Tree Planting & Removal

A healthy urban forest is of high importance to the City. Staff manage approximately 33,000 public trees, on 300 kilometres of boulevards and in our 137 parks and open spaces.

 

Our urban trees provide public health and social benefits, improve air quality, absorb rainwater during storms and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our environment.  The regular inspection of existing public trees is a critical component of the overall management of the urban forest.

Guided by the Urban Forest Master Plan, our arboriculture team develops plans that involve identifying areas for planting new trees to expand the inventory, as well as identifying existing trees that are at the end of their healthy life. Removing unhealthy trees reduces safety risks and opens up space to plant new, young trees which will grow into our future urban forest. Each member of our experienced team of arborists holds a ‘Tree Risk Assessor Qualification’ through the International Society of Arboriculture.  

Trees in Cities 

Planting more trees in urban areas holds a considerable potential to tackle effects of climate change. The United Nations has invited mayors around the world to join the Trees in Cities Challenge by making a pledge to plant trees in their city. As part of this initiative, the City of Victoria will work with the community to plant 5,000 trees on public and private land by the end of 2020. Victoria is the first city in Canada to join the pledge. Learn more about the Trees in Cities Challenge. The City will have an update on the plan for this exciting initiative in January 2020. 

Fall 2019 Tree Maintenance

Over the past few months, 287 public trees were identified as either dead or in severe decline and require removal, following an inspection by our arborists. Removal of any tree is always a last resort. Treatments that may potentially extend the life of a tree, such as pruning or partial removal of trees that effectively mitigates risk, are always considered first. The City's practice with each removal is for a new tree to be planted, with consideration for the species that will have the best chance for success given a particular location. 

These trees will be removed this fall and replacement trees will be planted starting in 2019.  A map showing the location of each of these tree is here.

What You Need to Know

  • Tree removal notices will be posted on trees, 10 days before any planned removal.
  • Immediate neighbours will also receive notification.
  • Please ensure that vehicles are not parked under or across from the tree during the removal process. We appreciate your cooperation in observing no parking signs should they be placed on your street prior to the removal of the tree. 
  • The wood produced will be left on the boulevard in manageable sizes pieces for residents to take, on a first come, first serve basis.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to improve the health of our urban trees.

Removal or Pruning of Private Trees

Would you like to request the removal or pruning of a private tree? Click here to read more about our Tree Preservation Bylaw.