Vermont's tree wardens play a critical role in maintaining the health of public green spaces in our communities. Today, tree wardens are on the front lines of a host of environmental issues, such as managing the impacts of the emerald ash borer (EAB), the decline of aging urban trees, changes in the regional climate, effects of environmental stressors like natural disasters, and weaknesses in past municipal planning initiatives. Thus, the guidance and regulations placed on the duties of town tree wardens must be strategically outlined to allow public landscapes to flourish. Town officials, landowners, road crews, state officials, and tree wardens themselves have voiced growing concern for years to modernize the statutes (originally passed in 1904 and not updated since 1969) to align with modern municipal tree management.
New legislation has been passed to modernize Vermont's tree warden statutes and other statutes related to public trees and roadside vegetation. The updated statutes represent several years of effort and broad agreement among stakeholders with a diversity of interests and perspectives. The bill, H.673 was signed into law by Governor Scott on October 8, 2020 and went into effect November 1, 2020.
Visit our Tree Warden Resouces Sectionor browse the list of helpful links below.
Helpful Quick Links for Tree Wardens
View Bill: This version has strikethrough text. A clean version will be made available in a few months.
Summary of Changes: This document does not address every change, but it highlights most changes by section.
Frequently Asked Questions: This FAQ highlights questions about tree warden responsibility, shade tree preservation plans, and holding hearings.
Watch Tree Warden Statutes Webinar: Recorded webinar of VT UCF staff walking through the newly amended tree warden statutes.