Main content of the website

Tree Warden

Tree Warden

The Tree Warden is responsible for trees alongside city streets and public spaces, except for those on state property or under the jurisdiction of a park commission, or those not native to Connecticut that were intentionally planted on city property.  The Tree Warden’s responsibilities include approving the planting, pruning or removal of trees under his authority

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.”


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 always ten (10) feet from the edge of the pavement, nor 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.


Note:  Any trees that have fallen into the road should be reported to Highways and Bridges at 203-924-9277 between 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. or to Police Dispatch 203-924-1544 any other time.


The following is the procedure for tree requests/complaints:


  1. Fill out the Tree Complaint form Tree_Complaint TEMPLATE (Current Oct 2021) and send to in order for the City Engineer’s office to verify if a tree is on City or private property. This is the most expeditious way to submit a tree request for processing.   Any missing information will result in a delay in processing the request.   Messages also can be left at 203-924-1555 extension 1419, however, based on volume, there may be delays in addressing requests.  In either case, 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/near main wires.


  1. The City of Shelton Engineering Department determines ownership (City or private).
  2. 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 informed.
  3. The Tree Warden assesses and prioritizes the tree request/complaint through inspection and other considerations.
  4. If a homeowner wishes to remove or trim a tree that is determined to be on city property, they may do so at their own expense with the Tree Warden’s approval. Fill out the form Request for Tree Work on Public Property and send to
  5. 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.


Dean Cawthra, Tree Warden


203-924-1555 Extension 1419


Tuesday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Send an Email