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Town Trees 

& Urban Forestry

Our Mission and Vision

Our mission is to support the planting and proper maintenance of appropriate, native and low-maintenance trees for Marblehead’s streets and public lands, working in coordination with town departments, other community organizations and individual residents. Town trees, shrubs and green spaces provide beauty and shade while reducing heat loads, carbon, air pollution and storm runoff.


Urban Forestry For Marblehead

Urban forestry is not just about trees. It’s finding the right tree, shrub or plant of the right size and then planting it in the right place. While trees are important, shrubs, bushes, floral and edible gardens and undergrowth all play a vital role in preserving our environment. To learn more about urban forestry, click here. Watch a video of our team in action at a recent, collaborative project at Chandler Hovey Park (credit: James Maroney, Marblehead TV).


How to Plant a Tree

While planting and maintaining trees on our town’s public lands are important, much can be done by individual property owners to improve our urban forestry ecosystem. Click here to read an article about planting trees.


UMass Amherst’s tree planting guide is an excellent resource. Scroll down to its “Tree Planting 101” for the 10 steps to properly plant a tree, including finding the trunk flare, determining the size of the hole, watering and mulching.


What is a Town Tree?

Marblehead’s Tree Department is responsible for the planting, care and maintenance of approximately 9,000 shade trees on 72 miles of public ways, as well as in parks and on other public grounds such as Abbot Hall and Abbot Public Library.


Go to the Tree Department  website to confirm tree ownership depending on the location of the tree on your property. You can also request that a tree be planted along the road in front of your house, ask for town trees to be trimmed or report a problem. Jonathan Fobert is our Tree Warden.


Gas Leaks Kill Trees

Gas Leaks from aging buried gas lines, some dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s, kill or stress our trees by suffocating their roots. If you have a stressed tree near a gas line, contact National Grid and the town about possible undetected leaks. More information is available here. The most recent map of Marblehead’s gas leaks can be found here.


Tree Inventory & Survey

Marblehead’s Tree Warden has started the tree inventory, to be done in stages while leaves are on the trees from April through October 2022 and 2023. We need community volunteers to help!


To volunteer please contact You will be trained and included in communications to help you plan out the best times for your participation.


Click here for more.


How to Support MHD Trees

  • Manage Your Own Trees

  • Manage Neighborhood Trees

  • Donate Funds for New Trees

  • Support More Plantings through Rec & Park and Marblehead Housing Authority

  • Volunteer With Sustainable Marblehead


Learn more at

Click here to see our Abbot Hall Tree Walk Map.

Recent Accomplishments


Researching and communicating state requirements for town urban forestry departments and helping with the hiring of a new Town Tree Warden, Arborist Jon Fobert.


Supporting the 2019 Town Meeting warrant article that was approved for the planting of new trees along Atlantic Avenue.


Summarizing and communicating the urban planning trends and progress happening in other North Shore communities.


Assisting in the Atlantic Avenue tree selection and planting protocols.


Helping write a Municipal Vulnerability Grant proposal.


Resurrecting awareness of the Tree Donation Fund for tree planting and maintenance – $460 was donated by the Marblehead Arts Association from a special exhibit in January 2020 and $710 was donated by the Acorn Gallery's Debra Freeman from sales of a Fort Sewall tree print. 


Planted in front of the Community Center for the Parks' Fund launch. Designed by Kathy Bradford.​



Outreach and planting with the Marblehead Housing Authority.


Researching better tree species for urban environments – ones that will provide shade and visual beauty while minimizing negative street, utility and sidewalk impact.


Hold town tree plantings every April, in conjunction with town tree warden.


Began street tree inventory, an ongoing project with the town.


Planting at Chandler Hovey Park through Parks' Fund. Designed by Larry Simpson.

Join Us

Meet time: Third Monday of most months, 7 - 8 p.m. via Zoom
Leader(s): Palma Bickford
           Follow Marblehead Loves Trees on Facebook.

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