Tree Survey

Sep 16

The BHA is launching a neighborhood-wide tree survey to help us locate trees in need of TLC.


Contact us and we will assign you a block to survey. All you need is a tape measure and a smart phone. If you don’t have a tape measure, we will give you one for free.


How it works

We will send you a link to an online survey, which will allow you to enter the details of each tree pit on the block, one at a time. You will need to enter the street name, the number of the closest building, the pit dimension, and a few other details. Take a picture, click “submit” to upload the data, and you can move on to the next tree pit!

We need information on all the tree beds in the neighborhood. Sign up now!


What happens next

The BHA will use the survey to monitor the health of the trees over time. In the immediate, we will identify blocks with multiple tree beds in need of enlargement. We will work with the owners, city agencies, and contractors to enlarge the beds up to a minimum of 25 square feet — the size recommended by the Parks Forestry department.

Just like for snow removal, the City considers sidewalk and tree bed maintenance to be the responsibility of the homeowners — but the BHA can help. We will:

• Coordinate between multiple homeowners;
• Get bids from contractors;
• Apply for the landmarks permit, saving homeowners both hassle and money;
• Reimburse the homeowners for half of the expense, up to a maximum of $350. By enlarging multiple tree beds at the same time, homeowners will also benefit from economy of scale.

Participating homeowners must be BHA members at the household level or above (you can join the BHA at any time). For tree pits to qualify, they must be smaller than 25 square feet and the sidewalk surrounding them must be made of concrete, not bluestone.

The work we subsidize includes cutting the concrete, removing debris, and, if needed, adding soil and mulch. We cannot contribute to the fabrication of ironwork for tree guards, but we do encourage homeowners to add guards and decorative plantings, which improve not only the street’s appearance, but also the tree’s health. 

To install tree guards, the homeowner needs to obtain a tree work permit. The guard must be three-sided, approximately 18” tall, with no sharp points, installed on the outer perimeter of the tree bed and positioned at least one foot short of the curb with the curbside open. Solid walls are not permissible. Water must be able to flow into the tree bed on all sides. 

No permit is necessary to plant and care for flowers or other small ornamental plants.

Read more about this project and the history of caring for trees in Brooklyn in Mary Frost’s Daily Eagle article.

Volunteer with the survey or contribute to our Tree Fund.

Survey Status

The survey has been completed, and the project has moved into the next phase, contacting homeowners on the blocks with the most small tree pits.