While side walks in New York are narrow and can be tricky maneuvering between dogs on leashes, strollers, dog doo doo, chalk drawings, sidewalk sales and the odd nutter or two extolling the virtues of commitment to – well a commitment to almost anything !

You will most likely notice all of these things as a first time visitor to New York City – they tend to meld into the White Noise of the City ( speaking of White Noise and New York city – be sure to check out this amazing Novel called White Noise by Don DeLillo it won the National Book award for Fiction – and it is a funny look at relationships and life in the city )if you live here for any length of time ! What you may not notice but you should is the amount of greenery in this urban jungle – trees, flowers, grasses, shrubs, annuals & perennials.

People take pride in their street trees and street gardens in New York City.

What I am going to talk about today is your pits ! Not those Pits ( think Rexona or Brad ) I’m talking tree pits – “what are they” I hear you ask – “I’m about to tell you” I reply ….. Tree pits are the rectangle or square or basically any patch of soil around a tree on a sidewalk that allows for the tree to get water and nutrients to its roots which are buried below the concrete sidewalk that you are walking on.

This tree Pit is not maintained by Plant Specialists – (for many many reasons- first and foremost its not well kept ) but it is also illegal – there can’t be any side that will obstruct a door opening on the street side of the tree pit .

There are guidelines for installing guards on a tree pit and it can vary from area to area within New York City – for the most up to date information you can call NYC Parks on 718 361 8101.

A tree pit that is cared for by the Plant Specialists talented garden care team – this one is also illegal as the side closest to the street as it obstructs vehicles doors from opening

So the little patch of ground around the tree becomes the urban dwellers with an opportunity to beautify – from permanent installations – like the mini boxwood hedge in the above image to seasonal displays of color like the one below.

Now that is a Plant Specialists creation – smell that spring scent – ahhhhhhh – you can kind of see in this image only three sides have a guard

Plant Specialists installs permanent & seasonal displays in front of buildings in New York City

Fall tree pit installation by Plant Specialists garden care team

Isn’t this a lovely splash of color – but once again a pit with one side too many on the guard rail.