From the Queens Gazette:
Queens home and business owners are seeking answers to questions regarding maintenance of trees planted recently under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Million Tree” incentive.
If the city plants a tree or trees by digging up a sidewalk, the property owner is responsible for “simple maintenance” for one year after planting.
Simple Maintenance includes soil or mulch replacement, cleaning of tree bed and/or watering, when necessary.
Anyone with an older street tree on their property (one year old and up), can call 311 for all required maintenance, including pruning, root cutting, soil or mulch replacement and other “repairs” as necessary.
If the street tree has roots that are growing out of the sidewalk and breaking the cement, call 311 to ask for a Forestry crew to cut back the roots.
In many cases, workers will break open the sidewalk around the tree to create a larger “tree cut” that will allow the roots to grow without causing sidewalk damage, a Parks Department spokesperson said. If the work results in damage to the sidewalk, the property owner is responsible to repair the damage, the spokesperson said.
The property owner may insist that the city repair the damage, if he or she can prove that the damage was caused by city tree maintenance crews. Proof should include before and after photos, along with photos and documentation showing how the damage occurred.
If the sidewalk is not repaired in a timely fashion, the property owner may be subject to a fine issued by the Department of Buildings.
Department of Parks officials said the agency currently has no funds for the removal of tree stumps from city sidewalks.
Officials said workers would come out on request to cut down dead or dangerous trees but the cash-strapped agency will not remove the tree stump from the sidewalk after the tree is cut down.