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Do I need a permit to cut trees or clear brush?

Any disturbance of vegetation, including removal of trees, within areas protected by the Wetland Protection Act or the Boxford Wetland Protection By-law must be approved by the Conservation Commission.  Protected areas include wetland resource areas (e.g., wetlands, ponds and streams), 100-foot wide buffer zones around these resource areas, and 200-foot wide Riverfront area extending from each bank of a perennial stream.  Application procedures may vary widely, depending upon the nature of the proposal.  Please contact the Conservation Agent for quidance at 978-887-6000 x506.

If a tree is located within protected area but is a hazard to health and safety, you may request an Emergency Certification.  If warranted, an Emergency Certification can be issued quickly and with minimal application procedure. 

Some homes include "grandfathered" or permitted landscaped areas that are located within protected area.  Routine maintenance of these landscaped areas, such as mowing of lawns and maintaining planting beds, does not require further review or approval of the Commission.  The removal of mature trees within such landscaped areas, however, is not generally considered routine maintenance.  In addition, the creation, enlargement or substantial modification of landscaped area within protected area requires review and approval. 

Trees located along a public road may be within the road right-of-way and thus subject to protection under the Scenic Roads Act.  This Act is administered by the Planning Board.  Contact the Planning Agent at 978-887-6000 x191 for more information.