A property owner has a general right to cut or remove trees on their property, as they wish. This is true whether the trees are located in or out of the road right-of-way, unless the Town or State holds title to the right-of-way. This is also true even if a road has been designated a ‘scenic road’.
Tree cutting in the Wetland and Watershed Protection District is permitted, however, any type of stump removal activity requires a Special Permit from the Town of Windham Planning Board.
Tree cutting and stump removal activities within the protected shoreland buffer are regulated by the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act. Under the CSPA, trees removed within the 50 foot waterfront buffer may be removed in accordance with a grid and point system, but stumps must remain intact within the ground. Trees removed within the 150 foot natural woodland buffer must comply with the unaltered state requirement. Stumps may be removed in this area, but any activity requiring mechanized equipment will require a shoreland impact permit.
Public utility companies and municipalities must follow certain procedures prior to cutting trees. For a utility, the law requires not only notice, but landowner permission. The Town may cut or remove any trees that interfere with public travel or are deemed a public nuisance. However, trees with a circumference of more than 15 inches at 4 feet off the ground generally cannot be cut until the owner is notified in writing.