Tree Maintenance and Pruning

Care for Newly Planted Trees

We recommend that newly planted trees receive about 20 gallons of water per week, especially in the hot, dry summer months. Tree pits should be kept free of garbage, road and sidewalk salt, and dog waste, which can contaminate the soil.

No extra soil should be added to tree pits. Adding soil can suffocate the tree, as well as provide a breeding ground for fungi and insects where the soil touches the trunk of the tree.

Tree Pruning

NYC Parks conducts routine pruning every year on a portion of city trees in each community board in order to keep our mature trees healthy. If you think that a tree is in need of maintenance pruning, you can wait for the regular cycle or you can contact 311 to request an inspection by a forester who can assess the pruning needs of the tree. The forester will then decide if the tree needs pruning more immediately or if the next pruning cycle will correct the issues.

If you would like the tree pruned before that, you can apply for a Tree Work Permit for an ISA-certified arborist to perform work on the tree. If the tree is entangled in electrical wires, please contact the Con Edison Pruning Division at (718) 802-6551. Our forestry crews are not authorized to prune around high voltage power lines and therefore we must refer all such cases to Con Edison.

Dead Tree Removal

If a tree appears to be dead, please call your borough forestry office. If an inspector determines that the tree is dead, Parks will remove it within 30 days of receiving the request.

Only Parks and contractors hired by Parks are allowed to remove trees. Any citizen caught removing a living tree will be charged with arborcide and penalized severely. For more information please see the Tree Damage and Arborcide page.

Submit a Forestry Service Request
Use our new forestry service request system to submit a service request, and we’ll route your submission to the appropriate Parks Department division and provide you with a tracking number and details about how your request will be addressed.

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