Tree Planting FAQs

Q: How do I request a tree planting?
A: Click HERE then look for the Tree Planting Request Form on the left hand side of the page. Fill it out and send it in. Upon receiving a request, a member of the Tree and Grounds Department will visit your property to perform an evaluation to determine if a tree is appropriate for your location and if so what is the best tree for that location.

Q: Do I get to pick which tree I want on my property?
A: Yes, requests for specific species will be reviewed by the Tree Warden if appropriate for your location. The “Right tree, right place” process will be followed when assessing planting locations. A tree will be selected from a specific list by the Tree Warden that will be deemed right for that location.

Q: Will the town take care of the tree once it is planted?
A: After planting, the town will maintain the new tree (water as needed, mulch and prune) for the first 3 years.

Q: What type of watering methods will you use to keep my new tree healthy?
A: The town will water the new trees using Gator bags and a hose attached to a water tank. Gator bags are plastic bags with perforated bottoms that allow water to drip through slowly. This is an efficient way to irrigate the tree over a long period of time. Below are 2 pictures of the Gator bags.

Q: Are you going to use any fertilizer on my new tree(s)?

A: It is unlikely that fertilizer will be needed for any of the new plantings.

Q: Do I need to put mulch around the tree? If so, can I pick what type of mulch I want around my new tree?
A: No. The town will mulch around the tree using aged wood chips from past tree operations in town.

Q: Can I request to not have mulch put around my new tree?
A: No. The nutrients and protection provided by the mulch will be a vital part to the trees survival.

Q: Will I be notified before the tree will be planted?
A: If the tree being planted is on your property and not in the public way, then you will be notified when the tree will be planted. If the tree is in front of your house but in the public way, then you may not be notified when a new tree is going to be planted.

Q: What is the public way?
A: As defined by Massachusetts General Law a “way” is “Any public highway, [or a] private way [that is] laid out under authority of [a] statute, [or a] way dedicated to public use, or [a] way [that is] under [the] control of park commissioners or [a] body having [similar] powers.” (G.L. c. 90, § 1.) In the Town of Amherst, the public way varies by street.

Q: Are you going to put stakes around my new tree and what are the benefits to staking a tree.
A: The town will treat every situation differently. If a tree is properly planted it would most likely not need staking. Staking a tree can provide extra support in high wind areas or wet soil locations when the tree is young but should removed after the first year.

Q: Is the town going to remove the stakes?
A: Yes, the town will remove the stakes.

Q: Do I have the option as the homeowner to remove the tree in the first 3 years?
A: No

Q: If the tree does not make it in the first 3 years, will the town remove it from my property?
A: Yes. In a situation where the tree dies in the first 3 years, the tree will be removed by the town. Following the removal, there will be a discussion between the home owner and the tree warden as to whether another tree will be planted in its place.