Trees are one of our most precious natural resources. They enrich our lives, and provide a range of social, ecological and economic benefits.
The City of Oshawa Forestry department is responsible for all city owned trees, which are located on the boulevard of a city street, in parks, in green spaces, and along city trails.
The City's responsibility includes the planting of new trees, pruning of existing trees, removal of declining unsafe trees, stump removal and pest management. Tree maintenance in the City of Oshawa is completed on a 7 year cycle or by request.
Tree preservation and protection
The City of Oshawa is committed to enhancing the City's woodlots and natural areas now and into the future. We are working to protect and preserve our trees and woodlands by developing a variety of green policies and regulations and by participating in tree planting and naturalization projects.
To request or notify the City of work required on any City trees, please contact Service Oshawa at 905-436-3311.
Emerald ash borer
Re-greening downtown Oshawa
Unfortunately many of the street trees downtown were impacted by Emerald ash borer and had to be removed. This provided a unique opportunity to look at current planting practices and to incorporate sustainable tree planting practices into the re-greening and revitalization of the downtown tree canopy. The project began in the Spring of 2015 with the re-planting of trees along King Street.
Starting in the fall of 2015 the City will began the re-greening of Simcoe Street from Memorial Park to William Street. This phase of the project has been made possible by a TD Green Streets grant from Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Further plantings will continue on Bond Street in 2016
|Why should we think of our urban tree canopy as "Working Trees"?|
Some of the value is obvious; shade, beauty, and bird nesting opportunities. Other benefits are less so, which means our street trees are constantly at work helping to improve our quality of life. For this reason, we should think of our urban tree canopy as "Working Trees". Some of these less obvious benefits are as follows:
- Improves air quality: "Working Trees" remove tonnes of air-borne pollutants yearly. Leaf surfaces are able to trap and absorb noxious gasses and particulates, such as car exhaust. Doing this helps reduce smog.
- Buffers extremes in temperature: "Working Trees" and wooded areas are able to buffer extremes of temperature in urbanized areas. Not only does shade prevent the ground and structures from absorbing and reflecting the sun's heat, trees also transpire vast quantities of water, thereby cooling the air. Shading hard paved surfaces like asphalt help extend pavement life 40-60%.
- Enhances property values: "Working Trees" have been shown to enhance the market value of residential properties by as much as 25%. People simply prefer to live in a tree covered neighbourhood. Also, people prefer to walk along a tree lined commercial district instead of being dwarfed by out of scale buildings. Business owners along these tree lined streets can get up to a 12% increase in sales when compared to a similar business in a more hostile environment.
- Reduces storm water runoff and quality: "Working Trees" allow rain water to soak into the ground and be absorbed by the tree roots, keeping polluted storm water from going straight into the storm sewers. This helps our stream systems from eroding and flooding after a rain storm, as well as improves the quality of the water that does enters our streams.
- Conserves energy: "Working Trees" that are properly selected and placed can provide energy reductions by acting as wind breaks in winter, and reducing air conditioning costs in summer by shading. This adds up to a possible 15-30% reduction in your energy bill!
- Reduces noise pollution: "Working Trees" have the ability to buffer city noise. Tree buffers that are wider than 30m along highways and industrial sites can reduce the harmful effects of noise pollution. A mature tree can reduce unwanted street noise by up to 6 decibels.
- Provides wildlife habitat: "Working Trees" provide essential food and shelter to all kinds of native wildlife, including birds, small and large mammals, and microorganisms too small to see. They also provide corridors for migrating birds to get through our urban areas safely.
- Improves health and well being: "Working Trees" and natural areas have been shown to promote human mental well being! Studies have shown that hospital patients with a window view recover more quickly. Treed neighbourhoods and urban corridors are less stressful environments, with lower crime rates, slower traffic speeds, less aggression, and an enhanced sense of community. Trees give streets a unique sense of identity.
Find out how many trees it takes to offset your carbon emissions. More information on the value of trees can be found here. Remember, every little bit helps!
|Learn more about sustainable planting practices|
In order to grow a healthy mature tree canopy, the City will be implementing a number of sustainable planting practices in the downtown aimed at improving growing conditions that include the:
review of tree planting locations to limit conflicts with existing infrastructure, services and pedestrians;
planting of suitable tree species tolerant to urban conditions;
use of soil cell techniques and suspended paving to support sidewalk above without compacting the soil below;
use of rubberized mulch around the base of the tree to allow water to absorb into the soil; and
installation of watering pipes to be used during times of drought.
| What can you do to keep our downtown tree canopy healthy?|
Don't trim or prune the tree. The City's Forestry Services has qualified arborists who will prune and maintain the trees as they mature.
To avoid damaging the bark, which can eventually kill a tree, keep the area around the tree free of debris, do not lean, nail or attach anything to the trunks such as signs or bicycles.
Leave the rubberized mulch at the base of the tree. The mulch is there to protect the tree from damage and reduce water loss.
If you notice that a municipal tree is damaged or diseased, please contact Service Oshawa.