One of the many reasons Philadelphia is so special is the beautiful trees that line our streets and populate our parks. Providing much-needed shade and greenery, trees breathe life into what can sometimes seem like a concrete jungle. Here’s what residents should know about Philly’s trees.
Categories of trees in Philadelphia
Here are the three categories of trees in Philadelphia based on where the trees are located:
- Street trees – trees planted between the sidewalk and the curb.
- Park trees – trees on Parks & Rec property.
- Private property trees – trees located in an alley, on an open lot, or on the front or back yard of a private property.
See a tree in a park or along a city street that looks unhealthy or dead? Call 311 to let us know and an arborist from Parks & Rec will inspect the tree. Due to COVID-19 protocols and remote staff, the response time for inspection is approximately 20-30 business days. All tree work is prioritized based on the condition of the tree, date added to the list, as well as resources available. If a tree is severely leaning or uprooted, please call 911 for immediate help.
The City does not inspect trees that are on private property. If a tree is in a backyard, front yard, or alley, it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain it.
For trees touching electrical wires, PECO can respond. Call (800) 841-4141 or visit their website to report this issue.
Severe winds from storms can cause trees to fall. Here’s how you can report fallen trees:
If a tree falls and is blocking a road, or it has fallen on a house, car or other property, call 911. Emergency services will respond to make the location safe.
If the fallen tree is touching electrical wires, please call PECO at (800) 841-4141 to report.
For non-emergency tree requests contact Philly311. Non-emergencies include downed trees or branches that are not blocking a road or not on a house, car, or property, or when not touching electrical wires.
If a tree falls in an open area of a park, please contact Philly311 to report. 311 will send a service request to the Parks & Rec maintenance team to clear the fallen tree. For emergencies involving park trees, please call 911. These emergencies would include park trees that have fallen onto playground equipment, cars, or the street.
Private property trees
Fallen trees on private property are the property owner’s responsibility to resolve. If a tree from a neighboring property has caused damage to your property, please seek legal counsel.
Getting a new tree
Want a new tree for your property? We can help with that! Philadelphia Parks & Recreation can help you help get a free yard tree through its TreePhilly program.
If you are looking for a tree for your sidewalk, apply for a street tree.