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.
Tree Warden Statutes
New legislation has been passed to modernize Vermont's tree warden statutes and other statutes related to public trees and roadside vegetation. The bill, H.673 was signed into law by Governor Scott on October 8, 2020 and goes into effect November 1, 2020. The below resources were developed based on comprehensive Vermont State Statutes, available online here.
Press the link below for a section by section review of the bill. This document does not address every change, but it highlights most changes by section.
Frequently Asked Questions
In 2021 VT UCF collaborated with the Municipal Assistance Center of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) to develop a comprehensive FAQ on the amended tree warden statutes and general municipal tree law.
Visit the Vermont League of Cities and Towns' Tree Law webpage to view a recorded webinar on tree law in Vermont and the newly amended statutes. Below is also a recorded webinar of VT UCF staff doing a read-through of the statute language.