Tree Guards

I called 311 to inquire about guards for the trees installed on our block. The city says they do not provide tree guards. You can install tree guards at your expense, but this requires a tree permit from the city.If you do not obtain a permit, you will be fined.

They also added that if someone trips or gets caught on a tree guard, the owner of the house the tree is installed in front of is responsible and will be fined.


All newly planted city trees are watered by the tree planting contractor for two years. Once the two–year period has passed, responsibility for the care and maintenance of street and park trees is transferred to the borough forestry offices. There, foresters inspect the trees for pruning requirements and special requests coming through 311, including any concerns residents have about the health of a city tree. Tree climbers correct any immediate pruning issues, and all of New York City’s street trees are pruned once every seven years for routine maintenance. Parks & Recreation also operates a Trees & Sidewalks program, where iron guards, wires, heavy stones, and other objects interfering with tree health are removed, and sidewalks that are heaving due to conflicts with tree roots are repaired. Additionally, any dead trees are removed within 30 days of notification to 311. Foresters also conduct inspections after storms and make sure all public safety concerns are addressed. If you would like to be involved in the care of a street tree, the MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Corps, an initiative co-sponsored by Parks, offers free stewardship workshops to residents and community groups. Please visit the Stewardship Corps homepage for more information.

Treegator® Bags are a practical solution for watering immature trees in danger of neglect. A bag is placed around the bottom of a tree trunk, and when it is filled with water, it slowly and evenly delivers water directly to the tree’s roots, which promotes the growth of deep and firm roots. While Parks does not immediately replace missing or damaged bags on street trees, the device itself is moderately priced at approximately $20 and is potentially a one–time purchase for concerned local tree stewards.

Further information can be found at: