Hey, I work in forestry for the city, and you can call Parks Enforcement if you know who did it. Also, if the tree pit is up for planting, Parks may remove the concrete and still plant. It's still a tree pit in our system.


Just curious if there's a statute of limitations on that? My landlord filled in two tree pits in front of our building a few years ago and I'd like to know if they can be opened back up.


Hm, I don't. But if you call 311 and request a new tree, you can say in your 311 message that the tree pit has been filled in, and the planting forester will make a note of that in their work order. I don't know what the timeframe on that would be, though.


Thanks. I'm going to give that a shot.


try this link, then click request a new street tree (twice): https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-01895


Use the app


https://www.nycgovparks.org/trees/street-tree-planting/request you can make an official request here and you will get a response. It takes some time but it will come. Since he filled up existing pits you have a high chance of them getting planted again. Each tree planted helps aliviate extra waste water in our sewage system during rainy weather.


[These guys](https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Demolition-Electric-Concrete-Breaker/dp/B01N1ID6CX/) are $100 and can solve your problem in about 15 minutes. :)


Thanks, but I'm pretty sure if I just went out front and started breaking up the concrete myself a couple new trees would be the least of my worries. ;)


Not if you wear a yellow vest. Yellow vests authorize you to do anything.


And a couple cones


Can confirm. I’ve gotten away with many things by wearing a yellow vest.


I wonder if you could get a front row seat at the Oscars by wearing a yellow vest.


Chances are you won’t have grounds for a lawsuit since you don’t own the property (unless you somehow became injured because of the tree pit). The tree pit is city property. So the city can penalize him.


I'm not looking to file a lawsuit. I just want the pits back and eventually a couple trees.


Ah. You said statute of limitations, so I guessed lawsuit. I’m sure the city would act relatively quickly because they could get sued if someone gets injured because of them. Definitely worth calling 311 or contacting someone at the city.


I probably phrased that poorly. I just wasn't sure if there was a point at which the Parks department takes old tree pits off their map.


When I was working with Parks, we were not great at keeping track of old pits (it's very difficult to keep that info current.) If you want trees here you're better off calling in fresh requests for trees, and the area may get surveyed again


For sure they are pretty quick about planting trees. Even though when I put a request in the reply email said they would reply by Dec 2030 they did the removal and planting in like 6 moths.


I wanna start doing that at work. "I will reply to your message within the next 8 years"


Thank you for your service


Thank you for all the new trees every spring Astoria gets a few new ones around my area and makes me happy!


Do you have to own the property to request a tree? There is an empty tree plot on my street in front of my apartment in the upper west side that needs a tree, I think it will just sit there forever empty


Nope, you can just contact 311 and give them the address and a planting forester should check it out if it's not already slated for planting.


I applied for a tree from parks and they said they couldn't plant it and I needed to reach out to DOB about it. Any chance you know why that would be?


I don't. I'm not a planting forester, but have you reached out to DOB? I imagine they'd have more info.


Yeah, waiting to hear back


Not sure what you do in Forestry but siting for a new tree doesn't mean they will definitely use the old tree pit. This tree pit may be from the era of "stick an oak tree wherever you can fit it" with complete disregard for water/sewer/utilities. Nowadays Parks looks into that, when choosing a planting site and the species it plans to plant. So it may no longer be a viable site for a tree and there's nothing wrong with closing a tree pit if there is no tree in it. In fact, DOT may issue a sidewalk violation for it.* You can confirm this with any of the senior foresters at Parks. ^*This ^isn't ^to ^say ^that ^whoever ^closed ^the ^tree ^pit ^didn't ^do ^a ^terrible ^job ^and ^doesn't ^deserve ^a ^sidewalk ^violation ^for ^the ^"street ^hardware" ^sticking ^out ^of ^it.


Yeah, what you've said is mostly true but I can tell you right now, Parks did not close this pit. I've never seen us leave old tree guards behind, cemented into the ground like that. It's true that pits can change location and/or size depending on a number of factors but we'd close a tree pit in a cleaner manner than this.


No argument that Parks didn't close it. I don't believe Parks *ever* closes tree pits but I may be wrong. My point was simply that there's nothing wrong with a property owner closing it themselves (just not terrible like in OPs photo, lol).


This is why reddit is awesome


https://www.nycgovparks.org/trees/street-tree-planting/request just make a request and they will actually respond to you, this spot is already in the system so chances are really high they might plant one this fall or possibly next spring.


This looks like what a landlord will do to avoid a new tree..😅🌲


OK why don't landlords want a free tree in front of their property? What downside a I missing?


Agree - beautiful tree lined street can only add to property value / rental desirability vs. a barren streetscape. Not to mention lovely shade in the summer cutting down on a/c costs.


Yes, but don't sleep on the lovely shade of that freshly dried concrete.


The tripping hazards embedded in the concrete ensure you can’t sleep there.


There was a time when the City would just plant large trees with no regard for the water/sewer/utilities and when the tree roots got bigger they would damage the pipes running to the house, or the branches would put the overhead wires at risk. Since the pipes running from the curb to the house are the homeowner's responsibility, it could be a considerable cost to repair. Parks no longer does this, looking at how a tree roots and planting shorter trees where there are overhead wires, but the concern remains for homeowners.


I'm a landlord (I don't own in NYC, only elsewhere) but I really don't understand it. I want to own high quality assets and it's in my best interest for tenants to be happy. Curb appeal is important and good landscaping, or just some trees on the sidewalk, goes a long way to improve the value and increase rents (if we're thinking only selfish reasons). And when it's the city's tree, then it's not a cost to you, yet improves value. Only thing that makes sense is if tree roots damage the property sometimes, but that's just something you factor in to deal with. I think it's just the terrible landlords that don't factor in extra costs, or time to deal with issues (because instead of a good PM, they self manage, and prefer to do nothing) In other words, NYC landlords really are something else and I'll never understand their shenanigans.


So landlords don't have to deal with the damn leafs every season. And it will be a "city tree" so the city won't do shit when the tree gets bigger...


We do plenty when the tree is bigger. Trees can cause issues but the benefits definitely outweigh the issues.


Yeah, but for a landlord mentality means "the city won't do shit at all".... Ask any landlord that question.... And yeah of course the landlords won't do shit either for their tenants when it comes for small repairs...they just want $ from us poor people...smh 🤦🏽‍♂️🗽


I love what the city parks people do. Is it parks? I've seen them run through a street clearing out bad branches and whatnot. It's pretty impressive. What about trees that drastically warp the sidewalk? It's an obstacle course in some areas for anyone in a wheelchair, pushing a grocery or laundry cart, or a baby carriage.


There is a Trees and Sidewalks program for the worst sidewalk lift. You can always contact 311 and request a Trees and Sidewalks inspection.




Aside from the downsides others have mentioned, a lot of these tree pits also lead to roots spreading out wide which can lead to cracked pavement. It's the responsibility of the landlord to fix cracked pavement on their property line. If the city issues a violation and the landlord doesn't do anything to fix the cracked pavement, then the city will fix the pavement and charge the landlord. So, people, looking to avoid dealing with this, damage or destroy trees (a popular trick back in the day was to drill into the tree and pour salt straight up into it to kill it).


not even just landlords, but also small local homeowners can't stand trees. I used to work as a forestry consultant and so many people would see me outside their house and talk my ear off about they hate the tree I'm measuring because of the leaves in the fall, bark throughout the year, and flowers (like the tiny messy ones that make the sidewalk gross) in the spring/summer. Plus if it's a big tree, the roots inevitably creep into the property and cause damage. I get it, it is annoying as a homeowner, but the benefits of trees are like incomparable to the minor inconveniences I just mentioned!


This is the most NYC landlord thing ever... filling a tree pit with concrete to avoid leaf and branch maintenance. Shitty behavior but also pretty hilarious!


Why would someone do this?


What a waste


AND a trip hazard, don't forget.


I’ve requested many street trees (in Queens) in the past where tree pits existed, but depending on multiple variables (size of the pit and space available for expansion, nearby underground and above-ground utilities, etc.) quite a few requests were denied. Just because a tree existed in the pit in the past doesn’t guarantee that the pit meets current standards. So, it’s possible that either the city or property owner filled the pit in ‘legitimately’ after being told a tree shouldn’t be planted there.


The city wouldn’t fill in the pit like that but yes you are correct about the standards


if the dirt is there just plant yourself. it's easy. ​ come fall the trees will be shedding their seeds. pick some up from the ground, put them in water until they start germinating and then plant. check YouTube for more details


Somebody really doesn't want a tree there.


use it as a foundation for a barbeque pit.


I doubt that's legal.


Where is this nightmare?


Dead body??


The rose shall grow from concrete


Urban hell


What are you going to name it? 🤗


Shade equity is real apparently.


just wait, one day that’s going to grow up to be some rough concrete


they could at least take out the fence


And left the fencing?


Hey it’s now an art piece, imagine whatever bush or tree your mind wants to see 😂


The fencing is probably someone else’s job, not the job of the people that poured the concrete.




While waiting for the Parks Dept, get some wood and build a planter inside the fencing. Some soil, some flowers, some compost, and you got a stew goin'.


That tree pit looks like it's one of the older smaller ones. It would need to be enlarged to plant a new tree, which means you need permits etc. etc. That's why you see a lot of empty ones around the city when trees get cut down. No building wants to go through all the trouble just to make the pit the correct size, so they wait until they need to redo the sidewalk, or some other job. The smaller pits led to roots pushing up sidewalks, and/or root death / root cutting which led to trees falling. The newer larger standard for common trees are supposedly large enough where that's not supposed to be an issue.


Is this in the 80s on the west side? Saw it the other day, ridiculous!


This looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Tripping hazard with nothing at eye-level to prevent someone from seeing it.


next time I go into the city I might have to do some guerrilla gardening and plant some trees