How can I get a tree planted in front of my property?There are three methods for getting a tree planted in front of your home or business. The first option for planting trees is to contact Community Board 10, which submits a list of tree requests twice a year (May and January) to NYC Department of Parks, Street Tree Planting division. These trees are planted free-of-charge on a first come, first served basis. A second option is to call the One Stop Tree Shop. All it takes to get a tree planted in the upcoming planting season is one phone call and a tax-deductible contribution to the New York Tree Trust. For more information or to order a tree call (212) 360-TREE. A third option is to apply for a permit through your Borough Forestry Office and arrange for the tree planting privately. If a sidewalk tree pit has to be excavated, you must also obtain a permit from the Department of Transportation. This permit costs $135. All specification on tree “bed” size and tree species size and type are available through the Parks & Recreation permitting process.
Who in the city is responsible for street trees?
Parks & Recreation has a forestry office in each borough that maintains street and park trees.
Are there any regulations governing street trees?Yes: the City Charter; sections of the Administrative Code; and Parks & Recreation Rules & Regulations. Any person wishing to do work on or around street trees must first obtain a permit from their Borough Forestry Office. This includes, but is not limited to, pruning, fertilizing, spraying for the control of insects and disease, planting, installing decorative lights, tree grates and/or tree guards and removing or relocating an existing tree.
Why does Parks & Recreation require a permit for tree work?The city has an interest in protecting and preserving the tr ees growing along streets and in the parks. The permit process allows Parks to review proposed work to ensure it includes only desirable and safe planting, removal, maintenance, and protection practices.
Is there a fee for a Parks & Recreation forestry permit?No. To obtain a permit free of charge, call or write to:
Manhattan Borough Forestry Officea
16 West 61st Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 860-1844
, and request information about permit requirements and a permit application.
What happens if I don’t get a permit?
Persons failing to first obtain the appropriate permits before beginning tree work are liable to arrest and prosecution under Section 18-129 of the New York City Administrative Code and Title 56 Section I -04(b)(1) of the New York City Rules. Most violations are misdemeanors punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 90 days. Removing a tree without a permit or damaging a tree are serious offenses punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year. How can I get work done on a tree? Contact your borough forestry office to request pruning, root slicing or free dead tree removal. You may make requests or report by telephone but it is always a good idea to follow-up in writing.
If I choose to do so, may I arrange for a private tree service to perform the necessary work?
Yes. You may hire a qualified arborist to provide the necessary tree care services, but you must first have your contractor obtain a no fee permit from your borough forestry office.
The roots of the tree in front of my property are causing the sidewalk to heave. How can I make the necessary repairs?
Root slicing by Parks, or a qualified arborist working under a permit granted by Parks, is necessary prior to the repair of the sidewalk. You must coordinate a root slicing appointment between the contractor repairing your sidewalk and your borough forestry office. After preliminary arrangements have been made with a contractor, call the borough forestry office to schedule an appointment. The contractor must remove the sidewalk and completely expose the root system (cleaning all soil and debris from the roots) before the root slicing crew arrives. All root-slicing appointments must be scheduled in advance. Do not remove the sidewalk until you have confirmed your appointment with the borough forestry office.
My sewer is clogged and I suspect that roots from the street tree in front of my house are the cause. Can I have the tree removed?
The remedy to this problem does not lie in the removal of the tree. Trees will not cause clogging of sewers unless entry of the roots has been afforded by a defect in the sewer itself. Permanent repairs should be made to the sewer system at the point of root entrance.
May I work on the tree myself?
Proper tree care entails hazardous work that should be carried out only by skilled workers that are trained and experienced in arboriculture. Trees New York is a not-for-profit organization that offers a course in the care of street trees. The focus of the course is the care of young and newly planted trees that can be reached from the ground. Please call Trees New York at (212) 227-1887 for more information. The borough forestry offices are open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. To report an emergency at any other time, please call 311. For further information, or answers to questions on other New York City tree issues and topics, contact Community Board 10, 215 West 125th Street, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10027, www.cb10.org.