I requested a street tree be planted in 2 empty tree pits down the street from me last fall... and last week 2 trees were planted by the NYC Parks Department! With Mayor Bloomberg's initiative to plant a million trees in NYC, getting a street tree planted is faster than you can say spring has sprung. I think the trees planted down the block are a cherry species because of the lenticels in the bark, but I'm waiting for the leaves and flowers for a definite I.D.
I was happy to see that there was not a mulch volcano around the base of the young tree. However, they clearly did not skimp on the mulch, as the pit is practically overflowing, as you can see below. Also note that the new tree pit quickly attracted dog droppings and garbage piling. One can see that a tree guard, even a small one, is needed to protect soil around the tree, as well as the tree itself.
April is MillionTreesNYC Month. There is more information about how to request a tree and other ways to get involved (such as planting a tree on private property!) on the MillionTreesNYC web site.