Through the Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program, the City performs free repairs for qualifying broken sidewalks severely damaged by curbside tree roots in front of one, two, and three family homes only. An official inspection of the broken sidewalk will determine if it qualifies for free repair.

The City no longer permits root slicing or root pruning of City trees. Anyone with a sidewalk damaged by a City tree must request a sidewalk tree consultation.

Learn more about the Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program.

If the sidewalk in front of your home is damaged due to tree roots, you may qualify for free repair through the Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program.

An official inspection of the damage will determine if a sidewalk damaged by curbside trees qualifies for a free repair. Only 1-, 2-, and 3-family residential property owners are eligible.

If an inspector finds your sidewalk does not qualify for the program, you must fix the problem yourself or face possible fines. You can request a sidewalk tree consultation from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to get advice on how to repair the sidewalk yourself.

Requests will be inspected and ranked by how badly the root damage appears. High ranking sites will be repaired before less severely damaged sites. After the inspection is completed, homeowners will be notified of the results.

Repairs generally involve:

  • Removing damaged concrete
  • Expanding the tree's growing space
  • Installing concrete in the surrounding sections of sidewalk to provide space for future root growth

Ranking and Inspection

DPR evaluates and ranks sites based on:

  • Level of activity on the street
  • Amount of sidewalk damage
  • Tree's overall health

The Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program will repair sites with a high rank first.

The Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program is not available to owners of the following:

  • Commercial properties
  • Co-ops
  • Condos
  • Residential properties with four or more units

If you fit into any of the above categories, you must request a Sidewalk Tree Consultation with the Department of Parks and Recreation. The inspector will give you advice on how to repair the sidewalk without damaging the City tree.

If City tree roots damaged the sidewalk or affected the sewer or foundation outside your property, and you wish to repair the sidewalk yourself, you can contact your corresponding Borough Forestry Office to request a consultation with a City inspector.

This consultation provides advice for property owners to pursue repairs on their own and is not part of the free Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program. The inspector will give you advice on how to repair the sidewalk without damaging the City tree. 

Request a sidewalk tree consultation or contact a Borough Forestry Office.

Before the private contractor you hire begins repair work, they must get: 

The City will no longer issue violations or impose liens on one, two, and three family properties that have sidewalk damage caused exclusively by City trees.

By the end of 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will review existing notices of violation to determine which were caused solely by City street trees and cancel the lien for any that meet the criteria.

If you are a property owner who is selling or refinancing your home, the City will expedite this re-evaluation. You will need to provide proof from a licensed real estate agency that the property is in contract to be sold.

Requests must be submitted online or by mail. You must include your name, the property address, and a description of whether you are selling or refinancing.

Online

Email the Department of Transportation.

By Mail

Commissioner, Department of Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10041