Director of Urban Forestry (Boston, MA)

Application Deadline


Boston , Massachusetts

The City of Boston, Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) supports the well-being of City residents by ensuring access to a variety of quality recreation, park, and programming experiences. There are over 2,300 acres of publicly accessible open space and over 35,000 street trees.

 Brief Job Description:

Reporting to the Commissioner, the Director of Urban Forestry plays a lead role in all initiatives related to the care, protection and promotion of the urban forest throughout the community, including the City-owned trees, as well as other trees to the extent provided for by law and/or regulation. He/she provides professional direction in administration of coordinated programs for City-wide conservation and protection of arboreal resources, tree inventories, regulation of owner/developer actions on trees covered by the City Code, and the maintenance, removal, and planting of trees.


  • Manages the Division within the City's Parks Department and guides the vision, protection, and expansion of the urban forest to promote public health, environmental equity and sustainability, and quality of life.
  • Advises on, and executes, citywide tree policy, enforces ordinances, establishes tree management priorities and best practices, develops new initiatives, and works with non-profit partners to expand and maintain the City's tree canopy.
  • Oversees operations of the Urban Forestry Division personnel, fleet, and equipment.
  • Provides professional direction in administration of coordinated programs for City-wide conservation and protection of arboreal resources, tree inventories, regulation of owner/developer actions on trees covered by the City Code, and the maintenance, removal, and planting of trees.
  • Interfaces across municipal and state agencies and authorities, as well as nonprofit and institutional stakeholders, as necessary, on issues regarding Boston’s urban forestry. Works directly with other City department personnel, elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, community groups, and State and Federal agencies on tree issues and work that support the City's forestry program.
  • Works with and facilitate effective communication with community groups.
  • Works with Parks Department leadership and other City Officials on foul weather preparedness and response.
  • Determines training needs for Forestry Division personnel and schedules training to promote staff development, best practices, and crew safety.
  • Promotes adherence to national tree work and safety standards, including A300 and ANSI Z133.
  • Works with the Tree Warden to ensure city forestry efforts are equity-focused.
  • Supports the work of the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) landscape architects and participate in design reviews advocating for the canopy within the design review process.
  • Be an informational resource to the Zoning Board of Appeals on issues that may impact Boston’s urban forest.
  • Provides guidance and a strong voice in the development of policies, codes, and other requirements particularly for street design and new development.
  • Works with the Superintendent/Tree Warden to ensure the care and maintenance of public trees in the city right of way, parks, playgrounds, cemeteries, squares, plazas, medians and public building grounds.
  • Provides overall management to the staff in the Urban Forestry Division.
  • Works with BPRD’s Marketing & External affairs division to manage the division's communications processes to include responses to service requests, outreach, engagement and education programs specific to tree planting, monitoring, maintenance and care, as well as to promote the Forestry Program through various media formats and conduct public presentations on the City's program
  • Establishes goals and priorities, organize tasks and provide direction to the Urban Forestry Division.
  • Participate in the City’s annual budget process and manage the urban forestry operating and capital budget.
  • Provide overall management of the various urban forestry contracts with consultants and contractors.
  • Works with the Parks Maintenance Division to effectively manage shared parks and green spaces throughout the City.
  • Works with the Design & Construction Division of BPRD to manage the review and response associated with proposed construction and development projects regarding urban tree canopy and landscaping.
  • Provides overall management of the Urban Forest Asset Management System, tracking relevant data as it relates to tree location, age, growth, health and other relevant data. 
  • Generate and present reports as necessary.
  • Peforms related work as required by the job. 

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

  • Minimum of five (5) years experience with tree resource management, tree operations management, or the equivalent in training and experience.Experience working in municipal urban forestry preferred.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in urban forestry, arboriculture, or a related field.
  • Bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, horticulture, soil science, environmental science, or similar discipline with an emphasis on arboriculture required.
  • Certification as an arborist by either the Massachusetts Arborists Association, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional or equivalent preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurial skills, the ability to leverage resources and partnerships, and the vision to build on current programs to achieve a healthier, more equitable urban forest in the City of Boston.
  • Experience in urban forest master planning, developing the vision, goals, and strategies to maximize tree canopy, especially in underserved neighborhoods.
  • Experience and commitment to citywide tree canopy equity, and working with diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to provide a strategic approach to the delivery of public tree services and urban forestry initiatives, and the implementation of these initiatives.
  • Budget and project management experience required.
  • Working knowledge of cultural practices and equipment associated with maintenance and care of trees and shrubs, particularly those common to the northeastern United States.
  • Must have experience in supervising employees in the performance of tree maintenance activities. . Ability to plan, assign, and supervise work of subordinate personnel, and work with unionized employees preferred..
  • Excellent organizational, planning, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and environmental justice
  • Ability and willingness to be available periodically during evenings and weekends to participate in community meetings, events, and during foul weather events requiring emergency preparations.
  • This position is part of BPRD’s “Manager on Call” rotation.
  • Knowledge of ANSI A-300 and Z-133 standards of practice and operation.
  • Massachusetts Drivers License required.
  • Ability to exercise good judgement and focus on detail as required by the job. 

Boston Residency Required.

CORI check required.


Union/Salary Plan/Grade: Nonunion/MM2-10

Hours per week: 35

The City of Boston is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Therefore, qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category.

All City of Boston employees must comply with the City of Boston's COVID-19 Policies. To read more about those policies, please click here for more information.