Tree Work Permits

City Tree Work Permits
Since the City of Ithaca is lucky enough to have such a large and diverse urban forest, we understand that work will have to be done near the city trees. The Division of Parks and Forestry hopes to work with contractors and property owners to complete necessary work with the least amount of harm done to city trees as possible.

A Tree Permit (PDF) is required for any contractor or property owner that will be working within the drip line of a city tree (drip line is at the edge of the canopy. i.e. stand at the work location and look up; if there are branches above, you are within the drip line of the tree). The forester will sign the permit after making comments specific to the job. Periodic inspection will confirm that the general rules for working near city trees (second page of the tree permit) and the forester's comments specific to that tree permit are being followed.

To apply for a Tree Work Permit (PDF), complete this Application and forward it to the Division of Parks and Forestry at 245 Pier Road, Ithaca, New York 14850. You may also fax the signed application to 607-272-4374.

Tree permits have no cost to the applicants, however, damage to the trees and working without a tree permit does have a cost. Working without a tree permit can result in the stoppage of work until a tree permit is acquired by the contractor/property owner. There is a fine of $100 per DBH (diameter in inches of the trunk at 4.5 ft from the ground) for unauthorized removal of the tree. Therefore, unauthorized removal or destruction of a tree with a DBH of 18" is $1,800. Fines associated with damages to trees are based on the percentage of roots, trunk and/or canopy of the tree.