Tree Commission

Modifications to Trees on Public Property; Overview and Policy


The tree in front of your house or business may be on public property. By town ordinance, any modification of a tree on public property must require the approval of the Middletown Tree Commission.

A request for pruning or removal of a public tree requires filling out the simple form given on the next page and mailing it to the given address. Emails will not be accepted.The Tree Commission will take action on such requests as soon as possible.

If you are unsure if the tree is on public property, it will be determined by filling out the same form.

It should be noted that there is a significant fine for modifying a public tree without permission.

The Official policy regarding this issue is given below. 


Procedure for Removal and Pruning

of Street Trees

Middletown, RI Tree Commission




To protect and preserve our beautiful town landscape and to define the mandatory and necessary steps that must be taken for consideration of requests to remove or alter/prune street trees located on public and town roads and right of ways in the town of Middletown, RI.




Item #1-

The request must be formally written and submitted to the town of Middletown, RI Tree Commission at Middletown Town Hall, 350 East main Road Middletown, RI 02842 E mail requests will not be accepted. The formal request must be signed by the requestor and owner of the residential or commercial property on which the subject trees are located. The requestor must state the reasons for the tree removal and/or pruning. These items will be reviewed by the tree commission for acceptance or disapproval. Within two (2) weeks of receipt, the requestor will be formally notified in writing of the commission’s decision.


Item #2-

Information that must be included when submitting request are as follows:

Complete contact information to include full name, address and phone number. Please note: the site must be available for physical viewing and a meeting with the requestor may be required to complete the review. Please note that the name and contact information of the company removing the tree is also required. Additional information may be requested to complete the review.


Item #3-

Example of reasons for tree removal, alteration or pruning would include safety concerns, damaged and diseased trees (certified by the tree warden). A tree considered to be an obstruction and/or a hindrance to motor vehicle or pedestrian travel (certified by the police or fire department). A tree located in an approved right of way (certified by the town building/zoning department).



Please refer to Chapter 96: Tree Preservation and Protection of town ordinances for complete copy of the town ordinance including penalties and fines for non-conformance.