Providing a Tree Guard for your Street Tree
Tree guards are fence-like structures placed around tree beds to protect trees and surrounding plants from damage, soil compaction, and pets. They also personalize and beautify tree beds, making them attractive additions to your community! Although MillionTreesNYC does not supply tree guards, residents can install them using a few simple guidelines:
- Any tree guard installed around a city tree must have a permit. Permits can be downloaded using the Forestry Permit Application.
- Approved tree guards should be approximately 18 inches tall, with no sharp points.
- Tree guards must be installed along the edges of the tree bed.
- Solid walls are not permissible. Water must be able to flow into the tree bed.
- The soil level within the tree pit must NOT be raised. Adding additional soil can contribute to tree rot and decay.
- Tree Guards should be three-sided with the side facing traffic open to prevent damage from vehicles.
The NYC Tree Trust accepts donations to fund the installation of decorative tree guards. Please see our Tree Guard Donation Table (PDF) for a list of designs and associated costs. For more information and to find out how to donate towards the NYC Tree Trust, please contact MillionTreesNYC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tree steward Tom Mazzone has provided comprehensive instructions for designing a low-cost tree guard as well (you can see a finished version in the image to the right). Please see Mazzone Tree Guard Design (PDF) for further details.
NYC Parks Foresters have also created low-cost tree guard templates which conform to official design specifications. Check out the simple instructions on how to Build Your Own Low-Cost Tree Guard (PDF).
We welcome creative ideas for tree guard designs! Please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding guards for street trees or to submit a template to post on our website.