Planting a tree in Philadelphia? Chances are it will need some to ensure proper tree health in the future.

1. Trees in Philadelphia should be watered thoroughly at the time of planting and approximately once a week (depends on rain) during the first growing season. Watering is even more important during very hot, dry weather. Water must reach 6 to 12 inches in the soil for the tree’s roots to absorb water and soil nutrients. Trees need water in their early stages of development and a tree that does not get adequate water may decline in health.

2. Newly planted trees in Philadelphia area that are over 2 to 4 feet tall should be staked loosely to allow a little bending for proper trunk growth. Trees should be staked loosely, however, since some bending is needed for the trunk to develop naturally, stakes should be removed after 1 or 2 years of tree planting.

3. Trees planted should be mulched to ensure their health. Mulch helps control weeds and keeps the roots of the new tree moist.

4. Most new trees planted in Philadelphia do not need fertilization in the first year. Do not use “weed-and-feed” fertilizers-herbicide combinations on newly planted trees as they may damage new trees.