When the sidewalk is repaired, why are trees sometimes able to be saved and why are they sometimes removed?


Once the City chooses a broken sidewalk that needs to be replaced due to tree root damage, based on the prioritization process of the Sidewalk Repair Program, a city inspector from the Bureau of Street Services and Urban Forestry Divisions reviews the sidewalk. To repair a sidewalk damaged by a street tree, at minimum the roots of the tree under the sidewalk would need to be shaved, cut, or pruned. During the review, a determination will be made to determine if the tree would be likely to survive the level of root pruning needed for the repair and if the roots can be pruned enough to ensure the sidewalk will remain undamaged for at least 10 years. If either of these is not positive, the tree would likely need to be removed. In addition, the City also reviews whether narrowing the sidewalk, while still meeting ADA minimums, is possible to provide the tree roots more space. The Urban Forestry Division will only allow for the removal of a healthy tree after all reasonable options have been exhausted. For additional information please click here.

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