Tree Planting and Care 101

MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Corps

Have you been helping take care of street trees in your neighborhood? Would you like to adopt trees? Join the MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Corps and learn more about street tree care, get credit for stewardship activities and share tree care resources.  Visit the Stewardship Corps page for more information and our community calendar for a list of upcoming tree care workshops. You can also request a workshop for your group by contacting the MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Coordinator at

Are you a business looking to enhance the street trees in front of your property? Visit our Trees and Retail resource page.

TreeLC logo

Learn how to help newly planted trees stay healthy and green! The TreeLC Handbook shows you how to adopt and care for trees in your neighborhood, also available in a Spanish language version.

When you plant a tree, you give a bountiful gift to NYC and all New Yorkers. The benefits of planting trees are many—cleaner air, more beautiful neighborhoods, energy savings, cooler streets in the summer—and mature trees return these benefits to New Yorkers year after year, and for future generations to come. When properly planted and cared for, trees are valuable community assets throughout their long lifespan.

This section provides detailed guidelines and tips for planting and caring for trees—from selecting a variety of tree and its appropriate size, to understanding how to properly water, mulch, prune, landscape, and maintain the area around newly planted and mature trees.

It will be important for you to ask some initial questions before you start.  For example,

  • Why are you planting your tree?
  • Do you want your tree to screen or frame a view?
  • Do you want a short flowering tree or a large shade tree?
  • What are the growing conditions in your yard?
  • What kinds of trees will do well in those conditions?

Proper selection and planting are crucial to the health and survival of every new tree. Choose your tree species carefully, select an appropriate site, plant the tree correctly and take care of it. There are many things to consider, and it is easy to be overwhelmed.  But the following sections will help guide you through and simplify the process.  If you follow these steps, you and other New Yorkers will be able to enjoy your tree for years to come.

To learn more about basic tree care, visit the Stewardship Corps page or our community calendar for a list of upcoming tree care workshops. You'll learn how to weed, water, and cultivate your young tree, receive a free set of tools, and a Parks Volunteer Permit to care for trees in parks, greenstreets and along city streets. Once you've attended a workshop you can adopt a tree in your neighborhood!

Helpful Resources: