Calgary Arborist – News & Resources

City of Calgary – Urban Forestry Tree Survey

Tree Protection Zone Sign

The City of Calgary has released a survey to be completed by members of the public asking questions about maintaining and growing our city’s urban forest. It asks some great questions, first testing the respondent’s knowledge and opinion of the current state of our trees. It then moves on to questions regarding the care and maintenance of publicly owned trees. Some questions regarding new develpment and re-deveopment in the city. Then there are also questions regarding the possible tracking and inventorying of private trees on private property, for the purpose of creating a permit process for their removal…….

Although there are no details on what this might entail at this point, we have heard opinions from other cities and countries regarding the cataloging of private trees. Usually this would entail setting a minimum size or height for the trees to be recorded. Then assessing the health and state of the tree. Once in the catalog, the city would then require someone (homeowner, developer etc.) to obtain a permit before working on the tree. Permits could be required for any number of things from pruning to removal.

Some obvious concerns could be raised about this, but at this point it is just a survey being conducted by the city. We would be curious to know what you – the homeowner – would think of a plan like this?

4 comments… add one
  • Marc Demers

    February 21, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I am not in favour of the City monitoring what private homeowners do with regards to their own trees on their own property. If the trees are not healthy or do not promote proper landscaping (ie grass growth, aesthetics, etc), then the homeowner should be free to do as they please for their yard, which is their investment, not the City’s. Once the City becomes involved, fees are always charged and homeowners are forced to comply (eg recycling).

  • serena

    January 12, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Oh such lofty ambitions when the city cannot even track and care for their own trees. Who would assess the health of the homeowner trees, and do you seriously think alot of homeowners even KNOW what kind of trees are on their lot? Who would be verifying this info? Does the city even make it a requirement that their own “gardeners” are ARBORISTS? Who would enter and update the tree inventory? And who would pay for this? As it stands now, the well paid city employees can’t get the job done on their own trees! Alot of hiring would need to be done, and I would hope the prerequisites for these positions would be Arborists who also hold a Landscape Gardener Journeyman Certification, but then again many of the Foreman don’t even hold these credentials. A permit to work on your own tree? Are you kidding me???? Hire a damn arborist. or become one. And leave the City out of it – they can’t even deal with thier own trees, never mind getting involved in homeowner’s trees. If the City of Calgary had an efficient smooth running operation that hired people willing to put in a honest days work for an honest days pay – it might work, but unless operations have changed radically in the past decade or so, not a chance would this plan fly!

  • Dianne Jedlicka

    July 7, 2014, 9:12 am

    I am not in favor of the city having jurisdiction over privately owned trees. Property owners should be responsible for their own trees and shrubs. I have lived in an area of Calgary called Temple for many years. My own trees are very healthy and I will continue to keep them in good health. I have noticed however that over the years many of the trees along the grassy areas bordering 32 Avenue between 52 St and 68 St. N.E have not been properly looked after and as a consequence have continued to die and are replaced regularly. Most of the trees that are planted don’t make it past the sapling stage before being replaced. This same problem exists along the 52 St. N.E bordering grassy area and many of the other bordering grassy areas in our community. This same problem has existed for many years now in Temple.

    ( Regarding the trees that were cut down recently along 32 Avenue NE between 52 St. and 68 St., the number of trees removed is shocking. Between 52 St and 54 St – 15 trees were removed recently. Between 54 St and 60 St. 36 trees were removed recently. Between 60 St and 64 St. 24 trees were removed recently. And lastly between 64 St. and 68 St. 15 trees were removed recently.)

    Considering that trees are supposed to live for years and that this is an ongoing problem in our community I believe this to be a “BIG” problem. In the past the city has been planting many of the trees in the late fall and I don’t believe this gives the trees a long enough time for the roots to establish before winter sets in. Also, I have talked to some of the people who work for Parks in our area and they think that the people who spray for dandelions and other weeds have been spraying too much weed killer and that has also killed many of our trees.
    This has become an all too common problem in this area and I am tired of seeing dead and dying trees. I hope that this email will help so that you will be able to find some real solutions to the problem. Just planting a new tree every time is not getting to the “Root” of the problem.
    Dianne Jedlicka

  • Joleen

    April 2, 2016, 7:42 am

    Wonderful idea! Trees, while on private property, provide oxygen for the public. Not to mention, habitat for birds.

    Other cities have taken this route- Toronto, for instance.

    We will be thanking ourselves in 40 years if we do this- not only for air quality, but quality of life as trees buffer sound/light pollution and are proven to contribute to lessened stress.

    As far inventory-taking, in the Beltline, the Connaught Community Association’s Inner City Forest Committee and the University of Calgary’s Urban Studio at the Faculty of Environmental Design completed an urban forest inventory and report.

    It can be done!


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