Trees are a vital part of our community. The City endeavors to plant a tree in front of every home wherever possible. In summer, mature trees provide shelter from the sun’s direct rays and help to cool your home or reduce air conditioning costs. In winter, they cut wind speeds and help to reduce your heating bill. Trees also provide us with an oxygen source and absorb carbon-dioxide and other pollutants in the air. In addition, shade trees may add at least ten percent to the real estate value of your home.
To assist in beautifying your street we ask that you take a personal interest in your tree, particularly in its early stages of development.
- The tree should be watered twice weekly during warm, dry weather.
- Moderate fertilization is good for your tree. We encourage you to fertilize, but only once a year, using one cup of fertilizer (without weed killer)
- Keep the earth loosened at the base of the trunk so that air and moisture can reach the roots easily.
- After planting, wood chips are added to conserve moisture for the roots of your new tree. A protective barrier is used around the bottom to prevent injury from weed whippers and lawn mowers. Please ensure the area around the base of the tree is kept free of grass, weeds and flowers to prevent them from taking soil moisture from the tree.
Pruning is a common and important maintenance practice. Well pruned trees look better, are safer, healthier and live longer.
Trees are pruned for:
- Public safety
- Height clearance for pedestrian and vehicular traffic
- Remove dead branches
- Remove crowded and rubbing limbs
- Increase air and light penetration in to the tree crown
- Develop proper structure
The City of Sarnia’s forestry department is responsible for maintaining and caring for city owned trees and park trees. City trees are trimmed for public safety, to maintain adequate clearances over city roads, sidewalks, traffic signage and street lights. Trimming may also be done to remove branches that could cause injury or property damage and to promote healthy tree growth. Information regarding the Oak Wilt disease is available below.
The Arbor Week’s Trees of Distinction Nomination form is also below. Please send completed forms to the Parks and Recreation Department, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspection Assessments/Hazardous Trees
Whenever a tree or part of a tree poses a threat to people or property, they are classified as hazardous trees and receive priority one attention. Our inspectors are responsible for inspection and assessment of trees annually, therefore ensuring a safe urban forest.
All forestry work is inspected and prioritized in the following manner:
Immediate danger to life or property e.g.: dead tree in poor condition, serious traffic hazard, broken limbs, and fallen trees.
Hindrance or nuisance to traffic or right of way clearance, but no immediate danger to public safety. E.g.: Dead trees that are still solid, trimming of solid deadwood, low limbs and minor traffic hazards.
Routine maintenance that does not present a hazard E.G.: Minor tree trimming and low branches, aesthetic pruning, trunk/stump removal.
Our inspectors look for the following when checking hazardous trees:
- Large dead branches in the tree
- Hanging branches
- Rotten wood or cavities in the trunk main branches
- Cracks, splits in the wood that could lead to failure
- Root problems that could affect the structural stability of the tree.
NOTE: Storm damage resulting in fallen trees will be dealt with within 24 hours or less.
If you have concern about a city owned tree, please call 519-332-0330 extension 3209.
In emergency situations after hours please contact the Sarnia Police Department at 519-344-8861 and they will direct the call to our emergency call person.
If you have any other questions about a tree that is located on city property, please call us at 519-332-0330 extension 3209, and we will be happy to help.