Tree maintenance and removal list ‘long’ says town official

Tree maintenance and removal list ‘long’ says town official

Town trees marked with a red ‘R’ are scheduled to be removed as a priority and, in most cases, within a 90-day period

When a tree falls on a boulevard in Collingwood, many residents make a sound.

During Monday’s (Sept. 12) development and operations standing committee meeting, the town’s Director of Public Works, Engineering, and Environmental Services Peggy Slama provided a departmental update on normal practices for tree cutting, pruning, preservation and replacement following multiple questions and concerns she noted had recently been sent to the town about trees coming down in a few area neighbourhoods.

“There’s been quite a bit of discussion and correspondence in this regard,” said Coun. Deb Doherty during Monday’s meeting.

count Yvonne Hamlin noted she had requested an update from staff last month regarding tree removal in specific areas of town, including areas of Birch Street, Fifth Street, Third Street and the area around Pine and Second Streets.

As part of Monday’s update, Slama noted one tree on Birch had been identified as hazardous. On Fifth Street, she said there was one tree that was blocking public work to be completed on the sanitary sewer.

“For Third Street, there have been lots of questions about it. There were some trees there that were marked due to some work being done by EPCOR to update their infrastructure,” said Slama.

“As of last week, we were told (by EPCOR) they have looked at their work and revised it such that no trees have to be taken down, but there are some cases where there will have to be pruning to maintain their electricity lines, she said.

Chief Administrative Officer Sonya Skinner noted two trees on Pine Street had been removed, however they would be replaced.

Collingwood council approved the Urban Forest Management Plan for all trees on public lands in Feb. 2020, however during an update on the plan to councillors in August 2022, councillors were told implementation had been slow due to other pressures such as the COVID-19 pandemic .

Tree maintenance can include pruning, cutting of hazardous trees, tree preservation and/or planting of replacement trees.

Part of the plan requires an inventory of the trees and a rating of their health, completed by town parks staff and in some cases in consultation with an arborist.

Tree removal in Collingwood occurs based on the level of hazard it presents to the immediate surroundings.

Under town policy, all municipally owned Ash Trees will be marked with a yellow ‘X’ and will inevitably be killed by the Emerald Ash Borer.

Trees marked with a red ‘R’ are scheduled to be removed as a priority and in most cases within a 90-day period. Trees marked with a green dot are identified as an Ash tree and to be injected with TreeAzin (a method of protection against the Emerald Ash borer).

Trees marked with a green dot and a blue dot have been injected with TreeAzin by the contractor.

Currently, the town plants approximately 125 trees throughout the community on an annual basis. Replacement trees are planted as budget allows and if site conditions are favourable.

On Monday, Slama said the town had received overall questions about utility work in relation to area trees. She noted that if a utility company needed to complete work on town property including on boulevards, the utility is required to obtain municipal consent for the work.

“Staff will provide comments and approval when we’re satisfied that our infrastructure and assets are being adequately protected,” said Slama. “In all cases, staff work to preserve the trees, particularly the mature trees.”

“They do have a right to protect their own utility assets,” she added.

Residents and businesses are responsible for trees growing on their private lands and are encouraged by the town to call a certified and insured arborist to assess and manage their private tree concerns.

“Our tree maintenance list, and our hazardous tree removal list, is long,” said Slama, adding that the town intends to put a “substantial dent” in the list this fall.

If you have a concern with a tree on a town-owned road right-of-way, contact the Town of Collingwood Public Works office here.

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2022-09-14 23:00:00