What is a Warden?
Throughout the towns of New England a person is either elected or appointed to a public service position which requires an enthusiasm and expertise about trees which allows them to ably take responsibility for their towns shade trees, street trees and any other trees on public lands. The seemingly severe title of “Warden” is a remnant from the 1800s when almost any natural resources position was called a warden, which signified their unique and serious responsibilities “to guard public resources against destructive forces that might include persons, insects, or diseases”. State law mandates the position of tree warden be filled throughout cities and towns.
The scope of the Tree Warden position is broad and changes with the times and conditions. Under the Warden’s jurisdiction fall the care, maintenance and removal of trees in town forests, streets, schools and parks. Trees must be protected from pests and also from people, additionally there are times when the people will need protection from the trees. This is a demanding position, both mentally and physically, you may not realize the amount of work required to responsibly, effectively and efficiently maintain all the trees within a town. Tasks associated with this job include; pruning and removal, identifying sites planting of new trees as well as the actual planting, compiling and maintaining a comprehensive tree inventory, evaluating and monitoring tree health and possibly hazards, budgeting, grant proposals, managing town tree workers and much more.
Contact your tree warden to get involved with tree preservation, gardens, parks, educational events and volunteer opportunities in your town!