Urban Forestry Tree Management Plan
In October 2016, staff created and presented to Council an Urban Forestry Management Plan (Plan). The Plan was developed to protect and conserve City trees, manage the removal, replacement and maintenance of City trees and to plan for a sustainable and healthy future urban forest. The purpose of this report is to provide an update on how the Plan is progressing in regard to short term and long-term actions, stump removal, tree pruning, tree removal, tree planting, protection and conservation, outreach and education and funding sources.
1. Maintain the City’s tree inventory database.
- City Staff has looked into different types of software to fit into the City of Brooks Urban Forest Management Plan but has not yet been able to find one that is practical for Brooks.
2. Establish best practices for the selection of tree and plant varieties to be planted on city property, and specifically to eliminate the use of invasive species.
- Best practices typically used are to look at the type of trees, shrubs and perennial plants to go in specific areas. Information is gained from resources such as nurseries, other communities, past ISA and DED conferences. Discussions with these resources are the type of trees that are working and the type of trees that are susceptible to certain diseases and/or insects. Information from the internet is also used. The Parks Supervisor utilizes his education and experience to take the information gathered and decide the best varieties of plants and trees for the City.
3. Annual monitoring to see how the plan is working and update as necessary.
- Each spring parks staff evaluate trees and shrubs that are 5 years and under for any winter kill or damage. Most trees and shrubs have established themselves in within 5 years. Older trees can also be susceptible to insects and diseases especially if they have storm or winter damage. The Parks Supervisor and Foreman are always looking for any type of changes in trees such as yellowing of leaves or needles, dying from the top down, dead branches or any other signs that are not normal to that type of tree.
1. Develop a comprehensive and coordinated set of procedures for all tree maintenance and activities: planting, watering, staking, fertilizing, pruning and tree removal.
- Procedures have not been put in a written format as of yet.
2. Establish a tree reserve fund to be used for the procurement and planting of trees from a dedicated annual budget.
- A specific budget for tree purchases and planting has not been established. The budget for tree maintenance, contracted services is $55,780.00. Some of this monies could be used to contract tree planting once the tree pruning has been caught up. A portion of the Beatification Program includes trees such as replacing the Tower Poplars along Cassils Road.
3. Continue efforts to encourage and support community-based initiatives to plant trees.
- The City worked together with Eco Brooks and the 4H club to Landscape the area under the Mural at the CCC Building. Eco Brooks provided the funds and the 4H Club provided the Kid Power.
- The City is continually working with the Rotary Club to plan different areas for improvement whether it is plantings, benches or tables. The City will continue to work with any club, such as giving out ideas or assisting in finding areas to improve.
- The City worked together with Communities in Bloom to continue the growth of the Commemorative Forest by 30 trees.
- The City continued to work with the above groups and other clubs. The City is always looking for more opportunities to work with organizations and individuals to enhance to City’s Urban Forest.
- 49 stumps have been removed in 2020.
- In 2020 between the contractor and City employees 300 trees have been pruned
- In 2020 City employees removed 49 trees and the contractor removed 28
- 49 trees have been planted in 2020
Protection and Conservation
- The City each year works with the Dutch Elm Disease Society to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease as well as other insects and diseases that will harm or kill trees. Protection and Conservation is also done mainly through trapping and monitoring. Urban Forest Conferences are attended where Insect and Disease Specialists come from across Canada and the US to speak.
- Click here for the updated Dutch Elm Disease Prevention Control Measures
Outreach and Education
- The City identifies any pest that affects the health of a tree and through social media, local newspapers and City workshops create public awareness.
- The City is continuously consulting with government organizations, attending seminars and communicating with nurseries and other municipalities.
- The Parks Supervisor took a Train the Trainer Course in Chainsaw Safety and Cutting Techniques and has trained and certified 6 Parks and PW employees.
- To date no grant funding has been obtained directly to the City. The City is continuing to look for and will apply for any grants that become available. We will also continue to work with Community Groups and Clubs to help fund the beautification of the City of Brooks with hardy and diverse trees.