Tree Planting

Before doing any work on your property we suggest that you determine if your land contains wetlands/vernal pools, easements, conservation or deed restrictions.  For wetland questions contact the Conservation Commission, for Easements and Scenic Roadway questions contact the Planning Board, for Conservation Restrictions contact the Registry of Deeds or the holder of the Conservation Restriction.

The Town of Dover does not perform inspection, maintenance, care, and removal of trees on private property. This is the responsibility of the property owner. The Town of Dover will only assist in very limited situations such as when a private tree has fallen and is blocking a public right of way. 

For private trees, the Town of Dover DOES NOT RECOMMEND particular arborists or companies. Residents may wish to contact a certified arborist for assistance in the care and maintenance of private trees located on their property. Lists of arborists certified by either the Massachusetts Arborists Association (MCA) or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) can be located via the following links:

Massachusetts Arborists Association (MCA)

International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

Plant a Tree on Your Own Property

The Town does not have jurisdiction over trees on private property unless they are within the buffer zone of wetlands or a perennial stream. In such a case, you should contact the Conservation Commission to determine any approvals needed. Learn More about Buffer Zones in the Dover Town Code Chapter 263.

Times to Plant

All tree and shrub plantings and new lawns should be planted in the spring or fall to avoid irrigation during the summer months when water use should be limited. In addition, plants native to the region can be used in your landscape design to reduce watering needs.

Choosing a Location

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment has guidelines for planting trees and shrubs. The guidelines cover choosing a location, selecting a type of tree, setting the plant, and tree care. Alternatively, choose a tree type by available space by visiting Arbor Day Foundation's Right Tree in the Right Place guide.

How To Plant Your Tree

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation guide on how to plant your trees, based on root configuration. 

Caring for New Trees

The Massachusetts Urban & Community Forestry Program has a guide for caring for new trees. The guide covers watering, tree stabilization, mulching, and inspection. 

Native Tree Types to Plant

Large Trees (40-80ft)Medium Trees (30-40 ft)Small Trees (less than 30 ft)
Ginkgo (Male) (Ginkgo biloba)Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentuckea ‘Lutea’) Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
American Elm (Ulmus Americana)Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina) Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
London Planetree (Platanus × acerifolia)Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) Autumnalis Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis')
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)Tupelo ‘Wildfire’ (Nyssa sylvatica) 
Okame Cherry (Prunus x incam 'Okame')
Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)
Northern Red Oak
Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan')
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)River Birch (Betula nigra)Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas)
Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosa)Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)Hedge Maple (Acer campestre)
Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)Crabapple (Malus ssp.)
River Birch (Betula nigra)Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)Flowering Dogwood (disease resistant variety) (Cornus florida)
Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Three Flower Maple (Acer triflorum)

Non-Native Species to Avoid Planting

The Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List prohibits the importation, sale, and trade of plants determined to be invasive in Massachusetts. This ban also covers the purchase and distribution of these plants and related activities, and includes all cultivars, varieties and hybrids of the species listed. The Prohibited Plant List was last updated in February, 2017. (

Try to avoid planting any of the following trees and shrubs

Norway MapleBorder Privet
Sycamore-leafed MapleAny of the Asian Honeysuckles 
Japanese Barberry Amur Corktree
Porcelain BerryBlack Locust
Autumn OliveMultiflora Rose
Burning Brush