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Responsibilities

The City Forester’s department is responsible for the maintenance of all trees along the street within the public right-of-way, in parks and around City facilities. In general, street trees are located between the curb and sidewalk. Where there is not a sidewalk, the width of the right-of-way must be determined in order to know if a tree is maintained by the City or whether it is on private property.

The Objectives of the City Forester’s Office are to

  • Preserve, protect and manage Holyoke’s urban forest through tree pruning and other preventative maintenance.
  • Enhance public safety by removing dead, dying, hazardous and utility conflicted trees.
  • Improve the quality of Holyoke’s urban forest areas by providing beautification to parks and neighborhoods.

The Value of Trees

Trees are an important part of every community. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings. We gather under the cool shade they provide during outdoor activities with family and friends. Many neighborhoods are also the home of very old trees that serve as historic landmarks. Using trees in cities to deflect the sunlight reduces the heat island effect caused by pavement and commercial buildings.  Just one acre of trees can remove up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year. The many benefits trees provide the community are just one of the many reasons why the City of Holyoke values its trees and forest.

Environmental Benefits of Trees

  • Improved water quality — Trees reduce erosion and absorb pollutants before they enter streams.
  • Stormwater management — Trees intercept rainfall, which slows storm water runoff and reduces flooding.
  • Improved air quality — Trees absorb air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide. Trees also produce oxygen and play an important role in carbon sequestration.
  • Climate control — Trees cool in the summer by intercepting sunlight reducing the amount of heat absorbed by streets, parking lots and buildings. Trees also allow sunlight to warm these same areas during the winter.
  • Provide shelter for wildlife.

Reporting Felled Trees and Branches

To report a felled tree or downed or hanging branches, call (413) 322-5645. If a tree or branch has caused electric utility wires to come down, call Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) at (413) 536-930

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