Be an NYC Tree Guardian

The blog I'm Seeing Green offers the following tips for documenting vandalism of street trees in New York City:
  1. If you think a street tree is in danger, take a photo of it. This will serve as a "before" photo, a valuable piece of evidence.
  2. If you see workers cutting down a tree illegally, don't call 311. Call the borough's forestry office ... These are Parks Police Officers, they have the power of arrest and will be dispatched to the scene.
  3. Write down the name and address of the contractor removing the tree, if available, (it may be on the construction fence or truck) and take a photo of the crime in progress. The officers will use these to track down the offenders if they have left the scene.
  4. You may be asked to sign an affidavit of what you saw if the perpetrators were gone upon the officers' arrival. Your name does not appear on it and you just have to sign your initials. The officers will visit you at home, you won't even have to go to their headquarters. This will be used in court. You may also be asked to testify in person, but this very rarely happens because the developer doesn't bother to fight the fine.
- Watch That Street Tree!, via Gowanus Lounge.
For my readers who are not from NYC, a couple of explanations:
  • 311 is the general information line for all city services. When you don't know who to call, that's the number to call.
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation has jurisdiction over street trees in NYC.
  • Only people employed by or under contract from Parks can perform any work on a tree.
Residents should read Caring for Street Trees and Greenstreets to learn what they can do to keep their street trees healthy and cared for.

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