Posting fliers, or any other signs around NYC is an easy and free means of advertising. Taping up signs for a missing pet or stapling a sign on a telephone pole pointing passersby in the direction of a garage sale is seemingly harmless but that legal line is fine.
The distinction of what is considered a well-tolerated sign and a quality-of-life issue is, however, debatable.
According to the Department of Sanitation, “It is illegal for any person to affix any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material upon any tree by any means.”
Violators of this law face a $150 to $200 fine for first-time offenses. Second and subsequent offenses bump the fine up to a range of $300 to $550.
Damage from a staple or nail is more likely when one is put into a young or sick tree. Even if posters may not cause much damage, they can reduce the aesthetic value of the neighborhood, or reduce quality of life in certain areas.
Anyone who sees an unwanted sign posted on a tree, telephone pole, lamppost or other public property to report it to 311 or the Department of Sanitation.