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As Edmontonians, we value and understand the importance of the city’s urban forest. The City understands the importance of these assets and works to maintain and grow the urban forest. With careful stewardship, these benefits can continue for generations, appreciating over time. Proper management is crucial for continuous growth and improvement of the urban forest.

Edmonton’s trees provide many environmental, ecological, economic, and social benefits. These include sequestering greenhouse gases, reducing damage from stormwater, providing wildlife habitat, reducing costs for winter heating and summer cooling, and promoting a sense of well-being and positive mental health!

Are you planning any construction or demolition work? Does this work require laydown sites or site access within 5 meters of any City-owned trees or 10 metres within a natural area? If you are coordinating any activities on or off City property that may have an impact on City trees, visit Trees and Construction to take the steps required to preserve and protect City trees.

The City manages all trees on public land. These trees are divided into three main categories:

  • Boulevard & Open Spaces Trees:
    • Trees growing on City-owned property such as boulevards, right-of-ways, and in parks except for trees in natural areas or in a naturalized site
  • Naturalized:
    • Naturalization is an ecological way of managing the landscape which transforms highly maintained land into a more natural state
    • Certain areas of the city have been identified for naturalization and will no longer be mowed; this allows the grass to grow long and return to its natural habitat
    • Within some naturalized areas, the City will plant native species of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers
  • Natural Areas:
    • Natural areas are largely dominated by native vegetation and are relatively undisturbed by human activity
    • Such areas could include grasslands, forests, wetlands, peat lands, or riparian areas
    • There are approximately 3,800 hectares of natural areas or 2,500 hectares of forested natural areas

Plan, Policy and Procedure

The City is committed to growing, sustaining, maintaining, preserving, and protecting our urban forest. To ensure these goals are met, the City has developed guiding policies and procedures:

Trees and Construction

Are you planning any construction or demolition work? Does this work require laydown sites or site access within 5 meters of any City-owned trees or 10 metres within a natural area?

If you are coordinating any activities on or off City property that may have an impact on City trees, visit Trees and Construction to take the steps required to preserve and protect City trees. 

Proposed Public Tree Bylaw

The City recognizes the need to preserve and protect our urban forest and has been working on developing a potential bylaw for preventing damage or loss to City trees. As part of this project, the City conducted extensive public and stakeholder engagement as well as a jurisdictional scan of tree protection measures in other North American municipalities.

The findings are available in these reports:

What We Heard Report

Jurisdictional Scan Report

These findings, along with the proposed bylaw draft, will be presented for Council consideration in spring 2021. More updates to follow.

Urban Forestry Spotlight - Ask An Arborist

Within the City’s Urban Forestry department, there are four main teams that help to ensure the protection and growth of Edmonton’s forest canopy - Planting, Pruning, Projects, and Community.

The Pruning Forestry work unit has a team of professional ISA-certified Arborists that are dedicated to protecting and preserving the health of Edmonton’s urban forest. As part of their daily operations, Arborists regularly prune trees, which helps to promote the long-term tree health and structure of trees and helps to eliminate potential hazards.

In addition to their daily operations, City Arborists have also been engaging with Grade One students across Edmonton. Through the City Hall School program, the “Ask an Arborist” segment has become a very popular virtual event. Students are welcomed to interview staff members to learn more about the many aspects of their job and discuss the benefits or trees.

Did you know trees have to be protected during construction? Learn how.

The City manages several programs to ensure the preservation and protection of our Urban Forest.

Tips and resources on caring for your trees - planting, watering, pruning, and controlling pests and disease.

Root for Trees is a tree planting initiative which increases tree planting within the city.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

If you are calling from outside of Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Telephone

311

TTY 780-944-5555

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