In most cases, the municipality or state retains authority and responsibility over trees. Sometimes, the municipality legally transfers responsibility for street trees to the adjacent owner. Who in the city is responsible for street trees and parks? It is the responsibility of the local municipality or the state, depending on where you live and the road in question. Like highway maintenance, the state is responsible for state highways, the county is responsible for county roads, and cities are responsible for urban roads.
In cities, all roads are maintained by the local government. Therefore, if a tree is fallen or is sticking out of the road, whoever manages it clears it. If the road is a right-of-way for use, where the owner is the owner of the land to the center of the road, then the owner is responsible for cutting down the tree. The city has the authority to cut down trees if they consider that they represent a safety problem for the traveling public, but it is recommended that they first contact the owner and possibly the owner's insurance company.
Generally speaking, if your property is damaged, you are responsible for the damage. It doesn't matter if the tree or branch comes from your property, from your neighbor's property, or even from municipal property. In cases where the city owns the land and there is a tree near the roadside, removing the tree is often recommended to reduce the chance of a serious accident. If you live in a home for one, two or three owner-occupied families (tax class), you are eligible to participate in the Parks Trees & Sidewalks program, which repairs sidewalks that shake due to conflicts with tree roots.
A park ranger will inspect the tree and decide how to improve its health or, if necessary, remove it. However, homes owned by one, two or three owner-occupied families (tax class) are eligible for the Parks Trees & Sidewalks program, in which sidewalks that are shaken due to conflicts with tree roots are repaired. Even if the trunk of the tree is not on your property, anything from the tree that falls on your property is your responsibility. If you think that a tree in the city requires work outside of the usual maintenance programs at these parks, you can apply for a permit for an ISA-certified arborist to perform work on the tree.
However, you should be careful that any maintenance you do on the branches of the tree does not damage the rest of the tree. Keep in mind that if your actions cause damage or ultimately kill a tree that isn't yours, you can be held responsible for up to three times the cost of replacing the tree. The Parks Department & Recreation has jurisdiction over all trees that grow on the public right of way, including trees along city streets, avenues and parks. If you are not eligible to participate in the Trees & Sidewalks program or if the tree has been inspected and you want it repaired before the program date, you can schedule a sidewalk consultation with a park forester to help you design the new sidewalk.
Parks & Recreation now creates larger holes to allow more space for water infiltration and tree root growth. For young, newly planted trees, Trees New York, a non-profit organization, offers a course on caring for street trees. Initially, newly planted urban trees are irrigated and maintained by a tree-planting contractor for two years.