Trees

Responsibilities
The Forestry element of the Parks and Open Space Division preserves and maintains all shade trees along public ways, parks, school grounds, cemeteries, and all other public grounds. The total number of trees under our jurisdiction is more than 50,000.

The Forestry element provides for the safety of all public ways and grounds through the removal of dead and dangerous limbs and trees and is responsible for replacing trees in areas where they have been removed as appropriate. Street tree removals in the public right-of-way are managed by the town Tree Warden and assisted by the Tree Planting Committee.

Tree Planting Committee
The mission of the Tree Planting Committee is to advise the Tree Warden on the species and placement of street trees and to hold public hearings for street tree removal requests. The three member Tree Planting Committee, appointed by the Board of Selectmen, was established in 1886, and is the longest standing Tree Planting Committee in the nation.

Urban Forestry
Urban forestry is the study of applying the practices and principals of arboriculture in urban and suburban settings. The urban forest in Brookline has been a significant component of Brookline's character for many generations. Written records reflect the community's sentiment about the civic and environmental value of this resource as long ago as the mid 1800s when many of the benefits of trees were quantified, including their impacts on temperatures, storm water runoff, property values, air quality and contribution to an improved sense of safety and security in a community.

Brookline was the site of one of the earliest street tree inventories in the country in the late 1800s and has an active urban forestry program in the community with a strong citizen advocacy group. The early recognition of the significance of the urban forest led to efforts to maintain public trees, which continue to benefit Brookline today. The National Arbor Day Foundation contains a list of the benefits of trees.