New York tree ordinance is a set of rules and regulations governing to protect trees in the city of New York against the everyday growing population. The city is keen on ensuring a balance between city trees and the city residents.

You’ll need a permit to remove certain trees in the city of New York.

Most of the residents in New York are not aware of the tree removal requirements. In case of any illegal tree removal, the offenders are heavily fined. The New York City code fully outlines the guidelines on tree removal regulations.

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Can I remove public trees in New York City?

No. Residents are to request the city to conduct or oversee any tree removal activity. They are to submit a Forestry Service request on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website or visit their offices.

Do I need a permit to remove trees on private property in the city of New York?

No. The city of New York does not claim responsibility for trees located on private property. Property owners may remove the trees without the city’s permission.

What are the reasons for public tree removal in New York City?

Reasons resulting to the removal of a public tree include:

  • If the tree is dying or already dead.
  • In case a large branch or limb had fallen off the tree.
  • When the tree is leaning, uprooted, or may fall over.
  • If the tree’s trunk is split.
  • When the tree is in poor condition.

Can the city of New York remove trees on private property?

Yes. If representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation find any tree growing in private property that is; diseased, dead, or obstructing the public, they have to notify the owner. The owner is given a specified time to correct the condition, depending on its seriousness.

Noncompliance from the owner gives the city authority to access the property, correct the condition, and charge incurred during the process paid by the property owner. More so, one may succumb to other additional costs.

Stump removal process in the city of New York

Residents report to the Department of Parks and Recreation, stating the tree stump’s location within the city’s public space. The Department is to respond depending on the amount of funding available for such tasks.

For the stumps in private property, the owners are to oversee and cover all costs. The property owner can request the city to remove or supervise the stump removal provided that he or she agrees, in writing, to pay for the services.

Who can apply for a tree removal permit in the city of New York?

A tree removal form is available to all residents, and one can access it by visiting the Department of Parks and Recreation’s website. The permit is granted to those with satisfying reasons as to why they want the tree removed.

What are the penalties for unauthorized tree removal in New York City?

Residents are advised not to conduct any activities, be it pruning or treating, on public trees without the Department of Parks and Recreation permit.

This includes curbside trees growing in front of private residences, including 50 feet around the tree. If one violates, this regulation is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a fine of $15,000, a one-year jail term, or both.

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Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.