Trees

Residents are responsible for trees on private property. If you are concerned about a hazardous tree city property, please report it through Fort Report.

If you are concerned about a hazardous tree falling on a powerline, please contact Fortis Alberta or call 310-WIRE.

Who owns the tree?

Remember, the front strip of your yard may be owned by the City. Usually, this is the first 3 metres of your yard from the sidewalk or curb but widths can vary. Trees located in this space or on the boulevard or greenspace near your property belong to the City.

We ask residents to not take any action that may kill or injure a tree that does not belong to them. This includes root pruning, grinding, suffocating or damaging roots with chemicals. You can trace the roots back to the tree they support.

Tree root pruning and removal can kill or injure a tree, making it possible for the tree to blow over in a storm or grow suckers, which are small trees that sprout directly from the roots. Removing a tree will not remove the roots and may result in an increase in suckers.

Tree roots on private property

Tree roots growing onto your property can be a hassle and a concern in your yard. The roots may be growing from a tree located on your property, on a neighbour's property, or on City property. The roots may be close to your foundation or pushing up through your lawn.

Before removing any tree roots, find out whether there is a tree attached to the roots.

If the answer is no, it's possible a recent removal may have left roots that will pop up and grow suckers in your lawn. Regular removal of suckers, which are trees that grow directly from the root itself, by mowing or pruning is recommended.

If the answer is yes and there is a tree attached to the roots, you should confirm who owns the tree.

Schedule a visit of a City arborist through Fort Report. City arborists will help determine whether the tree is located on your property, on a neighbour's property or on City property.

IMPORTANT: City arborists cannot remove trees or roots on your property.

What's wrong with my tree?

Dutch Elm Disease (DED)

Dutch Elm Disease is caused by Elm Bark Beetles as they feed on healthy Elms and breed in dead and dying Elms. Once an Elm tree is infected with DED it will die within the year.

There are a number of preventative numbers the Government of Alberta and the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) have outlined. The best way to prevent DED is to adhere to the Provincial Elm pruning ban (April 1 until September 30 every year). If you have pruned an Elm tree, pruned branches should be burned, buried or chipped by March 31 to avoid attracting the Elm Bark Beetles. If you prune your Elm tree during the Pruning Ban, you risk attracting Elm Bark Beetles to the newly pruned tree and infecting other Elms.

Throughout the City, you might notice odd looking, brown, plastic sheets attached to some trees. These sheets are Elm Bark Beetle Panel Traps. If you come across one of these traps, do not touch them. They have been strategically placed high in trees to protect Elms the bark beetles and DED.

Image of dutch elm disease

Learn more about Dutch Elm Disease (DED)

Black Knot

Black Knot is a fungal disease. If it’s left untreated, Black Knot can quickly spread to other trees in a neighbourhood and cause trees to die.

The City does not encourage the spraying of chemicals to treat Black Knot, but rather proper pruning to rid the tree of the disease. If a tree on your property presents signs of Black Knot, the City encourages residents to remove the Black Knot with pruning shears.

What to do if a tree on your property is infected

  • Prune out the infected branches between late fall and early spring when the plant is dormant and the knots are easier to see
  • Remove the infected branches to at least 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) below the knot
  • If the knots are on the trunk, or on the main branches growing directly from the trunk, and it can't be removed, cut the diseased material down to good tissue at least 1 cm (1/2 inch) beyond the edge of the knot
  • Sterilize your cutting tools between each cut with bleach to prevent further spread of the disease
  • Destroy infected branches immediately! They can produce spores for months after being removed. Place the branches into a plastic bag and put in your black garbage cart. Do not put it in your compost!

Image of trees with black knot
Photo by Tricia Simon

If there is a suspected case of Black Knot on a tree on City property, report it on Fort Report.

Learn more about Black Knot