Parks Tree Fund
The Tree Fund is an option for those required to plant new street trees by the Department of Buildings (DOB), but cannot plant on-site (in front of their property), or wish to obtain a permanent Certificate of Occupancy outside of Parks’ two approved planting seasons. Under these circumstances, builders can choose to pay into Parks’ Tree Fund in lieu of each new tree required by the City’s zoning amendment. Please note that a tree fund application should not be submitted and will not be processed until the site plan has been approved by Parks first.
Payments for on-site and off-site plantings are accepted year-round. Non-refundable payments into the tree fund are allowed inside and outside of the fall and spring planting seasons. Please see information below on refundable deposits.
The tree planting cost varies based on the borough. NYC Parks will plant these trees on site if possible, or off-site as necessary. A Refundable Deposit Alternative is available for applicants who wish to obtain their Certificate of Occupancy by committing to plant trees during the next approved planting season.
Download the P-F1 Tree Fund Payment Application.
Tree Fund Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Submit your P-F1 Tree Fund Payment Application
Complete all the required fields of the P-F1 Tree Fund Payment Application and submit it by email to email@example.com. Please send your completed P-F1 Tree Fund [PDF] application along with a ST-1 form from the Department of Buildings (if applicable) to firstname.lastname@example.org. ST-1 forms are available on the NYC Buildings Plan/Work & Permits page. Please make sure your plan review has gone through the Building Plan Review process and been approved before submitting a tree fund application.
Step 2: Parks Issues an Invoice
Once the completed application has been received and processed, you will be issued an invoice within 10 business days via fax or mail.
Step 3: Pay into the Tree Fund
The funds will be deposited into a dedicated Tree Fund that Parks will use for future street tree planting projects.
Once NYC Parks receives your application, an invoice will be issued that will allow you to use our online payment system. Please note: it may take up to 24 hours for you to be able to access the payment system after the invoice has been issued. Applicants may pay with a credit card or e-check. There is a processing fee of 2.00% of the transaction for those paying with a credit card, while there is no processing fee for e-checks. For those who pay by e-check, it can take three to five days for the payment to clear. When the payment has cleared, a receipt will be sent to you.
Pay by Check
If you would like to pay by check, we currently accept both cashier’s and certified checks. Checks should be made payable to "The City of New York" ; mailed to, or dropped off at, Parks’ headquarters in Manhattan, at:
The Arsenal Central Park (at East 64th Street)
830 Fifth Avenue, Room 1
New York, NY 10065
The Arsenal is open to members of the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you pay in person, you will receive your sealed receipt immediately. If you mail your payment, you will receive the receipt in the mail within three weeks.
Step 4: Bring Receipt to DOB
Take the sealed receipt to the Department of Buildings (DOB). This receipt is all you need from Parks for your Certificate of Occupancy as long as you have no additional on-site planting requirements during a planting season.
Tree Fund–Refundable Deposit Alternative
This option is available if it is outside of a planting season and a builder wants to obtain their Certificate of Occupancy by committing to plant trees during the next approved planting season (Fall: October 15 – December 15 ; Spring: March 15 – May 15). Refundable deposit payments are allowed for on-site and off-site plantings between May 16 - October 14 and December 16 - March 14. Refundable deposit applications will not be processed during the planting seasons of (Fall: October 15 – December 15 ; Spring: March 15 – May 15). Please note that non-refundable deposit payments are allowed year long, inside and outside of the planting season for on-site and off-site plantings for those who need to close out their zoning requirement.
In this case, the builder must indicate on their submitted PF-1 Tree Fund Payment Application that they will seek a refund if they are able to plant the tree(s) themselves. If a refund may be sought, the payee must check the appropriate box on the Tree Fund application. Parks will allow the applicant a period of six months from receipt of the application to plant the required trees during an approved planting season. The deposit will be returned upon completion of the final sign-off inspection, verifying proper planting according to Parks’ Standards. If trees are not planted to our specifications, the applicant may not be eligible for a refund and Parks will retain the funds. The applicant must file a separate Tree Work Permit application (See Permit Planting Directions) before planting and state in the description field of their application that they wish to obtain their refundable deposit.
Note: If after six months the applicant has not successfully received a sign-off, the refund will be forfeited. If seeking a refundable deposit from the Tree Fund, you are only allowed one month from the issued date of the “punch-list” to request a re–inspection.
The following are examples of violations that will likely delay your final sign–off and refund:
- The tree bed size does not match the Work Order
- The size of the tree is incorrect
- The species of tree is incorrect
- The tree location is incorrect
- The tree is not planted to the correct depth
- The tree is not in excellent condition
- The tree was planted outside of the planting season
- The tree bed was not backfilled with good soil
- The burlap and top half of basket was not removed
- The paving, if applicable, is not installed to Parks’ standards
- The tree is not mulched properly
- The stakes and Arbor Tie™ (or equivalent material) are not installed correctly.