Trees on City Property
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.
Trees considered hazardous are removed to prevent harm to people or property. The City does not remove healthy trees that drop branches, cones, or seeds onto private property.
To confirm if a tree is on City property, call 311 for more information.
City trees are often pruned in the winter months when trees are dormant to prevent unnecessary stress and damage. Reasons for pruning include:
- Avoiding impeding pedestrians, vehicles, and City utilities, including garbage and snow removal services.
- Public safety and health.
- Aesthetic reasons.
Trees on City-owned boulevards may only be pruned by City staff.
Diseases and Pests
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. Most pest and disease problems in an urban environment are the result of:
- Too much or too little water, light, or fertiliser.
For more information:
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. 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.
For more information:
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.
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.