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Frequently Asked Questions
Trees
Who is responsible for the trees on my street?
The Fairmount Park Commission is responsible for all street trees in the City of Philadelphia. The Commission accomplishes this responsibility through the use of private contractors.

What kinds of trees may I plant along my curb?
The Fairmount Park Commission has put together a list of approved trees which will thrive in an urban setting, have a good track record, and won't interfere with overhead wires. If you plant a large species under electric wires it may need severe "pruning" by the utility company. Before planting, you'll need to get a permit from the Street Tree Management Division who must approve the species and the site.

How will a newly planted tree affect my sewer, water lines, sidewalk and/or building's foundation?
If you choose the correct tree, site and planting conditions, your tree shouldn't interfere with you sewer, waterline, etc. Most tree roots grow in the soil's top 12 inches and spread well beyond the tree's canopy in search of water and nutrients. They don't "attack" underground mains, unless these are already damaged, providing entrances for developing roots. An adequate and generous tree pit, or long narrow continuous "tree lawn" will provide the best conditions for establishing and maintaining a "well behaved" street tree with the environment needed to survive in the city.

Where can I get help once I agree to plant a new street tree?
Fairmount Park will plant a tree for free after the site has been inspected and the correct species determined. Contact the Street Tree Management Division at 215-685-4363 for more info.

How do I take care of my tree?
Adequate site preparation and maintenance (free of weeds), mulched and watered (5-8 gallons each week for the first two years), stakes (to prevent damage from automobile doors and the like) and pruning (best left to Tree Tenders or professionals).

Should I fertilize my newly planted trees?
This is not necessary as a properly prepared tree pit or lawn will provide all the nutrients your trees will need.

Can I plant flowers or other things in the pit?
Planting annuals or other plants in the tree pit is not recommended. Other plants will compete with the tree for water and nutrients.

Who's responsible for pruning a mature tree or removing a dead one?
Fairmount Park can prune and/or remove your street tree. An Arborist will inspect your site and recommend proper service. Pruning and removals are performed on a first come, first served basis using available funds.

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