The City of Edmonton is responsible for more than 1 million trees that make up our urban forest. Crews work behind the scenes to keep Edmonton's tree canopy healthy, safe and beautiful.
The City maintains a comprehensive inventory of all Boulevard and Open Space Trees on City owned property.
To learn more about a specific tree in your neighbourhood, please visit the Open Data Tree Map.
For the past several years, the City has lost roughly 3,000 boulevard and park trees annually. Trees succumb to pests and disease, construction damage, drought, vehicle collisions, storm damage, age, and other external circumstances. In order to maintain the size of Edmonton’s urban forest, the City replants approximately 3,000 trees through the Tree Replacement program.
Tree species are selected for a variety of reasons including site conditions and proximity to surrounding infrastructure. Additionally, one of Urban Forestry’s primary goals is to increase the amount of biodiversity within the canopy, which is especially important in our changing climate and in an effect to reduce the impact of disease and pests.
- City-owned trees are pruned on a regular, cyclical schedule. Pruning promotes long-term tree health and structure and helps to eliminate potential hazards. Pruning operations follow the best management practices in terms of pruning techniques and cycles.
- Elm trees are pruned on a four-year cycle. Most other tree species are pruned every seven years. Please note that conifers are not pruned by the City, unless there is an explicit safety concern as identified by an Urban Forester.
- Approximately 60,000 City-owned trees are scheduled for pruning annually, as per the operational work plan.
- Trees that are prone to specific diseases, such as black knot and fire blight, are pruned every four years.
- Urban Forestry does not provide clearance pruning requests for non-safety related signage and/or businesses, as this is considered cosmetic.
- If a City-owned tree is blocking a traffic light or traffic sign, please contact 311.
Urban Forestry does not prune privately-owned trees for clearance purposes within rear alleyways. If the tree in the alleyway is City-owned and of concern, please call 311 for an evaluation.
In the event of a severe storm, Urban Forestry has a team of dedicated Arborists that oversee the timely response of cleanup and hazard mitigation. If you notice a hazardous branch or tree, please contact 311.
If a privately-owned tree falls onto City property, Forestry will remove any debris and hazards from City property. Any brush or debris from the privately-owned tree will be left for the private property owner to remove from site.
As per the Community Standards Bylaw, the pruning and removal of elm trees is only permitted between October 1st and March 31st. If there is an immediate concern or request for elm tree pruning outside the regulated season, please contact Pest Management to be considered for an exemption permit.
City of Edmonton trees that have died are assessed by the Urban Forestry Inventory & Assessment team and are then marked and scheduled for removal. Every year, trees in one half of the city are assessed by this team. These trees are then added to the operational workflow for removal.
The City hires a crew of contracted water trucks to water newly-planted trees for approximately 3 years to ensure growth and establishment.
As part of its beautification initiatives, the City of Edmonton strings over 2,000 trees with sparkling lights. These trees are primarily located in the Business Improvement Areas of the City, with other installations at locations such as City Hall, Giovanni Caboto and Ezio Faraone Parks. To learn more, visit Tree Lighting Program.
Storms and heavy winds can sometimes have a negative impact on our urban forest canopy, especially by breaking large branches of mature trees. The City quickly responds by organizing crews to work on impacted areas for a safe and efficient cleanup.
The City of Edmonton has operated Old Man Creek Nursery since 1910. Currently, the nursery grows, receives, and cares for the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that are planted by the City Operations department. This effort supports the growth and health of our urban forest canopy by providing high-quality, disease-free plant material. Annually, the nursery cares for approximately 3,000 trees, 100,000 native plants, and 3,500 shrubs. The City’s Old Man Creek Nursery is also engaged in trials to test and develop new tree species to increase the diversity of the urban forest and create a healthy and sustainable urban forest.
City trees are assessed on a bi-annual basis to ensure that proper treatment, removal, or replacement are scheduled, as required.
If there is an immediate safety hazard to the public, please phone 311 immediately.