Trees for Tribeca

Trees for Tribeca

A special project sponsored by Friends of Duane Park.

Trees for Tribeca is a special project sponsored by Friends of Duane Park. The project is the result of a collaboration between artists in SoHo, FDP and the SoHo/Tribeca Partnership known today as Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE). Our mission is to promote the installation of trees, usually in containers due to the vaulted neighborhood sidewalks.

How it works

There are many reasons to want trees in front of your building. They can provide shade in summer, help clean the air, and be a pleasure to look at all year long. We suggest a choice of four trees, two for low-light areas, and two for areas with sunlight.

Our planter meets Department of Transportation specifications for weight, height and materials. Planters like this one have been installed successfully in SoHo since 1996 and Tribeca since 2003. You can see the planter we are offering on Warren at W. Broadway, on Reade Street between Church and West Broadway, and at many other locations.

The cost of the planter with tree delivered to your site is $2800. A Trees for Tribeca Committee member will place and track your order. If you wish, this person will also help you coordinate your tree’s maintenance plan with Tribeca Partnership’s Tree Care Program.

For more information, or to get your tree program started, please email:

Facts for prospective tree owners


Four tree choices are available, two for low light areas and two for high light areas. The choice is based on research and advice from Dr. Nina Basak, an urban horticultural specialist at Cornell University. Low Light: usually locations on southern sidewalks tend to do well with low light tree species, and we have had success with Serviceberry (“Amelanchier”) and Calicarpa Crabapple. High Light: usually locations on northern sidewalks will support the low light tree choices, as well as Kwansan Cherry and Chokecherry.


In most of Tribeca, trees must be in planters, either because the sidewalk is over vault space or because it is made of stone slabs that can’t be cut into. The planter we can make available now is shown here. You can order it in a faux cast iron, terra cotta, or concrete finish. This planter has been installed successfully in Soho and Tribeca for decades years and meets Department of Transportation specifications for weight, height and materials. The soil mass should enable a tree with a small root ball to grow for 15 to 20 years. Planters in other shapes and materials are being researched as possible additional choices to be offered in the future.


The Department of Transportation requires that planters be placed at least 18″ from the curb and leave 8 feet of sidewalk unencumbered. Thus a planter 30″ wide requires a sidewalk at least 12 feet wide (30″ + 18″ + 8′). A 48-inch planter requires a 13.5-foot sidewalk. Trees must be 10 feet from a sidewalk intersection and 15 feet from a fire hydrant. Planters may be placed adjacent to buildings as long as sprinklers and standpipes are not blocked.


We suggest that you meet with your neighbors to make a plan for trees along your street.


Trees for Tribeca can arrange to have a cherry tree or serviceberry tree planted in a city approved planter with ground-cover delivered to your site for $2800. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Duane Park, 55 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013. Tree installations take place in the spring of each year. Payment in full is required by February 1st for a spring installation. Maintenance trees in planters must be watered regularly. We recommend that you make use of Ace’s Tree Care Program .

Instructions for tree care

How often should the tree be watered?

  • First Week in Planter: every other day
  • March to April: once a week
  • May to June: twice a week
  • July, August, September: three times a week
  • October to November: once a week
  • December to February: in a warm winter water once a month; otherwise, once it snows, stop watering until March.

How many gallons of water?

Each time, give the tree 10–15 gallons (or water until the water runs out of the bottom of the planter).

If you have questions about the health or care of your tree, please contact City Scape Nursery at 516-488-3355, and inform us as well at