How to plant a tree in New York City?

October 1, 2019 by Joshua
in Nature

I realized I’ve never planted a tree. With around 8 million people, I’d at first think New York had too many people for everyone to plant a tree, but maybe not.

Have you planted a tree? Can you help me do it, maybe pointing me in a direction to do it?

Can I just bury an acorn in a park or is there more to it? I found these pages

And some more. I thought I’d post here for two goals:

  • I figure I’d learn more from a person who’s done it
  • To make myself publicly accountable, so later people can point out that I committed in some way

The idea got into my head in conversation with a friend working on the Infinite Tree project.

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8 responses on “How to plant a tree in New York City?

  1. Thanks for your commitment to this.

    I read the Hidden Life of Trees. It’s a nice book by a forester. In his studies, trees are actually social creatures and they live longer, more productive lives inside forests. For that reason I would offer a suggestion that you promote/support efforts such as those in Scotland to preserve wild forestland from development.

  2. NYC has a long queue of sidewalk trees to replace/prune/cutdown. Because of bureaucratic backlog, there is a significant delay from the time a request is made to the time it is planted.

    There’s even a map of the requests outstanding. The city would absolutely love to be obviated from the work of planting just one more tree. I know from experience that many coop boards ask their management companies to make the request, and often the dirt plot sits for years collecting garbage, mushrooms and dog waste. You would be doing a tremendous favor to the property manager and the coop board by arranging to get it done, believe me. I suggest walking over to the property and meeting with whomever it takes to do it, vigilante-style.

  3. I am not into forestry, but NYC’s street trees seem to be pretty uniform:

    Is this something I can get involved with? I would love to help you find a spot and establish a connection with an interested property.


    Im looking over the planting map, and there are some in lower Manhattan. Do you have an ideal place in mind?

    • I’m inclined to put one near my home. I also have a small fig tree in my apartment that is suffering from spider mites that I haven’t been able to free it from, but that I understand other insect or birds will prey on outdoors. I got the sapling from my sister’s outdoor fig tree in Queens, so I know it can grow in this climate.

      Now I want to find a place to plant it. This page describes how to get a permit. It looks tedious and bureaucratic, but doable. And if I can’t plant my tree, this site gives away trees.

      I’ll start looking around as I walk around my neighborhood for vacant tree spots, then report back here about taking next steps. I’d love the help.

      I can’t help comment that every time I see someone act to conserve resources or make the environment more life-supporting, it creates community.

      Thanks for the links and offer. I can’t wait to plant my first tree.

  5. I’ll check back here regularly. Please let me know what your scouting has found. 🙂

  6. Pingback: I planted my first tree! » Joshua Spodek

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