Urban forest management in New England: Towards a contemporary understanding of tree wardens in Massachusetts communities

Arboricultural Journal
By: , and 

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Abstract

In the New England states, tree wardens are local officials responsible for the preservation, maintenance and stewardship of municipal public trees. This study explores the emerging professional challenges, duties and responsibilities of tree wardens, from the subject’s point of view, by conducting in-person, semi-structured qualitative research interviews with 50 tree wardens throughout Massachusetts. Many of the findings corroborate previous literature, including that tree wardens are typically housed in a municipal department (often public works or highway), that tree wardens routinely interact with a wide variety of local organisations (representatives from other municipal departments, community volunteer associations) and that as community size increases, tree wardens typically have access to a greater pool of resources to carry out urban forest management. A newer finding is that the subject of urban forest health arose as a topic of great importance for tree wardens, as nearly all interviewees (n = 49) indicated that they monitor for urban forest pests and that they would like further continuing education concerning this subject.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Urban forest management in New England: Towards a contemporary understanding of tree wardens in Massachusetts communities
Series title Arboricultural Journal
DOI 10.1080/03071375.2017.1369774
Volume 39
Issue 3
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 17 p.
First page 162
Last page 178
Country United States
State Massachusetts