The Tree Warden is responsible for trees alongside public roads and in public spaces, except for those on state property or under the jurisdiction of a park commission. The Tree Warden’s responsibilities include approving the planting, pruning or removal of trees under his authority.
Before the Tree Warden gets involved with any tree requests or complaints from homeowners, ownership of the trees must be confirmed. Contrary to what some homeowners believe, the City right of way is not the same throughout the City and neither do homeowners own all the land between their house and the road. The City right of way varies from property to property. (Note: on City Assessor maps, the pavement edge is depicted as a dashed line while the property line/City right of way is depicted by a solid line). It is for this reason that staff from the Engineering office must first verify, by field inspection and measurements, tree ownership prior to any tree requests being forwarded to the Tree Warden or before any homeowner plants, prunes or removes any trees that could be in the City right of way.
Connecticut state law, chapter 451, sec. 23-65 requires “any person, firm or corporation, other than a tree warden who removes, prunes, injures or defaces any shrub or ornamental or shade tree, within the limits of a public way or grounds, without legal right or written permission of the town tree warden, shall be fined not more than the appraised value of the shrub or tree and shall be liable civilly for damages.”
The following is the procedure for tree requests/complaints:
- Contact the Tree Warden Office at 203-924-1555 extension 1419 to file a request to verify if a tree is on City or private property. The homeowner is required to mark the tree with a ribbon or another object to make it obvious to City personnel which tree is in question. Note: if the tree is in electrical wires along the main line, contact The United Illuminating Company’s customer service at 1-800-722-5584. The Tree Warden does not handle any trees that are in wires.
- The City of Shelton Engineering Department determines ownership (City or private).
- If the tree is on City property, the City of Shelton Tree Warden and homeowner are notified. If the tree is on private property, the homeowner is notified.
- The Tree Warden assesses and prioritizes the tree request/complaint through inspection and other considerations.
Note: If a homeowner wants to cut a tree on private property that is within 100 feet of any stream, river, lake or wetlands, the homeowner may need to get a permit from Inland Wetlands. Contact Inland Wetlands at 203-924-1555 extension 1512.