Urban Forests are trees, forests, and greenspace located within the urban core to the outskirts of a city. Urban forestry is the planting, care, and maintenance of trees within this urban setting – and the role of trees is an essential part of city planning and urban infrastructure. Urban Forests make important contributions to society. They have environmental, social, aesthetic, and economic values. The health and quality of urban forests and street trees is an indicator to the health and quality of neighbourhoods and other urban areas.
The City of Sarnia is proud of our urban forests and the many contributions they make to the quality of live for our citizens, and the beauty and benefits they bring to our city. The City’s Urban Forests include boulevard trees, park, trees, and any other trees located on City property. They are the responsibility of the Forestry Department, who are passionate about their field and take great care in ensuring Sarnia’s urban forests are a source of pride for the community.
A team of Forestry professionals from the Forestry Department are active year-round caring for and maintaining our urban forest. Continued training and experience enable our staff to carry out their tasks safely and efficiently. These professionals work from LaSalle Road to the St. Clair River, over to Mandaumin Road up to Lake Huron, including the Howard Watson Nature Trail from Confederation Street to Mandaumin Road. Staff plant approximately 500 new trees every year.
Services Provided to City Owned Trees
- Responding to tree inquiries regarding any City owned trees.
- Tree pruning to remove broken, sick, and dead branches to promote good health and structure and public safety.
- Tree removal of dead and sick trees.
- Monitoring of pest control.
- Assessment and treatment for general tree vigor.
- Tree planting free of charge on your boulevard, where suitable.
- Stump removal.
- After hours emergency response.
While the Forestry Department has the responsibility to care and maintain the health of our urban forest, citizens have an important role to play and can help support the care of boulevard trees.
Ways to Care for Your Boulevard Tree
- Watering your tree thoroughly during dry days in summer.
- Take care to not damage the bark while cutting your grass around the tree. Cutting the bark allows insects and other pests to affect a tree’s health.
- Keep the soil level around the base of the tree as it was planted. Piling soil around the base of a trunk causes excessive stress.
- Refrain from cutting surface roots, digging or tying anything to the tree as it can restrict growth.
- Do not prune your tree yourself. Fill out the Tree Concerns Form for any tree problems or concerns.
Should citizens notice that a boulevard or City tree show signs of disease or needs maintenance, they can submit a Tree Work Order through the Tree Work Order page, or the Contact Us page of the website. A City Arborist will receive the work order and staff will be assigned to either inspect, trim, remove, or perform any other care or maintenance to the tree. We require a name, phone number, and address where the tree is located in order to process a work order to Forestry staff.
Trees Near Power Lines
If a tree is touching or near power lines, Bluewater Power must be contacted to perform the maintenance on the tree. Their staff are especially skilled to work around power lines, and they have a webpage specific to trees maintenance. Refer to their Tree Trimming page for more information.
Tree Concerns After Hours
If a tree/large limb has fallen and are blocking a road or are a safety concern when City Hall is closed, please call the dispatcher at Sarnia Police who can contact on-call staff to address the issue. Their number is (519) 344-8861.
You can submit the same work order online to request a tree planting on your boulevard. Please submit a Tree Work Order through the Tree Work Order page, or the Contact Us page of the website to request a tree planting. Our Forestry staff plant boulevard trees approximately twice a year, in the Spring and Fall weather permitting, and will contact you to discuss species and placement options if requested.
By-Law 34 Tree By-Law was created to “regulate the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees in public places within the City of Sarnia”, and protects all of our publicly owned trees. No one is allowed to harm, trim, transplant, or remove any tree found in a public place. Fill out the Tree Concerns Form if you see any problems with trees or would like more information.
Refer to the By-Laws page for more information regarding this and other by-laws.
National Arbour Day
National Arbor Day is celebrated annually on the last Friday in April. It’s an important day set aside to raise awareness of trees and the many benefits they provide not only to the environment, but to people and their communities as well.
The City wishes to recognize past and on-going involvement of volunteers and corporate sponsors who have donated time, funds, and services to the upkeep and reforestation of our urban forest.
- Tree Canada Foundation
- TD Bank
- Canatara Volunteers
- Arbor Week Committee
- Kiwanis Foundation
- Girl Guide of Canada