Trees & Urban Forest
Trees are an integral part of the community’s biodiversity, enhancing neighbourhoods and creating vibrant, livable and sustainable communities.
Victoria’s urban forest is comprised of all trees, shrubs and groundcover on private and public land across the city, and the vital living ecosystems of the soils in which they grow.
There are approximately 150,000 trees in our parks, natural areas, boulevards, residential gardens and backyards. Roughly one quarter of the urban forest inventory is managed by the City, while the remaining 75 per cent consists of trees on private and other public land.
Benefits of the Urban Forest
The City’s Urban Forest Master Plan identifies 26 recommended actions for the improved management of trees on public and private lands over the next 50 years. Click on the image to enlarge it.
image by Diamond Head Consulting
Tree Cities of the World Award
The City of Victoria has been recognized with a 2020 Tree Cities of the World award by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The Tree Cities of the World program is an international effort to recognize cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained and sustainably managed.
Learn more: Tree Cities of the World
Priority Actions for 2020-2021:
- Citizen Stewardship
The support and active participation of citizens is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the urban forest. In 2020, the City is participating in the UN Trees in Cities Challenge to plant 5,000 trees. Join us and become a tree-champion with the Trees in Cities Challenge 2020.
- Tree Protection
In May 2020, Council directed staff to prepare a new Tree Protection Bylaw to protect and grow the urban forest. The proposed updates will help implement several Urban Forest Master Plan recommendations. After a second phase of bylaw review, staff proposed changes in six key areas to align with leading practices and standards across the region. Phase one of the bylaw review resulted in Council adopting changes in fall 2019 to reduce the minimum size of protected trees and clarify certain definitions.
The new Tree Protection Bylaw will be presented to Council for reading and adoption later this year.
- Setting Targets
The City will be developing tree canopy targets and acquiring data on ecosystem services delivered by the urban forest. These actions will help to prioritize the tree planting and preservation initiatives in the locations where they are needed most.
- View the City of Victoria canopy cover
- Review the new landscape design guidelines
Neighbourhood tree planting plans will be developed with public input, to guide the City’s planting program over the next ten years.
- Tree Management
Long-term viability of the urban forest requires consistent attention and support by professional arboriculture staff. The City’s tree management program is focused on the full life cycle of each tree, and efforts to maximize species and age diversity, adapt to our changing climate, minimize maintenance costs, and to take advantage of the benefits of green infrastructure.
- How to Plant a Tree and Properly Care for It
- How to Choose the Right Tree for Your Property
- Tree Preservation Bylaw
- Urban Food Tree Stewardship Program
- Lower Allergen Landscape Planting Resource List
- Pollinator and Allergy-Aware Gardening