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ReTree Live Chat

ReTree YYC Live Chat image

On Tuesday, June 23 we hosted a ReTree YYC Live Chat for citizens to visit calgary.ca/live and ask any questions they might have about trees. We had a panel of tree experts answering questions about caring for your trees, how to hire a Certified Arborist and much more. Experts from International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Calgary Horticulture Society, and Tree Canada were on hand, as well as Urban Forestry experts from The City.

View all the questions and answers here.
 

ReTreeYYC Live Chat
 ReTree YYC Live Chat(06/23/2015) 
11:21
Hi everyone! My name is Cherise Stock and I’ll be the moderator for today’s live chat with ReTree YYC. We’re joined by a panel of tree experts from across Calgary – I’ll let them introduce themselves now.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:21 
11:22
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi my name is Jean-Mathieu Daoust. I’m a certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. I have a bachelor of applied science and a horticulture diploma from Old College. As an Arborist I take care of trees through consultation, tree maintenance services and tree removal. I’ve been in the industry for well over 15 years and I’m excited to be here to answer your questions!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:22 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
11:22
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Hi, I’m Erin Brown, Neighbourwoods Program Advisor with City of Calgary. I’m here to answer any questions you have regarding the Neighbourwoods street tree planting initiative, bringing new trees in 29 communities across the City. Ask me how you can get involved.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:22 Erin Brown
11:22
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi, I'm Nico Bernard and I'm the manager of the ReTree YYC Project at The City of Calgary.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:22 Nico Bernard
11:22
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi everyone. My name is Kath Smyth, Horticulturist at the Calgary Horicultural Society. I work closely with The City of Calgary Water Service delivering their YardSmart programs. I also present a program called “Beauty on a Budget”, which encourages Calgarians to create water-wise yards. I look forward to answering any questions you might have.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:22 Kath Smyth
11:27
We'll get started with the chat in just a few minutes - if you have a question, feel free to send it in now!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:27 
11:28
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Gerard Fournier Community Advisor, Tree Canada – Southern Alberta I’m a board certified master arborist and have been working in the industry for 35 years. I own my own tree nursery and tree care company – For Trees. Also, I am an instructor at Olds College teaching in the landscape gardener program. I am happy to answer any questions at all related to Tree Canada’s programs such as the Alberta Urban Forest ReLeaf Program, greening Canada’s school grounds, Alberta Mountain Pine beetle program and others.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:28 Gerard Fournier
11:28
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Alex Nagy Urban Forestry Technician, City of Calgary I’ve been in this role since 2003 and with Parks since 1987. I am a registered American Society of Consulting arborist. I am also an International Society of Arboriculture arborist. I am also qualified as a tree risk assessor (TRAQ). I specialized in urban forestry with an Ontario diploma of horticulture. I’ve been in this industry for 30 years. I am glad to answer any technical questions you may have about trees, in particular and City urban forestry questions.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:28 Alex Nagy
11:29
Ok, we've got all of our experts here - lets get started with your questions. Looks like we've got our first one.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:29 
11:30
[Comment From MariaMaria: ] 
The bark on my trees cracked and even peeled off on some of the trees . How is this harmful to the trees and how can I prevent them from more damage? Thank you
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:30 Maria
11:30
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Bark removal increases the chance of insect or disease entry into the tree which could be damaging. There's not much that can be done to put the bark back on, but a healthy tree will start to compartmentalize the wound (aka fix it).The best thing to do is keep the area dry, so don't spray it with water or any other products. Any loose bark can gently be taken off; but be careful not to harm any live or well-attached tissues
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:30 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
11:36
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Hi, I planted 3 baby trees last year - a Princess Kay plum; a muckle plum & a Juliet cherry. The Princess Kay plum has been suckering - is that a sign it requires more water? I've got it mulched & have been careful to give it water on a regular basis
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:36 Linda
11:36
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Linda, Muckle Plums are grafted trees, which means the suckers that come from the bottom are different variety. To preserve the nice flowering habit of the Muckle Plum, remove these suckers at their origin with a pair of sharp pruners several times a year. Also, make sure the mulch is not touching the trunk of the tree or deeper than two or three inches.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:36 Gerard Fournier
11:37
[Comment From MariaMaria: ] 
Is it normal to have dried out branches on the trees? I see the amount of those increase every year and at least 1 or 2 branches are dead. Is there a way to prevent it? Thanks!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:37 Maria
11:37
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi Maria. Is this the same tree that you’re referring to? If so, it could mean that the bark peeling is interfering with the uptake of nutrients into the tree. You can prune out the dead branches, but this is dependent on the percentage of the tree that is affected.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:37 Kath Smyth
11:37
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Our Amur cherry tree has a fairly large split trunk. Should it be something to be concerned about? It's in front of a sidewalk (it's not a City tree).
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:37 Guest
11:38
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hello Guest, thanks for the great question! Amur Cherry trees are prone to cracking due to the fact that they have very narrow branch attachments with included bark (i.e. the bark is included in the branch union. Concern is relative to where the crack is... Where is the crack? I would be most concerned with a crack originating from the branch union. The best thing would be to have a certified arborist look at the tree or a picture of the area of concern. You can e-mail me at treefrogyyc@gmail.com if you like
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:38 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
11:39
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
We have had an early spring & thus far not a lot of rain. How much water should newly planted trees receive per week?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:39 Linda
11:40
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Linda, Regarding water for newly planted trees, only water newly planted trees when they are dry. Overwatering can be as bad as under watering. You want the soil to be moist, but not soaked. Check the soil frequently with your fingers, and water about 5 gallons as needed.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:40 Gerard Fournier
11:42
[Comment From MariaMaria: ] 
Is there a desired distance for the trees to be away from the house?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:42 Maria
11:42
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi again, Maria. It depends on how big / mature the tree is. Look out for power lines, power sources into the house and watermains. Water needs will also affect the ideal distance between the tree and house. Make sure you “call (or click) before you dig” with Alberta OneCall!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:42 Kath Smyth
11:42
[Comment From NormNorm: ] 
This is awesome! Will the city be doing any more of these live chats?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:42 Norm
11:43
Hi Norm, thanks for your feedback! Our engage! team is looking into using live chats as a tool for public participation in the future.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:43 
11:44
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Regarding evergreens - how dry is too dry for evergreens? If the needles on some branches are dry/brown, what if anything can be done to restore the tree so the needles don't turn brown?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:44 Linda
11:44
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Linda, Regarding evergreens, they really do benefit from mulch. Evergreens have an overabundance of browning/shedding needles every three or four years. So you will see them shedding these, usually in the fall. If there is new growth being attacked, I would recommend hiring an ISA certified arborist to take a look as it may be insect or disease related.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:44 Alex Nagy
11:45
We’re getting great questions so far – please continue to send them in.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:45 
11:49
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
I've read about root systems invading infrastructure - water/sewer pipes. Are there varieties of trees more likely to do this & that should be avoided?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:49 Linda
11:50
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Linda, Generally, a root will deflect away from a hard surface; however, roots look for air space, so if the infrastructure is damaged, roots will go looking for oxygen and water. It is important to make sure that new trees are planted far enough away when they are small so that they don’t cause issues when the mature to their full. Some examples of trees that should be far away from buildings include large hybrid poplars and evergreens. Our soils tends to be compacted, so all tree roots are located in the top metre or less.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:50 Alex Nagy
11:50
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi everyone. I have a great tip to share for this planting season. My favourite tree is the Ivory Silk Tree Lilac because of its beautifully coloured bark, it provides great shade, and best of all, it has beautiful, fragrant, white flowers that bloom later than the regular lilac. Also, it does not require a lot of moisture – making it YardSmart!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:50 Kath Smyth
11:52
[Comment From JuliaJulia: ] 
Are there any more tree events happening in Calgary? Do you give away free trees?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:52 Julia
11:52
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Julia! Yes there is a tree event this coming Sunday at Bowness Park from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. We will have tree experts, tree care demos, activities for kids, and food trucks. We will also be giving out Aspen tree saplings that you can plant in your own yard. Also, we have free mulch for people to use for mulching their trees or shrubs. To find out more about all things tree-related in Calgary and for upcoming events you can visit calgary.ca/trees
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:52 Nico Bernard
11:53
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
How do I know who to hire with all the different credentials?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:53 Melodie
11:53
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
The most important thing would be to look for a company that has ISA Certified Arborists. ISA stands for the International Society of Arboriculture. There are also other credentials to look for such as training through Olds College or other Arboriculture training. Also, you can always ask them for references and check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Does that answer your question?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:53 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
11:54
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Hi Alex - regarding mulching the evergreens - how much, how deep, should there be a space left near the trunk. Also, would using cedar mulch help prevent insect attack?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:54 Linda
11:54
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Linda, For a mature tree, the maximum depth for mulch should be 2-3 inches deep and about a foot away from the trunk. This will help avoid wet mulch rotting the trunk and avoid soil insects/disease from getting into the trunk. Cedar mulch can have properties that will reduce the possibility of insects and disease. It’s not a guarantee though.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:54 Alex Nagy
11:57
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
I've read about the Ivory Silk lilac - it sounds like a great choice for a smaller city yard as it doesn't grow too large - most catalogues say 26 feet tall. Is this correct?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:57 Linda
11:57
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Linda, Regarding, Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac, it is suitable, slow growing small tree for a sheltered yard. Keep in mind that it can reach 30 feet after 30 years.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:57 Gerard Fournier
11:57
[Comment From ClaireClaire: ] 
We received a small pine tree from my daughters school last year. Its currently in a pot and doing quite well. How long can we leave it in a pot before we need to put it in the ground? Its about 2ft tall. We aren't sure we have space for it in our yard.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:57 Claire
11:58
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi Claire. Ideally the best place for a tree is in the ground, though if you like having the tree around it's just fine to keep it in a pot, as long as you increase the pot size as the tree grows. If it ever gets to be too big you can always donate the tree to a friend, neighbor or even ask a community centre if they'd like it. Kijiji is also an option!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:58 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
11:58
[Comment From ShawnShawn: ] 
When is the best time to plant a tree? How do I choose the right tree?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:58 Shawn
11:58
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi Shawn. The best time to plant a tree is right now! The soil is still cool and moist. Spring rains also help roots to establish. Choose the tree that best fits the conditions in your yard, considering the height and spread of the tree when mature. It’s important to consider if you’d like a flowering or fruit bearing tree and also how much shade would best suit your yard. Find some helpful tree and shrub info, along with a brochure here: http://bit.ly/1fxC9nx
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:58 Kath Smyth
11:59
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
I've always heard new trees should be planted in the spring or fall. Is that true or can trees be planted at anytime as long as adequate water is supplied? With temps in the 30's this weekend is it too hot?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:59 Melodie
11:59
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Melodie, New trees can be planted anytime the soil is not frozen. Warm temperatures should not discourage you from planting new trees as long as you can water them before, during and after the transplanting process. Happy planting!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:59 Gerard Fournier
12:02
[Comment From BillBill: ] 
I want to remove a tree in my front yard. How can I find out if the tree in front of my property is a city tree or private tree?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:02 Bill
12:02
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Bill! The easiest way to find out if a tree is public or private would be to call 3-1-1 and they'll arrange for a City staff member to come and confirm the ownership of the tree. In general, trees between the sidewalk and a property line would be public. If there's a section of greenspace between the road and the sidewalk and a tree is located here, it is always a public tree. Finally, all trees in backyards or in alleyways are private.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:02 Nico Bernard
12:03
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Regarding insects attaching leaves - I've read about spraying with mineral oil which apparently suffocates? the insects. How safe is mineral oil for the tree itself? Could the oil block the trees ability to take in water/oxygen? Would the sun burn the tree if there were oil on it?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:03 Linda
12:03
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hey there Linda, great question! You are right about mineral oil - it does suffocate the insect, but it will also block the stomata in the leaves (holes used by the tree to breathe)which would suffocate the leaf as well. Depending on what kind of insect it is, you may want to consider using an insecticidal soap instead. Under special circumstances only, direct injection of pesticide is also an option. Keep in mind that most insect damage is cosmetic in nature, not necessarily detrimental to the tree. So it's very important to understand what the pest is before taking any action
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:03 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:05
[Comment From DavidDavid: ] 
Should I water my tree every day? I moved into a new development and it doesn't look very old.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:05 David
12:05
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi David. No – it does not need water every day as it cannot absorb that much moisture. When watering, it would be best to water ‘low and slow’. This means watering for abour 45 minutes at a time, keeping the water low to the roots and a slow flow of water. Other considerations would be how big the tree trunk is, which tells you the age of the tree. 3-4 inches wide would indicate that it needs water every 10 days.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:05 Kath Smyth
12:05
[Comment From SarahSarah: ] 
What community tree planting opportunities are available for Bankview? I heard there were city programs?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:05 Sarah
12:05
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Thanks for your question Sarah! The NeighbourWoods program, a street tree planting initiative, is available in Bankview this year. The City will prep the planting location and will provide you with a tree. All we ask is that you assist the tree by watering it. You can register for this program through 311 and an Urban Forestry staff member will come out and assess your property to ensure there is a suitable planting location within the City-owned section of your front yard (approximately the first three feet). More information, including application deadlines, can be found at calgary.ca/trees
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:05 Erin Brown
12:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Hi, we have what I believe is a weeping birch in our front yard. These were apparently the tree of choice 25 years ago when they were building in our area. Each year, the leaves turn brown for a while. I read that it's an insect that causes this. Is this true? I also read that they're not considered a hardy tree for our region. Can you confirm, because sometimes the Internet can be less than reliable. :)
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:06 Guest
12:06
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Dear Guest, Regarding your question about Weeping Birch trees, they are hardy to our area however, they are native to northern Europe. In order to make them thrive in Calgary, they require more water than almost any other species of tree we grow here. Mulch is a great benefit for this type of tree and regular watering especially when it's hot and dry. Try to water the entire area under the canopy of the tree. The browning of the leaves may be caused by an insect known as the Birch Leaf Miner. This insect is difficult to control, but there are some very good organic pest control products available to arborists now. Contact an arborist that offers this service if most of the leaves are turning brown every year.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:06 Gerard Fournier
12:07
Did you have any trees damaged during Snowtember?
Yes
 ( 54% )
No
 ( 46% )

Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:07 
12:09
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
What should you do if you notice a tree growing where it should not? One of the storm sewers near my house has a tree growing inside the drain area (beneath the grate). Should I call 311 & give the location so the tree can be removed before it grows any larger?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:09 Linda
12:09
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Linda! Yes, please call 3-1-1 with your inquiry. First, we will need to determine if it is, in fact, a City tree. There are several alternative solutions to consider before completely removing a tree. Our last resort would be to remove the tree, however, each request requires an individual assessment.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:09 Nico Bernard
12:11
Thanks for all the great questions – keep them coming!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:11 
12:12
[Comment From EmilyEmily: ] 
I lost a tree last September... so should I sign up for Neighbourwoods to get a new tree??
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:12 Emily
12:12
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Hello Emily! The NeighbourWoods program is focused on planting new trees, but if the tree you’re referring to is on City-owned property, it will be replaced through our ReTreeYYC program. If you’re unsure if it’s a City-owned tree, you can contact 311 for more information. If the tree is on your private property, you can apply for the Alberta Urban Forest Relief Grant through Tree Canada at treecanada.ca.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:12 Erin Brown
12:13
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
I will call 311 regarding the tree that is growing in the storm sewer drain. It is right inside the drain itself, so for sure it 'belongs' to the City:)
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:13 Linda
12:17
[Comment From DerekDerek: ] 
I live in Temple and am the Community Relations Coordinator. How can we get trees planted in our community on City owned land?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:17 Derek
12:18
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Hello Derek! Great to hear your community is interested in planting trees. With your assistance, a community volunteer tree planting event could be organized within your community. This is a great way to bring the community together in promoting the importance of an urban forest. If this is something that interests you, please submit a volunteer project request through 311.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:18 Erin Brown
12:18
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
How successful are tree moves? Is there a certain size it just isn't worth the risk?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:18 Melodie
12:19
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi Melodie. Good question. Tree moving is expensive at the best of times. If the tree is old and established it’s really difficult to move. Large trees require machinery and if there is no access for the machine, it becomes nearly impossible. There is no machinery in Calgary to move a tree with a trunk circumference of over 5 inches.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:19 Kath Smyth
12:20
[Comment From BrentBrent: ] 
I have some large columnar aspens that were hurt really bad during Snowtember. Many of the limbs that are supposed to be upright are horizontal. I thought they may bounce back up, but so far not happening. Can these bent limbs be safely bound back up somehow? These poor trees look rather pathetic right now. Thanks, Brent
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:20 Brent
12:20
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hey Brent, that's a great question and one that I answer on a daily basis. Unfortunately the wood fibres in the bent limbs are now permanently bent. I don't recommend tying the trees up because this won't fix the underlying issue of the bent wood fibres. Tying the tree is a short-term fix/Band-Aid solution that will actually cause long-term problems for your tree. If the ties are not removed in a few years time they will cause permanent damage to the trunk and branches. I recommend correcting the tree through the practice of pruning. Branches with a minor bend can be pruned directionally (pruned to inward facing buds or growth points). Branches with severe bends can be repaired with heading cuts (cutting it back to wear the tree part is vertical again). Heading cuts will promote vertical sprouts. This will leave a temporary gap in the branches, but it is the best long term solution as I've determined alongside other professionals in the industry. Some companies will tie trees, but I don't believe it's a long term fix so we don't do it. If you insist on tying your tree, do it with Christmas lights! Thanks for the great question! And of course if you have further questions you can ask me now or email me at treefrogyyc@gmail.com
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:20 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:20
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
Thanks for all the info!!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:20 Melodie
12:21
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Regarding public trees damaged during 'Snowtember' - a lot of clean up was done, but I still see some trees with splintered branch stubs along the streets in our neighbourhood - will the City be revisiting the trees to assess whether they need more work later on?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:21 Linda
12:21
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Linda! We’ve addressed all trees with “hangers” which are branches that pose an imminent risk to public safety. We are now systematically going through all Calgary communities and properly pruning away damaged limbs like the splintered branches you described.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:21 Nico Bernard
12:21
[Comment From AlisonAlison: ] 
Thanks for the response on the Weeping Birch. Is there any good way to get rid of the suckers that grow at the base of my fruit trees? When we purchased our existing home, they were quite overgrown. We've trimmed them back, and we cut back the suckers, and spread lots of mulch, but they keep coming up.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:21 Alison
12:21
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Alison, Suckers or sprouts coming from the base of the tree are often connected to the rootstock of a grafted ornamental tree. In order to preserve the tree’s ornamental qualities, these suckers or sprouts must be removed with clean, sharp pruners on a regular basis. At least once or twice a year. You just have to keep at it.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:21 Gerard Fournier
12:25
[Comment From SidSid: ] 
Why do developers remove all the trees when they build new homes
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:25 Sid
12:25
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Sid, While I disagree that all trees need to be removed to facilitate development, I can only assume it is due to the costs of preserving and maintaining them. There are tree preservation requirements under the Land Use Bylaw for private trees and a Public Tree Protection Bylaw for City trees. For public trees, appraised values are applied and charged so that these funds can go into replanting trees.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:25 Alex Nagy
12:30
[Comment From ColinColin: ] 
I have a question about the proximity of trees to home foundations. I have a thriving crab-apple tree growing just a few inches from the concrete of my house. Do the roots of this type of tree pose any risk to my foundation? I'd prefer to not have to remove it if I don't have to.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:30 Colin
12:30
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Colin, I would say no. If your foundation is solid, the roots should deflect away. However, if you have a crack in your foundation, those roots will go in as they are always looking for air space and water.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:30 Alex Nagy
12:31
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
When Snowtember occurred, one of my baby trees was pushed over from its upright position. I saw no breakage/damage to the tree limb or trunk, so I staked the tree back to an upright position. Since it is a baby tree, how long should I keep it staked? It was the Juliet cherry that got pushed over.....
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:31 Linda
12:31
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi Linda. I think it’s safe to remove the stake now provided that the roots feel firmly back in the ground. Stakes are only a temporary measure. Good parenting tells us that all babies need to learn to stand on their own.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:31 Kath Smyth
12:32
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
During Snowtember, I was outside a couple of times trying to knock off the heavy snow from our trees as it accumulated. Was this worth doing from an expert opinion?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:32 Guest
12:32
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Dear Guest, In regards to your questions about shaking off the snow, it can be dangerous if it's a larger tree. A safer method is to use water sprayed from a hose or sprinkler if temperatures allow. For smaller trees and shrubs, it is great to be a friend to trees and shake off that excess weight.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:32 Gerard Fournier
12:33
[Comment From PeterPeter: ] 
Question for the panel What's your favorite tree in Calgary and why?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:33 Peter
12:33
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Peter, I love your question. My favourite is the Northwest Poplar. Honestly, they are big, massive trees and, as a climbing Arborist, they're the trees I have the most fun in while at work or play.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:33 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:33
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Peter, My favourite tree is the Blue Douglas Fir because they are the largest. oldest, most majestic trees we have here in Calgary.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:33 Alex Nagy
12:34
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Great question Peter! My favourite tree in Calgary is a Trembling Aspen. I like the colour of the bark and I love it’s a native tree. And best of all I love the sound that the leaves make in the breeze.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:34 Kath Smyth
12:34
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Hi Peter – My personal favourite is the trembling aspen. It’s a native tree that grows really well in our climate. The golden-yellow leafs in the fall make a beautiful sound as they quiver in the wind.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:34 Erin Brown
12:34
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Peter! My favourite tree is the Poplar because it’s majestically big if planted in the right spot, it’s native to Calgary, and it’s well-adjusted for our climate.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:34 Nico Bernard
12:34
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Peter, Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir (Also known as Blue Douglas Fir) is an awesome tree! The largest, oldest trees in Calgary can be found on the escarpment above Bowness Park. My personal favourite besides Douglas Fir is the Bur Oak. This tree grows for 100 years, lives for 100 years, and takes 100 years to die! So for 300 years, it’s a really great tree!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:34 Gerard Fournier
12:36
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
Can you explain the Zone rating for trees? I think Calgary is a zone 3 but the Amur is a Zone 2. So I can go down a zone but not up? I'm confused!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:36 Melodie
12:36
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi there Melodie. Calgary is classified as a zone 3 and anything from 1-3 is hardy for the region; however, zones are based on the number of frost-free days and how many days the temperature goes to -45 in the winter. The Amur is a strong choice. Have you thought about a Showy Mountain Ash or a Snowbird Hawthorn? They are hardy to this region, flower, have coloured bark, very water-wise and are a medium size in adulthood.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:36 Kath Smyth
12:38
[Comment From JJ: ] 
noticed around the city a great toll on the cotoneasters, wondered bug blight winter kill? Thank you
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:38 J
12:38
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi J, Many insects and diseases affect catoneasters. This year we have seen an increase in Oyster Shell Scale, Nectria, and Cytospora Canker. Lack of spring moisture, damage from the storm, and a mild winter will all have an impact on the overall health of this shrub.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:38 Alex Nagy
12:41
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What is the panels thoughts about Columnar Aspens? They seem to be the tree of choice in new developments. Are they being over used or misplanted? What conditions are most favorable for this tree?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:41 Guest
12:42
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi Guest. In my opinion, the tree is definitely overused, overplanted and improperly planted. They are all cloned varieties of the same tree so they are all prone to getting the same insects and disease. They grow 3-5 feet per year, which is a problem when people plant them too close to the house. The tallest ones I've seen are over 70 feet tall! My preference would be the use of taller shrubs for privacy/barrier, or other varieties of columnar trees such as spruce or crabapple.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:42 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:43
We have about 15 minutes left in the chat, so if you have any last minute questions, send them in now!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:43 
12:45
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
What distinguishes a tree from a shrub? I thought maybe height, but some shrubs grow as tall as some of the smaller trees.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:45 Linda
12:45
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Hi Linda. The answer can be a little subjective. Many people think trees should have a single trunk and be at least 4 metres tall, but there is no hard and fast rule. Many shrubs grow taller than 4 metres, while many trees do not grow that tall. In terms of producing oxygen and capturing carbon dioxide, most shrubs are only about 10 per cent as efficient as large-growing shade trees.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:45 Gerard Fournier
12:46
[Comment From MelodieMelodie: ] 
Thanks for the zone info. What I love about the Amur cherry is the orange peeling bark and the deep purple berries that draw the birds! Unfortunately ours is near the end of it's life.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:46 Melodie
12:46
[Comment From ColinColin: ] 
My neighbourhood is about 45 years old and I've got three Spruces on my property (thus the trees are about 45 years in age too). At what point do I need to start worrying about the age and height of these trees?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:46 Colin
12:47
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi Colin. I wouldn't worry about the age, I would just be more concerned about the location. If it has enough soil space to provide for a healthy and stable root system it could easily grow for over 100 more years. If you are concerned with the height or location of the tree you can always ask a professional to check it out, but as long as the tree looks healthy I wouldn't worry about it. Keep in mind that the trees roots can grow out as far or even further than the total height of the tree
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:47 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:50
[Comment From MoniqueMonique: ] 
Can you suggest a good tall shrub?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:50 Monique
12:50
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hi Monique. American Highbush Cranberry is probably one of my favourite tall shrubs. I like it because it flowers in the spring, produces red berries, has wonderful fall colour and will grow about 8 feet tall. They are easy to find in Calgary and once established, require very little maintenance or water.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:50 Kath Smyth
12:51
[Comment From MoniqueMonique: ] 
Thank you.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:51 Monique
12:51
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
I get that the pine beetle attacks pine trees, but does it also attack other evergreens?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:51 Linda
12:51
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi Linda, Based on the research I have done, the Pine Beetle will only attack Pine Trees, although there are other insects which will attack Spruce Trees, such as the Spruce Beetle. Many insect pests on trees have specific hosts rather than generally attacking all trees.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:51 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
12:52
[Comment From CrystalCrystal: ] 
I got a notice from The City, stating they were going to come and trim the branches of my trees at the back of my lot because they were too close to the electrical wires in the back alley. Then the snow hit and The City was busy cleaning up. My trees were never trimmed and have grown a lot since then. Will they be trimmed this year or should I call someone?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:52 Crystal
12:52
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Hi Crystal! Power utility companies look after trees over power lines. In Calgary, it would be Enmax looking after these trees. Please contact Enmax to have this work completed.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:52 Nico Bernard
12:54
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What's the best/most viable evergreen to plant for privacy along a fence line? Narrow but at least 6 plus feet tall.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:54 Guest
12:54
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Hello Guest. A narrow evergreen Spruce is a Bacherii. They are blue in colour, top-out around 10-feet tall and about 4-feet across. They are hardy to our area and slow growing, so you might want to buy it at around 3-feet tall.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:54 Kath Smyth
12:55
Our experts are finishing up with our last few questions of the chat. If you have any follow up questions, please email retreeyyc@calgary.ca. Thanks for joining us today!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:55 
12:55
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Does the City have an inventory of the type & number of trees on City property? Does the City have a comprehensive list of all the kinds of trees that are successfully growing in Calgary today?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:55 Linda
12:55
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Hi Linda. The City does keep an inventory of all trees and shrubs on public property. This list is constantly updated, as new trees are added and removed. Due to the September storm and the number of changes to our inventory, we’ve recently hired technicians to update our lists. If you’re interested in whether a tree is owned by The City, you can contact 311. There are lists of recommended tree species for Calgary’s climate on our website at Calgary.ca/trees.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:55 Alex Nagy
12:56
[Comment From RJRJ: ] 
We had a large tree lose one of its major branches during Snowtember. While it seems to have bounced back this year, is there anything we should be looking for to indicate the tree was compromised more than an untrained eye could spot?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:56 RJ
12:56
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
Hi RJ. Even for the trained eye it's sometimes difficult to estimate the significance of damage on a tree with no exterior signs. What I would look for is any branches that seem too long for the size of their attachment (where they're attached to the tree). You can also evaluate the state of the tree through sounds such as creaking or groaning which may indicate problems. To get a more definite answer you could have a tree risk assessment done by an ISA certified Arborist with the tree risk assessment qualification. You can e-mail me at treefrogyyc@gmail.com if you'd like me to have a look
Tuesday June 23, 2015 12:56 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
1:00
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. Is there a way to print off the live chat answers or a way to send the file electronically so the answers would be available for later reference?
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:00 Linda
1:00
[Comment From ReTree YYCReTree YYC: ] 
The Live Chat will be posted to calgary.ca/trees by tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24. The whole chat will be posted including all of the answers. We will also share the video component at calgary.ca/trees as well. Thank you!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:00 ReTree YYC
1:00
[Comment From Alex NagyAlex Nagy: ] 
Thank you for all of the fantastic questions. I look forward to seeing you all at Bowness on Sunday!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:00 Alex Nagy
1:00
[Comment From Jean-Mathieu DaoustJean-Mathieu Daoust: ] 
It was a real pleasure to be hear to have this conversation with you all! It was actually really motivating to hear your questions and provide you with insight and information - it's one of the favourite aspects of my job. Feel free to check out my website at www.treefrogtreecare.com or e-mail me at treefrogyyc@gmail.com Thanks again!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:00 Jean-Mathieu Daoust
1:00
[Comment From Gerard FournierGerard Fournier: ] 
Thanks everybody for the great questions. Please remember to apply for a grant from tree Canada to help Alberta’s Urban Forest ReLeaf effort! www.treecanada.ca. If you have more questions come see me this Sunday at the ReTree YYC Fair at Bowness Park or email me at gfournier@treecanada.ca. PLANT TREES!!! :)
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:00 Gerard Fournier
1:01
[Comment From Erin BrownErin Brown: ] 
Thank you all for your interest in Calgary’s urban forest and for your dedication to keeping our trees healthy. Having a healthy urban forest provides so many benefits to our communities. Please check out Calgary.ca/trees to see if NeighbourWoods is in your community this year and take advantage of the program if you can.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:01 Erin Brown
1:01
[Comment From Nico BernardNico Bernard: ] 
Thanks everyone for your questions today! If you’d like more information on trees in Calgary, please visit calgary.ca/trees
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:01 Nico Bernard
1:01
[Comment From Kath SmythKath Smyth: ] 
Thanks for all the great questions today. I am so happy that so many people care about Calgary’s trees and gardens. If you want to get in touch, you can reach me at info@calhort.org. If you’d like to know more about creating a water-smart yard, visit www.calgary.ca/yardsmart.
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:01 Kath Smyth
1:01
Thanks to everyone for joining us today and for the great questions!
Tuesday June 23, 2015 1:01