Trees on City Property
The Parks and Solid Waste Division cares for and maintains trees on City property. The City of Prince George employs certified arborists to preserve, protect, and enhance the City's Urban Forest so it can continue to flourish. If a tree is within eight to 20 feet from the front of a property, it is most likely on City ground and will be maintained or treated by the Parks and Solid Waste Division. Residents who are unsure if a tree is on City property may can call 250-561-7600 to check, ask questions, or report a problem.
NOTE: Residents are not allowed to prune, treat, or remove trees on the City-owned portion of the boulevard on a street.
Trees considered hazardous by a Certified Tree Assessor are removed to reduce hazards to people or property. The City does not remove healthy trees that drop branches, cones, or seeds onto private property.
City trees are often pruned in the winter months when trees are dormant to prevent unnecessary stress and damage to them. Trees are pruned for a variety of reasons. Trees located on City-owned boulevards, for example, are pruned to avoid impeding pedestrians, vehicles, and City utilities, including garbage and snow removal services.
Other City trees may be pruned for safety, health, disease, or aesthetic reasons. Trees on City-owned boulevards may only be pruned by City staff. To report concerns about a tree located on street boulevard, to find out if a tree is located on City property, or to report a problem, call the Service Centre at 250-561-7600.
Tree Diseases and Pests
City trees afflicted by pests and disease are managed with an Integrated Pest Management strategy. Identification, Life Cycle Awareness, Prevention, Cultural, Mechanical, Biological and Chemical controls are all part of an IPM strategy.
Insect pests on ornamental trees are usually more troubling to the resident than to the tree and most trees and shrubs can survive an infestation. Begin a careful examination as soon as any abnormalities are detected in a tree’s appearance. Most pest and disease problems in an urban environment are the result of stress: too much or too little water, light, or fertiliser are all examples.
Download information on common ornamental tree problems in Prince George [PDF]
Douglas-fir beetle outbreaks occur regularly in British Columbia and usually last up to five or six years. Certain parts of BC experience higher than normal populations of these pests, including the area around Prince George. Adult beetles and larvae burrow shallow tunnels into the underside of Douglas-fir tree bark as they feed on the tree's wood. The colour of an infected tree's needles offer a visual indication of the infestation's progress:
Pale Green or Yellow - The tree has been recently attacked.
Bright Red - The tree was infested the previous year.
Brown - Along with sparse foliage, brown needles indicate the tree has been dead for two or three years.
Grey - A grey tree that has lost its needles has been dead for more than two years.
Learn more about the Douglas-fir beetle and how to manage an infestation
Residential Property Tree Care
Most declining tree health begins with drought-related stress and frequent deep watering will often significantly improve a tree’s health. Disease and insect agents usually attack drought-stressed trees and are usually only a secondary cause of declining tree health.
Herbicides can also damage or kill trees, as trees are just larger versions of broad-leafed weeds. Never use herbicides in hot weather or apply under a tree canopy.
Keep trees healthy by keeping grass away from the tree base. It reduces root compaction from mowers, eliminates the chance of damage from string trimmers, and reduces competition for water and nutrients.
- Accurately identify the plant. Many insects and diseases are plant-specific. This information can quickly limit the number of suspected diseases and disorders.
- Compare the affected plant with other plants on the site. If damage is restricted to a single specimen it may indicate insect, disease, or mechanical damage. Damage to several trees or plants, especially of different types, is an indication of environmental damage such as drought, flood, heat damage, gaseous fumes, opening of the tree canopy, or a toxic spill.
- Examine the roots. Brown roots usually indicate dry soil conditions or the presence of toxic chemicals. Black roots reflect overly wet soil or the presence of root-rotting organisms.
- Examine the trunk for wounds. Wounds can be caused by weather, fire, lawn mowers, and rodents, as well as a variety of other mechanical factors.
- Note the position and appearance of affected leaves. Dead leaves at the top of the tree are usually the result of root stress. Twisted or curled leaves may indicate viral infection, insect feeding, or exposure to herbicides.
It is important to remember most insects are beneficial rather than destructive. Insects help with pollination or act as predators of more harmful species. In the unlikely event that the City needs to use chemical controls on City-owned trees, the softest control method possible, such as insecticidal soap, is used.
City tree-planting standards follow those outlined by the International Society of Arboriculture. This planting method is recommended for use by residents planting trees on their own property as well. Residents must get permission from the City before planting a tree on municipal property. Trees growing on City property are owned by the City regardless of who planted them. Pruning or planting of City-owned trees is not permitted by anyone other than City staff or contractors.
Learn more about the International Society of Arboriculture
A number of tree species are recommended for planting within the City of Prince George due to their ability to prosper under local conditions and provision of environmental benefits.
The City has produced a guide with more information about trees that are recommended for planting in Prince George.The guide also identifies the appropriate use of trees in various locations.
Download the City of Prince George's recommended tree guide [PDF]
Names of Common Tree Species
- Balsam Fir
- White Fir
- Subalpine Fir
- Amur Maple
- Box Elder or Manitoba Maple
- Norway Maple
- Red Maple
- Sugar Maple
- Tatarian Maple
- Purple blow Maple
- Ohio Buckeye
- Horse Chestnut
- River Birch
- Paper Birch
- Weeping Birch
- Pagoda Dogwood
- Morden Hawthorn
- Russian Olive
- White Ash
- Manchurian Ash
- Green Ash
- Black Walnut
- Rocky Mt. Juniper
- Weeping Larch
- Siberian Larch
- Amur Maackia
- Flowering Crab Apple
- Amur Cork Tree
- Norway Spruce
- White Spruce
- Colorado Spruce
- Eastern White Pine
- Scots Pine
- Swedish Columnar Aspen
- Amur Chokecherry
- Douglas Fir
- Northern Pin Oak
- Bur Oak
- Red Oak
- White Willow
- Laurel Leaf Willow
- Mountain Ash
- Japanese Tree Lilac