Get a Free Fruit Tree Thanks to the New York Restoration Project

From American persimmons to Shinko Asian pears, their free selection offers promises of future seasons of abundance.

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Photo credit: Emily Kinsolving

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While the official last frost date in Brooklyn and Manhattan isn’t until April 13, city beautification projects are already underway. The Daffodil Project, a volunteer-driven modern-day Miss Rumphius affair, planted their bulbs on many of the city’s hell strips  back in November.

And the New York Restoration Project’s seasonal tree giveaway starts this week, and this season’s offerings feature more than 25 types of edible trees.

From American persimmons to Shinko Asian pears, their free selection offers promises of future seasons of abundance. The species list reads like a preserver’s dream: Carolina Gold peaches, Methley plums, and Moorpark apricots conjure up childhood memories of peach ice cream and apricot jam. There are even fig trees on the list — a rare commodity in a city where Greenmarket farmers rarely bother with the infamously delicate fruits.

Can’t make it out next week? You have 65 chances to snag a tree — check out their calendar for events near you. You can register for a specific variety in advance online or walk in and enjoy the luck of the draw. They ask that you promise to care for the trees and that you don’t plant on city property. Trees are donated by TD Bank, Toyota and JetBlue.

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Claire Brown

Claire is the Associate Digital Editor at Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. When she's not writing about food, she can often be found leading tours at the Union Square Greenmarket.