Urban forestry is defined as being the care and upkeep of tree populations in urban settings to improve the overall environment in these urban areas. Urban foresters are tasked with planting and maintaining trees, preserving forests in and adjacent to urban areas and researching and promoting the benefits of trees to urban populace. There are urban forestry degrees available at schools across Canada, such as UBC Vancouver, which recently introduced a new degree in the field.
Here are 3 examples of some of the work being done by urban foresters across Canada.
#1: Saving Mature Trees In Edmonton
Edmonton city councilor Scott McKeen has made it his mission to preserve as many of the gorgeous trees along a proposed route for the Valley Line West LRT as possible. There are about 1,120 trees that could be on the chopping block in the proposed route, many of which are very old and quite beautiful.
Urban foresters assessed the trees in the area and began putting together plans to protect as many of those trees as possible, with the understanding that not every tree will be able to be saved. About 150 trees will be able to be relocated to nearby parks or elsewhere in the neighborhoods, but only trees that are less than 16 centimeters in diameter will be able to be moved. It is possible to move older, larger trees, but doing so could take two or three years.
The foresters also proposed planting about 1,800 new trees and extensive beds of shrubbery along the area where the LRT will be built.
#2: Recovery From Windstorms In Red Deer
It’s been a little over a year since Red Deer saw a major storm with more than 111 km/hr winds burst through the region and cause significant destruction in its wake. There are trees still lying down along trails, but urban foresters have been hard at work cutting down affected trees, removing stumps and ensuring all homes and buildings are safe from potentially falling trees and branches.
Any time windstorms do major damage to trees, urban foresters are needed to come in and trim the trees to keep them alive and to safely remove other trees that are no longer viable. They also help with remediation efforts and the planting of new trees in the area.
#3: Species Diversification In British Columbia
New technologies and an increased demand for softwood lumber have changed the work of foresters in British Columbia. Not only do schools in the province now have urban forestry programs, but approaches to urban forestry are becoming more complex and sophisticated, with an emphasis on diversification and forest management rather than just resource extraction, which is what the focus had been in the past.
For more information about the benefits of urban forestry, contact one of our specialists.