Re: TH: Spring Songs

> concrete and asphalt.  Recently, I discovered (from my co-worker,
> Patricia) that in Washington DC, it is illegal to fill in a tree
> pit (tree well).  How about that?  Wouldn't our lives be sweeter if
> places (spaces) to plant trees were forever (ad infinitum)
> protected by law?
> Could anybody out there tell us what the situation is in their
> city?  Certainly, we are not the only ones suffering at the hands
> of artificial infra-structure...  How do other cities deal with
> this conflict?
> All comments and information welcome!
> -G-
In New York City, all street trees are the property of the Parks
Department and the Commissioner of the Parks Department (Henry Stern) is a
thorough lunatic over trees (and his dog and various other subjects).
Trees are highly protected (all sorts of rules about not taking their bark
off, not cutting them down, etc.)  However, tree pits seem to be another

It must be noted, that many streets in New York are narrow and the
combination of foot and automotive traffic effectively prevents the
planting of trees (all the more reason to eliminate cars).  I have seen
tree pits smaller than 2'x2'.  I have also winessed people filling in
reasonably sized tree pits to within inches of the tree trunk. None of
these activities is closely monitored.  Hence even if illegal, it is not

Another neat fact about DC is that if you plant plants in the tree pits
(which in some neighborhoods run the entire length of the sidewalk) you
are not held liable for anyone who slips and falls on your plants.  One
obstacle to planting in some cities are litigious neighbors.  DC has some
sort of group insurance to prevent any individual from bearing too high a

NYC - Zone 7 or so