Tree Removal Guidelines

The Carlisle Conservation Commission has created a Tree Removal and Mitigation Policy to expedite the process of allowing homeowners to remove certain trees in a Wetland Resource Area or Buffer Zones.  

Landowners must obtain prior permission from the Commission before work of any kind (e.g., tree or brush removal, lawn expansion, ground disturbance, and construction) is conducted in the following areas, over which the Commission has jurisdiction:

  • Wetland Resource Areas, defined as 100-year flood zones, wetlands, streams, and ponds.
  • Riverfront Areas - Land within 200 feet of a perennial stream.
  • Buffer Zones - Land within 100 feet of a Wetland Resource Area. 

Wetland Resource Areas and Riverfront Areas may sometimes appear to be dry and thus difficult to identify, so all landowners are encouraged to contact the Conservation Office at (978) 369-0336 to discuss any proposed work. 

Tree Removal Application

If you wish to remove trees from Jurisdictional Areas (even if the area is landscaped), you are required to file a Tree Removal Application.  On the form, you will need to specify the trees’ size, condition, diameter, species, height, and location.  You will also need to inform the Commission of the reasons for removing the trees and how you will do so, including the equipment you plan to use. 


Trees provide substantial public and private benefits. They filter and absorb air pollution, providing cleaner air for all. Trees fight climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees naturally and efficiently reduce stormwater runoff.  Trees also perform ecological functions by providing habitat for wildlife, reducing flood elevations, stabilizing soil, assisting nutrient uptake that improves water quality and providing shade that contributes to healthy vegetation and cooler water temperatures. Even dead trees can be valuable, providing habitat for cavity‑nesting birds and organic nutrients for soil.

Because trees play a vital ecological role in our forests and our yards, the Commission requires that landowners replace any trees removed as part of this policy. 

More information on tree replacement and the application process can be found in the Commission’s Tree Removal and Mitigation Policy and Tree Removal Application below.  Landowners should carefully review the following Tree Removal Policy before submitting the Application to the Conservation office. The review and approval process is outlined in the policy:

Working together, we can make sure that future generations will benefit from the care we took to preserve Carlisle’s trees and our wildlife habitat.