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.
  • New Tree Protection Bylaw

    Victoria’s new Tree Protection Bylaw protects the trees we have now and helps grow our urban forest for the future. The bylaw comes into effect on July 1, 2021 and applies to trees on private property. The new bylaw implements several recommendations in the Urban Forest Master Plan and aligns with leading practices and standards across the region.

    The new bylaw will support growth of the urban forest more evenly across the city and ensure that responsibility is evenly shared. Victoria residents are passionate about trees and this bylaw helps ensure our community develops responsibly while increasing canopy cover.

    Learn more:

  • 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.

Further Resources