Town Trees & Urban Forestry
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.
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.
Town Tree Donation Fund
In 1975, Marblehead Tree Warden Loring Clark created a Tree Donation Fund to replace elm trees lost to Dutch Elm disease around Abbot Hall and other parts of town. In 2021, we will work with the town to expand the fund and provide dedication opportunities. Details will be posted soon.
Tree Inventory & Survey
Our hope is to work with our Tree Warden over the coming year to conduct a town tree inventory and health survey. More details will be posted soon.
Researching and communicating state requirements for town urban forestry departments and helping with the hiring of a new Town Tree Warden, Arborist Jon Fobert.
Summarizing and communicating the urban planning trends and progress happening in other North Shore communities.
Supporting the 2019 Town Meeting warrant article that was approved for the planting of new trees along Atlantic Avenue.
Assisting in the Atlantic Avenue tree selection and planting protocols.
Helping write a Municipal Vulnerability Grant proposal.
Researching better tree species for urban environments – ones that will provide shade and visual beauty while minimizing negative street, utility and sidewalk impact.
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.