About the City of Somerville

Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging throughout our hiring practices; these values are embedded in our mission and work environment—furthermore, we encourage applications from a diverse range of professional experiences and skillsets. We embrace and encourage an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, it is also a model employer.


  • Now Hiring: Tree Warden

Department of Public Works (DPW)

Under the direction of the Superintendent of Grounds and in collaboration with urban foresters in the Public Space & Urban Forestry Division (PSUF), the Tree Warden oversees, evaluates and provides reactive and preventative tree maintenance programs, hazardous tree removal, and utility arboricultural operations, and oversees the work of both City tree crew laborers and outside contractors by timely inspections, and supervising many projects at once. The Tree Warden must be sure of public safety and the safety of tree workers. The Tree Warden must complete procurement training, maintain accurate and up-to-date records, prepare budget presentations and bid proposals, and must lead and/or participate in public meetings.

Essential Functions

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

The Tree Warden is responsible for the maintenance of Somerville’s public trees, in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 87 and the City’s Tree Preservation Ordinance. On a day-to-day basis, the Tree Warden must plan, organize, control, and be accountable for all authorized activities in the care of Somerville urban forest, including but not limited to:

  • Pruning of trees for safety and health.
  • Removal of trees that are dead or dying (from storms, insects, disease, or old age).
  • Identifying appropriate planting sites.
  • Planting new trees.
  • Creating or updating the City’s tree inventory, often on computer.
  • Assessing trees for potential hazards to public safety.
  • Overseeing utility arboricultural operations.
  • Ensuring timely and appropriate response to tree damages from storms.
  • Preparing budget presentations.
  • Supervising City’s tree crew laborers.
  • Creating bid proposals for contract tree work.
  • Inspecting contracted tree work.
  • Conducting public meetings and tree hearings.
  • Coordinating, monitoring, and assuring the completion of work by assigned staff and/or contractors is performed in a reasonable and professional manner by conducting ad-hoc assessments, site-work follow-ups and monthly/quarterly work order performance evaluations.
  • Working collaboratively with PSUF, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, and other City stakeholders to realize City-wide goals and objectives.
  • Accomplishing the required work independently by gathering and organizing the required information, maintaining required records, evaluating various approaches to completing projects, developing tools and reports to accomplish and monitor progress, utilizing resources to achieve desired outcomes, exercising judgement to make decisions, and assuring effective communication with stakeholders.
  • In coordination with the appropriate Management staff, the Tree Warden facilitates workflow and the efficient use of time and effort by establishing processes, standard operating procedures (SOP’s), and rules related to the preventative tree maintenance program.
  • Contributing to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.
  • Remaining competent and current in best management practices for tree care through self-directed professional reading and developing professional contacts with colleagues.
  • Participating in the development of annual operating budgets and providing fiscal direction to the Department.
  • Responsible for communicating purchasing needs of all supplies necessary to assure efficient tree care operations.
  • Representing the Department at various community and/or business meetings, committees, and task forces; promotes existing and new tree care strategies and/or policies.
  • Contributing to the overall success of DPW by performing other essential miscellaneous job-related duties and responsibilities as assigned.
  • Performing other similar or related duties as required or as situation dictates.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Arboriculture / Urban Forestry or a related degree
  • Three (3) years supervisory experience in commercial or municipal tree care
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis. For example, a Master’s degree in Urban Forestry and one (1) year supervisory experience in commercial or municipal tree care would meet the requirements. Similarly, experience beyond the minimum requirement may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year for year basis. For example, a high school diploma or the equivalent and an Associate of Science Degree in Arboriculture / Urban Forestry or a related degree, and at least five (5) years supervisory experience in commercial or municipal tree care would meet the requirements.
  • Strong contract management, interpersonal, and communications skills is required. Experience with municipal government processes and procedures are preferred.


  • Valid MA driver’s license
  • Certified Arborist (Massachusetts Certified Arborist and/or International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist)
  • Massachusetts Pesticide License within 90 days of employment
  • Additional arboricultural certifications, such as ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, ISA Certified Municipal Specialist, or Massachusetts Qualified Tree Warden, are desirable

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge: Comprehensive technical and practical knowledge of the materials, methods and techniques needed for tree maintenance and removal is required. Excellent communication skills and the ability to interact in a positive manner with the community are required. Computer literacy is required; a working knowledge of, or the ability to learn and use, database applications is required, including an understanding of the structure of databases and how to develop and generate reports to retrieve and utilize the data.

Abilities: The ability to read and interpret information from service requests, layout sketches, blueprints, construction project specifications, appropriate state and local government codes, and trade-specific manuals and practices and to determine how tree care should be perform is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. Ability to work in safe and efficient manner.

Skill: Strong technical writing skills and mathematics comprehension are required. Supervisory skills, the ability to motivate others to effective action, and strong administrative abilities are required. Must have effective decision making skills.

Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills: Sitting, standing, walking, climbing/ladders, squatting/kneeling, reaching, grasping, pushing/pulling, twisting/bending, lifting/carrying up to 50 lbs. multiple times per shift, talking, hearing, and seeing.

Motor Skills: Duties are both mental and physical; the job, the employee is frequently required to use hands to handle, feel or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.

Visual Skills: Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus. Must possess adequate vision to distinguish colors and shades of color.

Work Environment

Spends time both indoors and outdoors with regular exposure to extreme hot, cold, or humid temperatures for one hour plus. Possible exposure to distracting/uncomfortable noise levels. Risk of bodily injury from mechanical parts, electricity, etc. Possible exposure to fumes, odors, etc. that may affect respiration and skin.

Application Procedure: 

The position will remain open until filled. Send your resume and cover letter to 

City Hall HR Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851
Email: [email protected]

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nancy Bacci, at 617-625-6600 x2250 or [email protected].

Physical Demands: 



Full Time
$84,896.64 annual plus benefits
Application Start Date: 
Thursday, September 9, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Required

To better protect the health and safety of staff and the public, all City of Somerville employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 1, 2021. Reasonable accommodations will be made for medical and religious reasons.