Tree Planting Requirements

Any resident of Boston can request to have a street tree planted on the sidewalk in front of their home or business whether or not there is an existing tree pit. Please call the Park Line at (617) 635-PARK (7275) or 311 to request a planting.

Once a case is created, a certified arborist will visit the site within 3-6 months and determine if it can be planted. The site will be inspected to see if it meets the proper requirements. If the requirements are met, the tree will be planted within 3-6 months after the inspection is complete. We plant trees in the spring and fall.

Street Tree Planting Site Requirements

  • 10 feet from a light pole

  • 10 feet from a driveway

  • 10-20 feet from an intersection (depending on the direction of traffic)

  • 10 feet from a fire hydrant

  • 6-foot-wide (72 inches) sidewalks excluding curb

  • 3.5¬†feet (42 inches) for A.D.A. handicap accessibility requirements, plus 2.5 feet (30 inches) for the tree pit

  • Inspect for the proper tree species

  • Look for power-line clearance

  • Check for other species on street

  • Look at the overall space for the tree to grow in

  • Avoid planting trees in front of building entrances

Once the inspection is complete you will receive an email stating that the inspection was completed if you provided your email address when making the case. A leave behind notice will also be left when the inspection is complete.

If you would like to request a specific species of tree to be planted, you can do so while making the case or call (617) 635-7275.

We are responsible for the care and maintenance of all street trees. For the first two years after the tree has been planted our planting contractor will warranty the newly planted trees and provide basic maintenance including watering, mulching, minor pruning and replace the tree if necessary. The contractor will water the tree once every two weeks during the growing season. We also encourage the residents to care for the newly planted trees.

If the site cannot be planted, we offer a lawn planting option. Our department will plant a tree on your front lawn and monitor it for two years. After the two years the tree becomes the property of the owner of the parcel of land where the tree has been planted. In order to plant on private property the owner must supply us with a copy of the property deed and sign an agreement. For additional questions, please call the park line at (617) 635-PARK (7275).