The Request to Plant program is a City of Edmonton initiative which works to preserve and expand the urban forest through partnerships with community groups and individual residents.
Edmontonians interested in planting trees on public property are invited to submit a planting proposal for review by an Urban Forester. Final approval will be given based on a specific set of guidelines and requirements.
Step 1: Submit a Request to Plant
Citizens interested in planting trees on public property are required to submit a proposal. Each proposal must include:
- A written plan indicating the proposed tree species and distances from surrounding infrastructure. This plan will be reviewed by an Urban Forester and circulated to stakeholders to ensure there are no future plans for developments at the proposed site. This process could take up to six weeks.
- A planting map/drawing.
- Signed letters of consent from adjacent property owners. Following your initial application, an Urban Forester will assist with the levels of consent and documentation required.
- A utility locate request from Alberta One-Call and Shaw. The locate should be valid at the time of the planting. Trees shall not be planted within one metre of any underground utility.
Step 2: Proposal Review
When planting requests are made, an Urban Forester must assess the feasibility of the overall project and site. Consider the following set of guidelines when designing your proposal:
- The suitability of tree species to proposed planting location including future size, spacing, water requirements, and soil requirements.
- Select a tree that is not considered invasive.
- Select a tree that is not short-lived.
- Deciduous trees must be a minimum of 50mm caliper. Coniferous trees must be between 1.5–2 meters tall. Please note that smaller trees may be accepted following approval of an Urban Forester.
- Trees must have one central leader and be in good general health.
- Plantings are not to be designed as an extension of a private property, as this is considered encroachment.
- Plantings are not to be placed in a location where they could block sight lines of vehicles or pedestrian.
- To prevent mature tree roots and branches from growing beyond public property onto private property, proposed plantings that are immediately adjacent to property lines will not be authorized.
- Plantings must be congruent with the existing design and plant selection of the area and must be designed to contribute to the enhancement of the public space.
- Consider room required for City equipment and maintenance practices such as mowing, watering and pruning.
- Approved trees must be planted in accordance with the City’s Landscape Design and Construction Standards. Please reference the following documents for guidance during your species selection.
Step 3: Approval and Implementation
If the proposal is approved, trees must be planted in accordance to the City’s Design and Construction Standards and the citizen will sign a Standard Form Agreement with the City which states:
- The citizen will be responsible for obtaining and funding the cost of supplies including trees, mulch, stakes and soil
- The citizen is responsible for tree maintenance until the tree is accepted into the City’s tree inventory
- The citizen must keep a written record of all tree maintenance activities
- Maintenance includes watering, fertilizing, and controlling weeds; the use of herbicides and pesticides is prohibited
Step 4: Acceptance into City Inventory
Once the duration of the Standard Form Agreement is complete, the tree will be inspected and accepted into the City inventory. At this time:
- The tree will become the responsibility of the City, all future maintenance (watering, pruning, replacement) will be completed by the City
- The citizen will no longer complete any form of maintenance on the tree
- Should a situation arise where the trees are in conflict with repair of maintenance of public property, the City reserves the right to remove any plant material
- Citizens will be responsible for obtaining and funding the cost of supplies including trees, mulch, stakes, and soil
- The City may terminate the Agreement immediately upon written notice to the citizen
- A total of 20 applications will be considered each year
- The City of Edmonton has a free mulch program for local and disease free wood chips