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Planting Requirements for New Buildings

If you have a project pre-filed with the Department of Buildings on or after May 3, 2010, please be sure to visit the Building Plan Review page before proceeding.

According to the City of New York zoning text amendment, all new buildings and all enlargements exceeding 20 percent of the floor area must have one new tree for every 25 feet of building road frontage. These requirements are just like other zoning rules in that they must be satisfied in order for the builder to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Buildings (DOB). Applicants who pre-filed their project with DOB before May 3, 2010, and are not obligated to complete the Parks Plan Review, must first file an ST-1 Form with DOB to determine the number of new street trees required. The zoning law provides credit for existing trees but also requires off-site planting if no suitable location can be identified for new trees on-site.

Street tree planting is a seasonal job and can only take place during Parks’ two approved planting seasons:

  • Spring: March 1-May 31
  • Fall: October 1-December 31

During a Planting Season

If you are seeking a Certificate of Occupancy from DOB during a planting season, you must file a Forestry Application to perform tree planting yourself or by private contractor.

Parks will provide applicants with a permit within three weeks (15 business days) from the date their complete application is fully accepted.

If a sealed site plan is on file with Parks, the permit will be issued within a week. Parks cannot guarantee that permits applied for after May 1 or December 1, but prior to the end of that month’s respective planting season, will be processed in time to plant within that planting season.

If Parks determines that you cannot plant a required tree on-site (in front of your property) because of existing infrastructural constraints, you will be provided two options:

  1. Plant at alternative off-site locations chosen by a Parks forester. All off-site locations are in the public right–of–way and on City property.
  2. Pay into the Parks Tree Fund for each required tree.

Follow the Permit Planting Directions to learn more and fulfill your requirement.

Outside a Planting Season

If you are seeking a Certificate of Occupancy from DOB outside of the planting seasons, you have the option to wait for the next planting season to plant or pay for all required trees through the Parks Tree Fund; however, you must first complete a P-A Forestry Application for our staff to assess the project and file the proper paperwork. Tree Fund payments will be used for future street tree planting by the Parks Department. You may be eligible for a refund of the Tree Fund payment if you conduct the required plantings yourself during the next permissible planting season.

If you expect to plant a tree yourself or by private contractor during the next planting season, please submit your application as early as possible in advance of the season. Permits are renewable but only valid for the coming planting season.

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