Trees in the City - Right Tree, Right Place

Illustration from the Arbor Day Foundation Showing What Size Trees Should be Planted in Various Locations

Trees enhance the beauty and value of homes, streets and communities. However, trees planted in the wrong place can cause property damage and become a detriment rather than an asset. Planning the location and species of a tree will ensure that the tree will be an asset and not grow into a hazard or a nuisance.

THE RIGHT TREE - Trees must be selected carefully in order to accomplish their intended purpose. Characteristics such as tree shape, size at maturity, flowering, colors and texture should be considered.

THE RIGHT PLACE - Growing space both above and below ground should be considered when selecting a tree. Allowances must be made for the increased size of the tree when it matures. Some of the problems that can be avoided by selecting the proper tree for the available planting space are:

  • Damage to houses through cracked foundations, leaves in gutters or abrasion of tree limbs hitting the house.
  • Cracked pavement of sidewalks, driveways, porches and patios.
  • Sewer lines or septic tanks clogged by roots.
  • Dangerous screening by obscuring traffic signs, pedestrians or vehicles.
  • Storm damage and electrical problems from trees or limbs affecting utility lines.

If the correct tree species is chosen for a particular site, a tree has less chance of dying and will mature to full growth faster. Planting the right tree species in the right space saves money on maintenance costs over the life of the tree as well as repairs to surrounding features.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect that is a serious threat to a wide variety of trees in the United States. The ALB larvae bore deep into deciduous hardwood trees such as maple and birch, eventually killing them. Once a tree is infested, it does not recover or regenerate.   

Learn More About ALB

Memorial Tree Planting

Planting a tree is an appropriate and time honored tradition to honor the memory of your loved ones. This meaningful memorial is one that will benefit coming generations. Remembering them with a living tree is an act of love for them, their families and our earth. It can also be done in celebration of birthdays, anniversaries, new births or any special occasion. By planting trees in celebration, you can honor your loved ones while caring about the environment and replanting our City's forest. To apply, please fill out the Memorial Tree Planting form.

Protection of Public Trees

The Parks & Recreation Division Forestry Section is responsible for the care and removal of city-owned trees that are generally located within the sidewalk adjacent to a street and on city-owned property. If the tree is clearly on private property or on a private street, then it is the responsibility of the property owner. If you are unsure who owns a tree, you can call 508-799-1430 to ask for Forestry to help with this determination.

Contact Information

Parks & Recreation
50 Skyline Drive
Worcester, MA 01605

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-1190
Fax: 508-799-1293
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Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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508-929-1300
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