As the recent hurricane showed, our street trees take a huge beating in extraordinary events like Isaias and in the world of day-to-day life on the streets of New York.
You may not know this but the moment a tree is planted in the sidewalk, the open patch of dirt and anything contained in it miraculously (okay, legally) changes from DOT control to Parks Department. Flowers, mulch, tree guards, trees, whatever – if it’s in a tree pit, Parks owns it – even if you planted it!
There is no (legal) such thing as ‘my’ tree in the sidewalk. The city owns it and manages it via the Parks Department irrespective of origin. That said, we all exist in a realpolitik space where we can’t necessarily count on city agencies to respond to every minute need, and thus we, as concerned citizens, need to take the initiative and do what’s right.
After paving (think Park and 5th Avenues this past week), block parties, film shoots, and family gatherings, ‘our’ street trees often remain taped with notices. Please, if you see taped notices on trees, remove it as carefully as you can.
Tape traps moisture, that both rots bark, and provides a moist haven for damaging insects. (Think of bandaids you might have left on a bit too long.)
Always, remove taped/stapled notices from trees (once the event has passed) and help a struggling street tree.