The Natural Heritage and Forestry Services section is responsible for the delivery of the Region’s Urban Forestry Program. The Urban Forestry Program includes:
- Regional Street Trees
- Urban Forest Health
- Stewardship and Public Education
Regional Street Trees
The Regional Municipality of York owns and maintains a 1,250 kilometre road network including 50,000 + street trees in urban and rural areas. Street trees are an important part of the Region’s green infrastructure and provide many benefits to residents including:
- Energy conservation
- Improved air quality
- Carbon sequestration
In 2001 the Region adopted a Streetscaping Policy that identifies the requirements for streetscaping, including street trees along Regional Roads. This policy is implemented through the Region’s capital road improvement program. For more information on the Region’s Streetscape Policy please click on the link below.
York Region, through its Streetscape Policy, Greening Strategy, and other initiatives, has made a strong commitment to the preservation and enhancement of our green infrastructure. The Region has developed Street Tree Preservation and Design Guidelines to implement innovative design alternatives to preserve trees during construction and provide opportunities for sustainable tree planting. These guidelines are developed to assist professional service providers, developers and utility companies. For more information on the Region’s Street Tree Preservation and Design Guidelines please click on the link below:
Each year the Region plants over 2,000 street trees through its capital and operational maintenance programs. This includes planting along recently constructed roads and replacement tree planting. The Region also undertakes a number of maintenance activities to improve and maintain the health of street trees including:
- Tree watering
- Tree habitat improvement projects (soil replacement and improvement)
- Small tree maintenance (mulching, fertilizing and pruning)
- Block pruning
- Hazard tree removal and pruning
A street tree inventory system has been developed to maintain schedules, assess impacts of pests, and forecast future maintenance requirements and budgets.
Urban Forest Health
Protection and enhancement of the Region’s urban and rural forests is important to the long term sustainability of the Region. In partnership with local municipalities and provincial and federal agencies, York Region monitors the health of trees and forests.
In recent years there have been several invasive forest pests introduced to Ontario including, the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Long Horn Beetle. Natural Heritage and Forestry Services takes a lead role in the Region’s response to these forest pests. The Regional Forest has also been impacted by Red Pine Decline and the introduction of several invasive plant species, including Dog Strangling Vine.
The Region has a designated Regional Weed Inspector with responsibilities under the Provincial Weed Control Act (1990). Through the Regional Weed Inspector, the Region provides support to local municipalities on noxious weeds.
Please visit the links below that list current and potential insects and diseases in York Region. Proactive action and education is the best defence against possible insect and disease problems.
Stewardship and Public Education
The urban forest plays a significant role in enhancing our natural environment. Through the Greening Strategy, the Region in partnership with its local municipalities and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), has developed the York Region Backyard Tree Planting Program. Residents can access trees and planting services at a subsidized price. For more information on the York Region Backyard Tree Planting Program please click on the link below:
For more information on the Region’s Urban Forestry Program, contact us at:
Toll Free: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 5364