Town of Wynyard

Urban Forest Policy

QUICK LINKS

Recommended Species for Planting

Tree Planting Request Form

Tree Removal Request Form

CONTENTS

1.0       Purpose

2.0       Introduction

3.0       Definitions

4.0       Urban Forest Inventory

4.1       General
4.2       Boulevards – Elm Tree Inventory
4.3       Parks & Green Space Areas – Elm Tree Inventory
4.4       Tree Nursery

5.0       Tree Planting

5.1       Appropriate Planting Site
i) Set Backs
5.2       Tree Value

6.0       Tree Pruning

6.1       Boulevard Tree Pruning
6.2       Tree Pruning in Parks
6.3       Back Alley Tree Pruning
6.4       Requests for Tree Pruning

7.0       Requests for Tree Removals

8.0       Sewer Roots

9.0       Reforestation

9.1       Tree Nursery
9.2       Boulevards

10.0     Water Program

10.1     Street Trees
10.2     Park Trees

11.0     Destruction and Use of Chemicals

12.0     Saskatchewan Dutch Elm Disease Regulations

13.0     Authority

13.1     Administrative Authority
Appeal Process
13.2     Enforcement

14.0     Tree Varieties Not Recommended

Appendix A – Recommended Species for Planting
Appendix B – Tree Planting Request Form
Appendix C – Tree Removal Request Form

1.0    PURPOSE

The Town of Wynyard exists so that the citizens of Wynyard enjoy a safe, attractive, vibrant and sustainable community for a reasonable investment.  The Town of Wynyard believes that trees are an asset, and enhance the quality of life in our community.  To ensure the Urban Forest is properly maintained as an asset, an effective and efficient Urban Forestry Management Program will be implemented.

2.0    INTRODUCTION

Urban Forest is a generally accepted reference being used when dealing with the maintenance and care of the trees and shrubs that line our streets and beautify our parks. A community’s trees or its “urban forest” constitute a valuable, but vulnerable component of the infrastructure.  Not only do trees and shrubs provide shade, shelter, beauty, wildlife habitat and civic landmarks, they are also a statement of community pride and civic image.  Trees are the “lungs of the earth” and help improve our air quality.  Throughout North America the health of urban forests is in decline.  Threats of disease, vandalism, microclimate and neglect continue to diminish the vitality of the urban forest.  Renewed attention is needed to conserve this important community asset.

3.0    DEFINITIONS

Plantings – refer to any tree, shrub, bush or other plant material

Public Trees (Town owned) – all trees within the Urban Forest on property held by the Town of Wynyard.  Responsibilities will include reforestation, pruning, basal spraying and total inventory.  All costs associated with these are the responsibility of the Town.

Private Trees (Residential or Commercial) – a tree/shrub that is located on the premises of a taxpayer’s property is classified as a private tree.  The Town does not have any trees planted in back lane areas.  Therefore any trees overhanging the back lanes are privately owed.  The property owner is responsible for any tree overhanging or interfering with the use of any street, lane, sidewalk or public property.

ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) – ISA is an organization dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation for trees and promoting research, technology, and the professional practice of arboriculture.  The policy refers to standards of practices related to the Prairie Chapter of the ISA.  The Town of Wynyard will implement the ISA standards in our Urban Tree Policy with regards to the following methods:

  • Replacement Cost Method

This is an ISA approved method of calculating the value of a tree and is used when the plants are of a size that can be replaced.  The value is based upon the cost of replacing the same species of the same size and quality.

Boulevard – a portion of property that measures 10 meters (33 feet) from the centerline of the street into the lot.  Bosworth Street and a large portion of Avenue B are the exceptions as the street allowance is wider.  It is expected that this portion of property will be maintained by the property owner; however, trees planted within this space are town owned.

4.0    URBAN FOREST INVENTORY

4.1       General

All trees planted in the Town of Wynyard should be of a species that are suited to the climatic zone.  Whenever possible, species diversity should be considered in reforestation.

See Appendix A – Recommended Species for Planting

4.2       Boulevards

Trees planted on the boulevard shall be of a species within the hardiness zone and suitable to the site. Fruit bearing trees are not allowed as boulevard trees to minimize “potential issues” with fruit on sidewalks. Other species that reduce visual site lines need to be avoided. Spruce or pine are not allowed as boulevard trees as the base can become an obstruction to sidewalks and site lines as it matures.

Residents must maintain boulevards in regards to cutting the grass and watering any trees present.  The Town of Wynyard will be responsible for any pruning and planting costs associated with public owned boulevards.

See Appendix A – Recommended Species for Planting

4.3       Park and Green Space Areas

Where possible, trees will be planted in parks to allow for the urban forest to grow. The trees/shrubs should be planted in groupings to compliment each other and other species. Consideration of respective growth habits must be considered when choosing the trees to be planted and preparation of landscape designs must be made prior to commencement of the work. The Town has full control over all species planted in park or green space areas.

5.0    TREE PLANTING

The Town of Wynyard Citizens are encouraged to plant trees on the frontages of Town property in residential areas to help enhance their neighborhood;   however, application for approval must be made to the Town of Wynyard with written approval required prior to commencement of planting.

Steps to be taken for approval to plant on town-owned land:

  1. Application must be made in writing to the Director of Leisure Services (see Appendix B – Tree Planting Request Form)
  2. All trees planted must confirm to the criteria placed on the planting of trees as determined by this policy.
  3. Final placement of trees will be at the discretion of the Town with staking done to assist the homeowner in the best location of new trees.
  4. Failure to comply could result in some or all of the trees planted being from the property on which they are located with the cost being the sole responsibility of the property owner.

See Appendix A – Recommended Species for Planting

            See Appendix B – Tree Planting Request

5.1       Appropriate Planting Site

When planning what type of tree to plant remember to look up and look down to determine where the tree will be located in relation to overhead and underground utilities. Planning before planting can help ensure the right tree is planted in the right place. Proper tree selection and placement enhance property value and             prevent costly maintenance trimming and damage to homes.

Tall Zone: Trees that grow up to 60 feet (20 meters).  Plant trees at least 35 feet (11 meters) away from the house for proper root development and to minimize damage to the building. These large growing trees are also recommended for streets without overhead restrictions. Street planting site must also have wide planting areas that allow for a large root system, trunk diameter, and root flare.  Large trees are recommended for parks, green spaces or other open areas where their large size will not be restricted, cause damage or become a liability.

Medium Zone: Trees with a mature height of up to 12 meters (40 feet).  Appropriate soil spaces are wide areas 1 – 3 meters (4 – 8 feet) and other open areas of similar size or larger.

Low Zone: Trees that grow up to 6 meters (20 feet) or less are recommended when growing space is limited. These trees are appropriate as well for narrow planting areas, less than 4 feet (1 meter) side or other locations where underground space for roots will not support tall or medium zone trees.

  1. i) Set backs from underground and overhead utilities
  • The Public Works and Utilities and Parks and Recreation Departments shall meet prior to any major arterial plantings in order to establish an agreement on setbacks.
  • Underground utilities (sewer, water, gas lines, secondary cables – 240 volts and      telephone lines) – minimum 2 meters (6.5 feet)
  • Major underground utilities (ie: main gas lines, primary cables – 14,000 volts,                      fibre optics) – 5 meters (16 feet)
  • Street light cables – 1 meter (3.3 feet)
  • Concrete, asphalt driveways/sidewalks – setback should be sufficient to    allow                 for the full spread of the tree’s canopy at maturity.
  • Alleys – 4.5 meters (14.76 feet)
  • Buildings or structures – same as tree spacing guidelines
  • Street lights – 5 meters (16 feet)
  • Regulatory traffic signs – 5 meters (16 feet)
  • Fire hydrants – 2 meters (6.5 feet)
  • Overhead power lines
    • 10 meters offset for trees that grow to a mature height of 10 meters
    • 5 meters offset for trees that grow to a mature height of less than 10 meters.
  • Adjacent private property – 5 meters except poplars which are 10 meters
  • Intersection curb
    • 10 meters (32.8 feet)
    • In the vicinity of intersections a minimum vertical clearance to the canopy of 2.4 meters (7.87 feet) is desirable to provide clear sightlines for motorists.

Trees Should Not Be Planted In the Following Areas

  • So as to obstruct the stopping sightline distance for motorists approaching a traffic sign.
  • So as to obstruct the clear line of sight of motorists or pedestrians approaching a street intersection or exiting a curb crossing, walkway or alley on the street.
  • Large trees should not be planted in close proximity to vehicular traffic lanes such as within boulevards less than 2.0 meters.
  • The use of coniferous trees which block sightlines for both drivers and pedestrians are not allowed in boulevard areas.
  • Under canopies or overhead signs except for certain small species.
  • In loading, police or handicap zones.
  • In storm channels, stormwater swales/ditches
  • On the reading side of regulatory signs i.e.: stop signs, no parking signs.
  • In front of doorways, entrance walkways, show windows, unless spacing requirements permit.

5.2       Tree Value

  • Replacement Cost Method

This is an ISA approved method of calculating the value of a tree.  The value is based upon the cost of replacing the same species of the similar size and quality.

            Appendix B– Tree Planting Request                       

6.0    TREE PRUNING

6.1       Boulevard Tree Pruning

Pruning will be undertaken by the Town of Wynyard in order to keep the Urban Forest in the best possible condition as established by good arboriculture standards.  All costs associated with pruning on Town property will be covered by the Town of Wynyard, unless there are mitigating circumstances i.e. corrective measures taken to repair damage caused by homeowner or others.  Pruning on private properties is the responsibility of the homeowner, which includes all associated costs.

Pruning Heights: Boulevard trees adjacent to sidewalks will be pruned to the below minimum height from the ground to allow for ease of pedestrian access and for maintenance equipment.

  • Street Side – 13 feet
  • Sidewalk Side – 8 feet

6.2       Tree Pruning in Parks

This service will be completed by the Town of Wynyard to maintain trees located in the parks to good arboriculture standards.

6.3       Back Alley Tree Pruning

The purpose of back alleys and lanes is that they act as a right of way for public utilities and back yard access. All trees overhanging in the back lane area are classed as private trees. Any trees in the back alleys that interfere with Town equipment will be trimmed at no cost to the homeowner.  All other maintenance of overhanging back alley trees are the responsibility of the homeowner.

6.4       Requests for Tree Pruning

  1. Requests for pruning should be made in writing to the Director of Leisure Services.
  2. Property owner applies in writing for proposed tree pruning to the Town.
  3. The Town will establish whether the tree is located on public or private property.
  4. If it is deemed to be a private planting then pruning in question is considered to be responsibility of property owner.
  5. If it is deemed to be a public (Town) tree:
    1. An assessment will be made using the Tree Assessment form (Appendix B).
    2. Should the assessment find that corrective pruning, etc. is required; the Town of Wynyard will schedule the work in the pruning cycle.
    3. All costs will be the responsibility of the Town of Wynyard

7.0    REQUESTS FOR TREE REMOVALS

Requests for removals shall be made in writing to the Director of Leisure   Services.  Property owners requiring tree removal shall be required to contact the Town.  This policy applies to all construction, curb, driveway and/or repair work that would require the removal of any tree. This policy also applies to any requests to remove what may be deemed as a hazardous tree.

    1. Property owner applies in writing for the proposed removal to the Town – Appendix C – Tree Removal Request
    2. The Town will establish whether the tree is located in public or private property.
    3. If the tree is situated on private property, the tree is considered the sole responsibility of the property owner and all labor or costs associated with removal are the sole responsibility of the property owner.  If the tree is an elm refer to section 13.0.
    4. If the tree is situated on Town land:
      • If removal is for water/sewer maintenance by the Town – no charge to homeowner.
      • If removal is at request of homeowner for no apparent reason – homeowner will be required to pay for the full price of a replacement tree (see 5.2 Tree Value), the full cost of removal (including stump) and the boulevard shall be left in the condition it was found.
      • If removal is due to construction – homeowner pays 1/2 the cost of a replacement tree (see 5.2 Tree Value), the full cost of removal including stump and the boulevard shall be left in the condition it was found. The Town will replace this boulevard tree in due course.
      • If removal is due to the removal or demolition of an “old” house and intentions are to leave the lot empty the homeowner pays 3/4 the cost of a replacement tree (see 5.2 Tree Value), and is responsible for the full cost of removal including stump and the boulevard shall be left in the condition it was found.

8.0    SEWER ROOTS

Tree roots are attracted to moisture and in the past sewer lines were made with materials that tree roots could penetrate. Tree roots of some species can travel a significant distance to find moisture and therefore it is very difficult to find the tree that is the cause of the sewer issue. It may not be the most obvious tree and thus it is difficult to pinpoint if there are a number of trees in this area. Removing one tree will not prevent this from occurring again in the future as other tree roots will enter the system. Newer piping materials are impervious and therefore root problems in these lines rarely occur.  Removing trees does not solve this problem and diminishes the Urban Forest, therefore the Town of Wynyard will always consider removals as the last option in all cases.

9.0    REFORESTATION

The purpose of reforestation is to replace trees and supplement the existing forest population with additional trees where the population is low. Where possible the Town of Wynyard will endeavor to maintain a positive tree planting to removal ratio. No person shall plant any Tree on privately owned property          within five metres of any intersection of Streets, or within three metres of a property line that is adjacent to a Street.

9.1       Tree Nursery

The Town of Wynyard shall establish and  maintain a tree nursery. Due to size restrictions nursery trees are not intended to provide all stock for boulevard plantings, but will provide replacement stock for parks and green spaces plantings.

9.2       Boulevards

  1. The Town of Wynyard systematically replaces trees in older neighborhoods that had previously been removed.
  2. Larger caliper trees are planted on boulevards in recently developed neighborhoods. Streets are selected for this program based on a review of newly developed areas. We consider the number of lots that are developed and are up to grade. This review is completed the season prior to planting.

10.0  WATER PROGRAM

Proper watering is the most important factor for successful planting of trees and shrubs. To ensure adequate watering, newly planted trees will be watered a minimum of 7 times per year in the first year. In the second year, trees will be watered a minimum of 5 times a year. The minimum watering amounts depend on precipitation and mulching. Additional water may or may not be required.

10.1     Boulevard Trees

Where trees are added or replaced on boulevards, efforts will be made to involve the homeowner as a partner in the tree planting. When planting new trees the Town crews will water trees at time of planting and encourage the homeowners to water these trees on a regular schedule after the planting.

10.2     Park/Green Space Trees

Newly planted park and green/space trees will have a scheduled water maintenance program to ensure the success of the tree. The minimum seven times in the first year and five times in the second year program would apply.

10.3     Nursery

Newly planted and existing nursery trees will have scheduled water and weed control maintenance program to ensure their success. 

11.0  DESTRUCTION AND USE OF CHEMICALS

The Town of Wynyard will endeavor to achieve compensation to the full value of any public tree(s) that are willfully damaged or destroyed or become damaged as the result of an accident. The Town of Wynyard will follow their Tree Assessment guide to achieve a value for all trees affected by this policy.

11.1     Chemicals

No person shall apply or administer in any form any chemical that would cause death to any tree held by the Town of Wynyard.

If a person is found to have administered any form of chemical that will cause death the person shall be responsible for all costs that maybe incurred in soil testing and will be charged a penalty for the value of the trees and the removal of said trees.

11.2     Pruning/Disfiguring

No person shall cut, prune or alter the appearance of any publicly owned tree, which would disfigure the tree, cause death, or put the tree at risk.

No person shall attach any notice, bill, poster, sign, wire, rope, cord, nail or other object to or around any Public Tree.

If a person is found to have improperly pruned, cut or altered a public tree, that person will be held responsible for the cost of repair, replacement or maintenance of the tree and will include a reforestation penalty.

12.0  DUTCH ELM DISEASE REGULATIONS

Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a deadly fungus that can kill an elm tree in as little as three weeks by clogging its water-conducting vessels. Once a tree is infected by DED it needs to be removed and disposed of properly by either burying it or burning it.

The Town of Wynyard is dedicated to keeping DED out of the community. Every year the Saskatchewan Dutch Elm Disease Association (SDEDA) implements a pruning ban from April 1 to August 31. The Municipal Inspector(s) will strongly enforce no pruning or removing of elms during this period.

The Town of Wynyard will endeavor to ensure to enforce the Dutch Elm Disease Regulations within the community.

The Town of Wynyard is one of several Saskatchewan Communities that participated in the Saskatchewan Environment DED Cost-Share Program. This program is part of the province’s overall Dutch Elm Disease management plan and the Town will continue to participate as long as the program is available.

Any requests for pruning and/or removing any elm trees during the pruning ban must provide a written request to the Director of Leisure Services.

A penalty will incur if pruning and or removing an elm tree occurs without written authorization from the Town of Wynyard. This is punishable under Saskatchewan DED Regulations and will be strictly enforced.  Fine:  $1,500.00 

13.0  AUTHORITY

13.1     Administrative Authority

The Town of Wynyard will execute the authority over the Urban Forest and the administration of the Urban Forest Management Program.

Appeal Process

Appeals regarding decisions made through this policy must be made in writing to the Director of Leisure Services.

  • Failing satisfactory response from the Director of Leisure Services, an appeal may be made to Wynyard Town Council.

13.2    Enforcement

  1. The Town of Wynyard has full authority to enforce the requirements of the municipality as well as any Saskatchewan related tree policies.
  2. Bylaw Enforcement Officer shall enforce the requirements of the municipality as related to the Town of Wynyard’s Urban Tree Policy in consultation with the Town of Wynyard.
  3. The Director of Leisure Services for the Town of Wynyard has the authority to enforce this policy and to appoint any other person as his/her designate.

Given the value of the Urban Forest to our Community, removals will always be considered the last option in all cases. 

14.0  TREE VARIETIES NOT RECOMMENDED REQUIRING SPECIAL ATTENTION

  • Birch – requires adequate moisture; recommended for wet or irrigated areas; problems with insects
  • Poplar – poplar are not good landscape trees for private lots due to problems with shallow roots, weak limbs, seeds, suckers, cankers, and insects.  Columnar varieties are useful in narrow plant sites.
  • Siberian or Manchurian Elm – an invasive, seedy, weak wooded tree and given the current approach and threat of Dutch Elm Disease, it is not      recommended.
  • Larch, Pine and Spruce – should not be planted close to walkways, streets, buildings because of their broad base that may become an obstruction as the tree matures. The Town of Wynyard no longer plants spruce or pine on residential boulevards for this reason.
  • American Elm – is probably the best available species for boulevard planting, however, given the current approach and threat of Dutch Elm Disease, it is not recommended. The Town may plant this variety if the Dutch Elm Disease monitoring continues in Wynyard on town owned trees. This variety is not recommended for planting in residential (private) areas as DED monitoring may not be consistent or present.

APPENDIX A – RECOMMENDED SPECIES FOR PLANTING

APPENDIX B – TREE PLANTING REQUEST

APPENDIX C – TREE REMOVAL REQUEST


Updated October 2020