request a tree via the Parks Department's forestry service request system. The NYC Parks provides a 23-page Tree Planting Standards document to those who opt to plant a tree. I wish the City offered a video like the one offered by San Francisco's Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) which can be viewed here.
Planting Table, a Scout Regalia Cutsheet Project 01 (hat tip: L.A. at Home blog). The table was designed for outdoors but I can imagine it an apartment by a north-facing window. The firm is self-described as "dedicated to supporting local fabricators, and aspires to embody innovation, discipline, and inquisitiveness in all the work that is produced."