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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Tree Light Policy

Any person, association, business, and other special interest group wishing to install seasonal lights on any tree or shrub in city rights–of–way or other public places under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, must make a written request and complete a no–fee permit supplied by the respective Borough Forestry Office.

P-A Forestry Application [PDF]

All permitees must follow the following guidelines:

  • Use only cool light bulbs and position them away from leaf and flower buds.
  • A licensed electrician should install the lights.
  • The installer should use a free–standing ladder or "cherry picker" bucket truck. Never climb the tree or use a ladder that leans against the tree.
  • Leave slack in the wire to accommodate branch movement.
  • Remove all the lights and wires when the permit expires.

Due to the possibility of future repair work on electrical conduits within the tree pit area, underground electricity shall not be recommended nor approved by Parks & Recreation.

Regardless of permit status, all lights will be removed during scheduled pruning.

If you do not follow these guidelines the following may occur:

  1. You will be issued a summons.
  2. Your permit will be revoked.
  3. The lights will be removed and confiscated.

If you have any questions, please call your respective Borough Forestry Office.

Borough Forestry Offices
Bronx: (718) 430–1876
Brooklyn: (718)768–0100
Manhattan: (212) 860–1844
Queens: (718) 699–0873
Staten Island: (718) 816–9193

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