concern is over how the tree might fail and impact the public way. We can inspect and make a determination if the tree is hazardous and inform the property owner.
  • If your concern is that the tree may impact your property, then this matter is to be resolved between you and your neighbor.

What if neighbor’s private tree limbs are hanging onto my property?

  • We recommend you talk to your neighbor, however, you may trim or hire an arborist to trim the tree limbs hanging onto your property.

There is a tree in the easement next to my property that is leaning over my fence.  Will Forestry cut it down?

  • Easements are agreements that allow one entity to install something (like a pipe or a utility line) under or over someone else’s property. In gaining the easement, maintenance responsibility does not transfer from the property owner to the easement owner. The responsibility for maintenance still lies with the owner of the property upon which the easement sits.

There is a vacant Town lot next to my house, and there are trees on it growing over my property line.  Will the Town cut them back?

  • Parks & Forestry will not prune or remove trees unless deemed hazardous. However, you can cut back encroaching tree limbs to the lot line. 
  • The trees along the street have grown up into the power lines, or have grown over phone lines, cable or service drops and I am worried about an interruption of service.  Will Forestry prune these limbs?
  • The Town of Needham does not own or maintain utility wires. Unfortunately, if you are concerned about a tree growing into the power or utility lines please call your utility provider and Eversource to file a request for pruning.

Will Forestry plant a tree for me?

  • Yes, You can request a tree to be planted here:
  • Please note: It often takes up to a full year to fulfill a community tree planting request, given the planning and preparation needed for each tree planting. Once your application is submitted, the Town will communicate with you. Follow-up phone calls are not necessary. Thank you for your understanding!

What can I do regarding tree roots in my sewer or water lines?

  • Tree roots are opportunistic. Tree roots will not break a water or sewer service line however, they will exploit cracks or failures in the lines. The best defense against having tree roots in lines is to make sure that your lines are in good condition and that they are not cracked. If you suspect that tree roots are growing into your water or sewer line, you can have the root cut out using a process called “rodding”.

Tree roots have pushed up the sidewalk, the curb, or my driveway.  Will you cut down the tree?

  • Tree roots will certainly contribute to pavement displacement, but they are often not the initial cause of the problem. There are several factors to consider before considering the removal of the tree. You can file a work order request at and a member of DPW will investigate the tree roots in question.

Vegetation and low limbs make it difficult to see at an intersection.  Can Forestry help?

  • Needham DPW can evaluate these blind corners or sight distance problems to determine the best method to improve the situation. You may call us at 781-455-7550 or file a request at

Will Forestry cut down a street tree, so I don’t have to rake leaves or needles?

  • No, we will not remove trees for this reason alone.

Can Forestry come out and pick up the debris from a tree that I trimmed?

  • Parks & Forestry crews will only pick-up debris and limbs from Town trees, including trees that we have pruned, trimmed, or removed. It is the responsibility of the property owner to dispose of their debris properly.

A tree limb fell off of my neighbor’s property onto mine.  Can I make them come and clean it up?

  • Unfortunately, that answer is no. We encourage neighbors to work together to remove the limbs that have fallen.

A storm blew down a “Town Tree” on my property.  Will Forestry come get it up?

  • Please call us at 781-455-7550 or create a request at and Parks & Forestry will investigate and determine if the tree if a public or a private tree.

A tree fell from my yard across the road.  What happens next?

  • Please call Needham Police Department at 781-455-7570 . They will dispatch someone to assess the situation and contact the appropriate parties. 
  • We will clear the debris on the public way only. The rest of the debris falls upon the property owner to remove.

A tree fell and has landed in the wires.  What happens next?

  • If a tree has fallen and brought down wires, please call Needham Police Department at 781-455-7570 immediately. Needham Police will secure the scene and contact the appropriate parties. Please stay away from the scene and DO NOT attempt to move, cut or manipulate the tree in any way.