Illegal Tree Work and Damage

No one is allowed to perform any work on a tree unless they are employed by Parks, are under a pruning or removal contract with Parks, or possess an official Tree Work Permit with expressed consent from our Forestry Division.

According to Title 18, Chapter 1, Section 18-129 of the New York City Administrative Code, it is illegal and punishable by law for citizens to remove, kill, or damage a street or park tree, whether intentionally or accidentally. Most violations are misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 90 days. Removing a tree without a permit and damaging trees are very serious offenses, punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year. Anyone caught removing or otherwise harming a tree should be reported immediately.

Certified Citizen Pruners, who are trained to do light tree pruning by Trees New York, are authorized to prune small branches that can be reached from the ground. Any Citizen Pruner who performs tree work outside of these guidelines is subject to arrest and fine.


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