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Every plant has a USDA Hardiness Zone designation, which measures the lowest winter temperature a plant can survive. Tags on every tree at your local nursery will provide this information along with other important details about the individual tree cultivar and its care requirements.
The Hardiness Zone is a great indicator to help you determine if your tree is appropriate for Weston’s average climate. However, other factors such as wind exposure, high temperature and temperature swings, soil conditions, exposure to road salt and sun all contribute to the overall health and longevity of a tree.
Weston currently is Hardiness Zone 6b, but borders the colder Zone 6a. For the best chance of survival for your new tree, choose a tree that thrives in a broad range of zones.
DO: Plant Trees that can thrive in a wide range of Hardiness Zones, including Zone 6.
A good example of this is a small understory tree called the flowering dogwood. It can thrive in zones 5-9, from Maine to Florida. This tree can manage even when Weston experiences a cold snap or heat waves. It will also have a better chance of surviving projected Hardiness Zone Migration
DON’T: Plant a new tree that depends on a narrow temperature band to survive.
An example of a tree with a narrow band is the Douglas Fir tree, which thrives in zones 4-6. Weston’s temperature is the warmest that it can tolerate. Although our neighborhoods boast many beautiful mature specimens, as higher temperatures become more typical in our area, this tree is unlikely to adapt to the changing conditions and will likely require extensive care to survive.
Weston’s USDA Hardiness Zone is projected shift from Zone 6 to Zone 7 by 2040. This means that Weston’s average lowest temperature will rise to a low temperature average similar to Delaware, Virginia and Tennessee in the next twenty years. Any tree planted today will grow to maturity during this period of rapid temperature shifts and extremes, including heat waves and polar vortexes, and should be factored into your tree selection process.
There are two main categories of trees: evergreen and deciduous.
Evergreen trees keep their leaves and deliver visual interest all year long. They also can shelter your home from frosty winter winds while providing a natural privacy screen to your yard.
Deciduous trees shed their leaves every year. Even without their leaves, they can provide 4-season interest with their branch structure and bark patterns. Whether you want flowers, fruits, nuts or glowing fall foliage, there is a native, deciduous tree for you to choose from.
Weston’s most common species are:
Look at any plant information tag and you will find icons telling you how much sun is required for the tree to thrive. Usually, the icons designate “Full Sun”. “Part Sun” “Part Shade” or “Shade”—but what does that really mean? Here are some general rules of thumb to help you understand the icons.
Full sun means 6 or more hours of direct sun. Usually this describes a south or southwesterly site with little to no shade at any time of the day from either trees or a structure.
Part sun means four to six hours of direct sun per day. Not all those hours need to be accrued consecutively—it could mean a few hours of morning sun plus a few more in the afternoon. When a plant prefers part sun, although it does not need to be in direct sun all day, it will grow and bloom best with at least some of those hours being in the afternoon. These plants need some heat and intense mid-day sun exposure in order to produce flowers and new growth.
Part shade also means four to six hours of direct sun per day but most of that sunlight should come in the morning hours, when the sun’s intensity is lower. Plants with a “part-shade” designation can struggle or get leaf-scorched in hot midday sun.
Full shade means less than four hours of direct sun per day, typically in the early morning sunlight. It can also mean dappled light below a large open canopy tree. Very few trees thrive in dense, day-long shade.
Not all trees thrive in the same type soil. Some trees prefer sandy, rocky soil. Other trees need moist, nutrient rich soil. Many of the native woodland trees of Weston prefer slightly acidic soil though some can tolerate a wider range of pH. If your home is newly constructed, you may largely have construction “fill” in your yard with only a few inches of nutrient rich topsoil.
To understand what your soil conditions are, including pH and nutrient levels, a soil test is your best bet. A good landscaper can get the test done for you, or you can easily arrange for soil analysis yourself.
The soil and plant nutrient laboratory at the University of Massachusetts can conduct soil analysis on samples from your yard that you send to them.
Town water customers will have access to the AMI web portal that allows easy access to information about your water consumption, compare current usage to previous periods, and set email and text alerts to achieve conservation goals. It will also allow for more immediate detection of system issues or residential leaks.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is state‐of‐the‐art. The reading at the meter is converted into a digital format using technology that has proven to be highly reliable and secure.
Installations will be completed gradually in 2021 and 2022. Please watch for postal communications from the Weston Department of Public Works regarding installation scheduling. Please do not ignore this installation request. Your cooperation will ensure the system goes online as quickly as possible.
A postal letter will be mailed approximately two weeks before the planned installation. This letter will provide you with information to contact the Town’s contractor, Baystate Winsupply Co., to schedule an appointment for the installation. Please do not ignore this letter. Your attention to the matter will help ensure the new infrastructure goes online in a timely fashion. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
In most instances, installation should take less than 30 minutes. The installer will have a photo identification badge and drive a clearly marked vehicle. If there are any doubts, call Baystate Winsupply to verify your appointment.
In a few cases, water service will be turned off for 15‐20 minutes. The installer will make certain that service is restored before leaving your home.
Yes, as long as access to the meter is provided. The Town of Weston’s DPW and Baystate Winsupply Co. will work with you to install an endpoint transmitter.
The power and duration of the radio signal is too low to pose a health risk. The products that make up the AMI system are stringently evaluated for safety and meet all standards established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Institute of Electrical (IEEE) and Electronics Engineers. See the RF Safety Specification Sheet (PDF) for more information.
The technology operates as a very low‐powered signal that is regulated by the (FCC) against interference. It is unlikely that it will interfere with the operation of other electronic devices. See the RF Safety Specification Sheet (PDF) for more information.
The transmitter that sends your meter reading has a unique identifier that is sent along with the read meter data. This identifier is compared electronically to your account record to ensure that the meter reading matches the meter assigned to your account.
AMI technology ensures that customers pay only for the water they use. Older meters may not have recorded all water used, so some customers may see an increase in their water bill. This is because the new meter is measuring water usage accurately. The web or mobile interface will allow residents to monitor daily water usage.
You will continue to enjoy the same high‐quality water you have come to expect from the Town of Weston and the MWRA.
Public questions may be directed to the Public Works Department, 781‐786‐5100
The purpose of charging for bulky waste is to help cover the cost of running the Transfer Station, which helps keep the cost down for permit holders and tax-payers. The costs to haul away solid waste and recycling are increasing and bulkier items take up room in the dumpster creating higher disposal expense. Currently, taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of disposing of large bulky waste. The best way to reduce bulky waste, and therefore the cost of running the Transfer Station, is to charge for it.
A two-week study was conducted at the Transfer Station where the prices for bulky waste items were applied to items on the list being thrown away during those two weeks. In that time, $3,600 would have been collected. This money will help offset the disposal costs and it will not create a profit.
The permit fee could be raised but that is not an equitable approach for all users of the Transfer Station.
A bulky item is something that you as an individual do not necessarily dispose of that frequently, such as a couch or washing machine; however, on a whole of all permit holders, bulky items add up. Rather than passing the cost to all permit holders, especially when there are items that can be reused or donated, the cost is brought down to the individual.
Remember, if it fits in a tall kitchen bag, it is not necessarily subject to the bulky fee and many bulky items can be reused or donated.
At the time the Select Board established the price of a Transfer Station permit in September 2020, a small increase in the fee was made to keep the tax subsidy of the Transfer Station operating costs within established bounds. No increase in permit fees had been made in the two prior years. Over the past three years, the increase in permit prices for most households averages slightly more than 2% a year, well below the increase in the cost of running the Transfer Station (the increase was even less for older adults).
The increase was kept low with the expectation that anticipated revenue from bulky waste would help make up the difference.
Charging for bulky waste is part of a series of changes being made at the Transfer Station to reduce the amount of solid waste that the Transfer Station must process. Composting began in October of 2020. Phasing in the changes gives residents time to get used to the new systems.
The bulky waste fee structure was developed based on an analysis of what other communities charge. The individual fees are less than what private haulers charge for the same item.
If the item is larger than 2’ x 2’ x 2’, or bigger than what will fit inside a tall kitchen (13 gal.) garbage bag, then it is a bulky item.
Some items, such as a wood pallet, can be broken down into smaller pieces, which would either reduce or avoid the bulky fee. Some bulky items can also be broken down into individual recyclables. Let's say you have a small couch to dispose of that cannot be donated or sold. This item can be broken down:
No. Charging for bulky waste is separate from PAYT.
PAYT and bulky waste fees are based on a common philosophy, however, which is that unit-based pricing for trash disposal is the best way to encourage recycling and ensure that we are only throwing away items that truly have no value to anyone else.
The Swap Shed is currently closed due to the pandemic. When it reopens, new policies will be implemented to prevent items from being put in the swap shed to avoid the bulky waste disposal fee.
Bulky items that can be reused should be donated to charitable organizations listed on the Bulky Waste donation/recycle information sheet, or otherwise sold or given away. Some of the organizations listed will pick items up.
Both wood and metal are waste ban items, per state law. This means they must be separated from the solid waste steam. These items are processed differently, resulting in an additional expense to the Transfer Station. Larger, bulky items take up more room in the dumpster resulting in more expense to process. So, yes the items are recyclable but there are fees associated with recycling. The bulky fee rates are being applied to cover the expense to process the larger items.
Not all plastics can be recycled. Items that are labeled recyclable and can easily fit into the plastic compactor are not considered bulky waste. Non-recyclable plastics (no symbol) and large plastic items that cannot fit in the regular plastic hopper will have a bulky item fee applied to it.
This is a new program and with all new programs there will be bumps along the way. We are anticipating the need to make adjustments and we ask for your patience. The attendants at the Transfer Station will be trained on the program and payment system and, as always, are there to help our users with any and all questions.
Bulky items can be paid for on site with a credit or debit card. We will also have an online "shop" where items can be paid for before your trip to the Transfer Station. At this time, only credit or debit cards will be accepted.
A rug is not installed wall to wall in a room whereas carpet is. Carpet is considered a demolition item, which isn’t accepted at the Transfer Station. As for rugs, take a look at your rug and determine if it can be recycled? If it isn’t wet, moldy or soiled with oil or another hazardous chemical it may be recycled but only if it can fit inside the textile recycling bin.
In order to access the Transfer Station, you will need to have a permit sticker. A Recycle Only Permit and a Five-day Pass are available from the Treasurer/Collector. See WestonMA.gov/TSPermits for additional information and permit application.
How you travel can also make a big difference in your carbon footprint. Thirty percent of Weston’s GHG emissions come from transportation. Consider the following strategies.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Connected Mobility. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
Residents can play a role in protecting Weston’s ecosystems by conserving water and maintaining more sustainable landscapes. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Healthy Natural Ecosystems. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
Sign up for Weston Power Choice, and electricity aggregation program that will offer electricity supply options with more renewable energy than currently offered by Eversource. Renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, have much smaller carbon footprints than natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Resilient Infrastructure and Services. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
There are many ways to save energy at home.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Smart and Efficient Buildings. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. We anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
*Source for all baseline data, unless otherwise specified: Weston Community and Municipal 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, Town of Weston, 2020
Much of the waste we throw away ends up in incinerators, which emit toxic pollutants, or in landfills where waste decomposes and releases methane emissions that contribute to climate change. Here are some ideas to reduce your household waste.
Tracking our progress is essential to successful achievement of Weston Ahead's goals for Sustainable Resource Consumption. We have identified several metrics and associated targets, listed below. we anticipate this list will continue to evolve as data tracking improves. The Town will report on progress against these metrics at least every two years.
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The Regional Housing Services Office (RHSO) was established by the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Weston with Sudbury as the Host Community. This collaboration was formed through an Inter-Municipal Agreement signed in February 2011. With a goal to provide municipalities with technical support for the administration of affordable housing, the RHSO has been established as a creative approach to maintaining the 3,200 units of affordable housing in this regional service area.
Please contact:Elizabeth RustRegional Housing Services Office141 Keyes RoadConcord, MA firstname.lastname@example.org
To obtain an Absentee Ballot Application, please visit the
The Consumer Assistance Office is a non-profit organization which operates under a grant from the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. The agency works in cooperation with the AGO to help people resolve their consumer issues. Services are free and mediation is informal, non-legal advice performed by trained volunteers. Consumer Assistance Office website.
Check under News and Events on the homepage for the current programming schedule.
Weston Media Center can be seen on Comcast channel 9 and Verizon channel 45. For All Government Programming, see Verizon channel 41.
Weston's Conservation Commission permits bow hunting for deer on 14 conservation land and open space properties from October through December 31st, which is in line with the state bow hunting season. Hunters are assigned to the following Conservation Properties:
Well-seasoned and proficient bow hunters are selected by the Conservation Commission. Hunter selection preference is given to Weston residents, employees, and hunters with demonstrated experience hunting on properties where people and dogs frequent.
Per state hunting laws:
Weston's Hunting Regulations (PDF) complement state regulations, which take precedence.
Walking and recreational uses of conservation land will not be disrupted.
The deer hunting stands are located high up in trees and away from main trails. The hunters are aware that Weston’s Conservation Lands are heavily used by people and dogs.
Several MetroWest communities including Framingham, Sudbury, and Dover also have successful hunting programs on their conservation lands where people frequently walk dogs, jog, bike and horse-back ride. Since the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife began keeping records, there have been no reports of non-hunter injuries during bow hunting season.
Unfortunately, illegal hunting does take place on conservation land. The Conservation Commission occasionally finds illegal deer stands and blinds. Despite the Commission’s best efforts to police the properties, it does not have the resources to be ever-present on all properties. However, Weston's permitted hunters who have a stake in the program help the Commission deter illegal hunting, and improve safety for everyone in the woods.
To protect native plants and animals, we must actively manage these human-influenced parcels. Humans are already a key element in the ecological equation that governs these properties. Furthermore, humans have been key predators of deer for thousands of years. An unrestricted deer population is a powerful disruptive force in Weston’s forests, wetlands, and fields. In this case, proper management of conservation land requires human intervention to protect and preserve diversity of both flora and fauna. A hands-off approach would allow deer to continue to threaten many native species.
All the evidence the Conservation Commission has received from long-time residents indicates that 30 years ago there were few deer in Weston, whereas today there are many. There’s no way to know the exact deer population of Weston; however, the evidence gathered is consistent with Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates for our region, which is about 25 deer/square mile. The state and the Commission’s goal is to obtain a population of 8 deer per square mile.
While most residents enjoy having some deer in Weston, 72% of those who responded to the Conservation Commission Deer Impact online survey felt that the deer population had reached a level that should be controlled. The negative impacts caused by deer include:
The purpose of this deer hunting program is to stabilize the deer population in a safe manner as part of the Conservation Commission's land stewardship obligations. We do not foresee hunting with firearms. We do not intend to allow hunting of other forms of wildlife on Conservation Land.
All Weston Fire Department personnel are trained in first aid and CPR and are considered first responders. A first responder is a person trained to arrive on the scene and provide immediate care to keep the victim alive until advance medical personnel arrive on the scene. All Weston fire units are capable of this function.
Weston Fire Department maintains two basic life support fire engines and all of our personnel are defibrillator-trained, state-certified emergency medical technicians (EMT). Moreover, the additional personnel on the engine are needed in order to safely move the patient from the scene to the ambulance.
Read this fire recovery pamphlet to find information on what to do within the first 24-hours, if you are or are not insured, how to replace valuable documents, and more.
You can stop in at headquarters and if someone is available for a tour we would be more than happy to give you one. For groups larger than eight, please call ahead at 781-786-6101.
Yes, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows burning under 527 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 10.22 (2) from January 15th to May 1st of each year. You must have a burning permit issued by the Weston Fire Department for the burning season, which can be applied for by using our online application form. After a permit is issued, you must call each day to see if burning is allowed. The chief will determine if conditions are favorable for burning each day. For more information, call the Fire Department 781-786-6101.
The Weston Fire Department operates out of two stations. Headquarters is located at 394 Boston Post Road housing Ladder 1, Engine 1, Engine 4, Ambulance 1, Ambulance 2, Rescue Boat, S-1, Car 3 and Car 4. Station 2 is located at 390 South Avenue housing Engine 3 and Engine 2. The administration offices are located at headquarters along with fire prevention and the dispatch office.
Please read the "Facts for Massachusetts Property Owners About Blasting" flyer published by the Office of the State Fire Marshal for blasting facts and regulations.
If you would like your blood pressure taken, just come to the Weston Fire Department Headquarters anytime during the day. There is always an EMT available to take your blood pressure for you. If the station is unoccupied due to an emergency call, please use the phone located in the lobby to call Dispatch (directions are next to the phone).
You should contact Pro EMS at:
P.O. Box 410326
Cambridge, MA 02141
If a retaining wall (including rip-rap) constructed of any masonry material including concrete and is less than 36 inches above existing natural grade it does not require a building permit. Please call the office for additional instructions if 36 inches or above.
New houses and large additions, renovation projects may require a CO.
Temporary CO may be issued with conditions, if necessary.
New building, additions, and extensive remodels.
Contact the Town’s Department of Public Works at 781-786-5100 to obtain details on obtaining a Street Opening Permit or Curb Cut Driveway Opening Permit. Both applications are available on the DPW’s applications web page.
Please note: there is a road cutting moratorium on any public roadway that has been paved within five years. Roadway paving is a part of the Town’s Capital Improvement Program.
Weston is adopting PAYT because it is the best way to reduce the amount of trash we throw away. The 44% of towns in Massachusetts that have adopted similar programs throw away only 2/3rds as much solid waste as towns without such programs. Our neighbors Acton, Concord, Holliston, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, and Wayland have all adopted PAYT, and more towns are adopting it every year. Most of us understand that we need to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint. In fact, under the recently adopted Climate Action and Resilience Plan, Weston has made a commitment to reduce its solid waste.
PAYT is also a fairer system. As with many other resources we use (such as water, electricity, and gas), PAYT requires you to pay for your usage. Under the previous flat-fee permit system, smaller households and conscientious recyclers subsidized other households; PAYT removes this inequity.
The program will begin on October 1, 2021 and is intended to be a permanent change to the operations of Weston’s Transfer Station.
Under PAYT, permit stickers to the Transfer Station will be free to all Town residents. As before, residents apply for Transfer Station stickers online or in person at Town Hall. Households may request up to two stickers. Each sticker must be assigned to a car registered in Weston, and affixed to that car’s window.
The Transfer Station sticker will enable the resident to enter the Transfer Station, and the resident may, without charge, dispose of recyclables, yard waste, and compost, and may access the Swap Shed (which will be reopening as a volunteer-run operation).
Anyone with a sticker may throw trash away at the Transfer Station, but the trash must be bagged in official Weston PAYT bags, which are purchased separately.
PAYT bags may be purchased at supermarkets convenient to residents in every section of town, as well as at Brothers in the Town Center. The Working Group is in the process of identifying the outlets, and has asked for resident input to identify the best locations.
Bags will come in two sizes and will be sold in rolls of 10:
The average household should pay about the same amount of money to dispose of its trash under PAYT as under the former permit fee. The former permit fee for non-senior households for one car was $255 for the year. (The second sticker cost $45.) The PAYT Working Group estimates that under PAYT, the average non-senior household will need 66 large bags a year for a total cost of $264 per year. Senior households paid $155 last year for a Transfer Station sticker. The Working Group estimates that under PAYT the average senior household will need 35 large bags per year for a total annual cost of $140.
These numbers assume that an additional 20% of household waste will be diverted into composting, recycling, and re-use. (Composters, take note: composting alone accounts for about 30% of household trash by weight.) Households that dispose of less than the average amount of trash will save money under PAYT.
For recycling and reuse tips, refer to WestonMA.gov/RSW for resources on how to reduce what goes into your trash bag. Mass DEP’s Recyclopedia is also a useful source of recycling information.
First, please know that the Town is not liable for damages incurred by plowed, thrown or moved snow and ice as the result of normal plowing operations. Further, the Town is not responsible for the following damaged items that are located within the public way: fences; lawns; shrubs; sprinkler heads; steps; or trees.
Mailbox ResponsibilityThe town will be responsible for mailboxes that are physically hit by a plow; however, the town is not liable for damage to mailboxes caused from heavy, wet snow being plowed. Mailboxes will not be repaired if they are in a deteriorated condition.Mailboxes and posts damaged by the impact of a snowplow will be fixed and/or replaced by the town with a standard wooden post and black box. The town will provide a check in the amount of $50 for homeowner’s use for any specialty mailbox and/or post that cannot be repaired.
To report plow damage, please contact the Department of Public Works at 781-786-5100. See also:
If you are submitting your application via postal mail, please send 10 completed copies to:
Weston Cultural Council
c/o Weston Town Hall
P.O. Box 378
Weston, MA 02493
Postmark Deadline Is October 15th of each calendar year.
Online applications can be submitted on the
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