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Ward 6 News: Prepare your trees for winter

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ReTree YYC - Prepare your trees for winter

It has been over a year since Snowtember 2014, a late-summer snow storm damaging 50% of Calgary’s tree population. The City of Calgary started the ReTree YYC initiative to recover and restore our urban forest. This involves corrective pruning to improve tree health, survival rates, and build resiliency for future events. Restoration efforts include replanting trees that were lost while adding tree species diversity to limit impact of pests and diseases. 



In the past year:
• Approximately 7,000 trees planted
• Assessed/pruned 65,000 trees
• Starting in 2015, planted replacement trees in 48 communities, restorative pruning in 58 communities, and elm pruning in 18 communities
• Held four ReTree YYC fairs providing 1,250 bags of mulch and 800 trees

Starting October 1:
• Pruning Elm trees across the City
• Confirm 25 new ReTree YYC communities for 2016
• Provide a full community-based education program to launch in 2016

2016 Goals:
• Create a culture of tree pride and knowledge in Calgarians
• Enable Calgarians to care for their trees
• Provide opportunities to create a sustainable urban forest in Calgary
• Build capacity in community leadership towards the Urban Forest
• Continue to mitigate the 2014 tree disaster though tree care

How to prepare your trees for winter:
As the weather gets cooler there are a few easy ways you can help care for and prepare your trees for winter.

1) Water your trees
Continue watering your trees until the leaves have all fallen off and the ground freezes. This will provide your trees with extra moisture to help maintain it through Calgary’s harsh winter.  This is especially important to evergreens and members of the pine family.
NOTE: You can also water your trees during Chinooks as these big temperature changes can steal moisture away from trees.

2) Assess the health of your trees
Once the leaves have fallen off, take a look at any remaining damage there may be. If you notice your tree has more damage than you anticipated, we recommend hiring an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist.

3) Mulch your trees
Put mulch around the base of your trees. This will help keep moisture in and protect the tree’s roots from extreme temperature changes through insulation.

4) Prune your trees
Fall is a great time to prune many varieties of trees including elm trees as the elm pruning ban is lifted from October 1 until the end of March. If you are unsure about how to properly prune, consult a local arborist.

For more information on what The City is doing to help trees visit or for information on how you can care for your trees visit

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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