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Edmonton introduces policy to protect public trees near construction

Edmonton introduces policy to protect public trees near construction
CITY OF EDMONTON - A YouTube video explains Edmonton’s new rules around work near trees on city land.

EDMONTON, ALTA. – Edmonton is looking to preserve the city’s trees near construction work.

Officials are launching the public tree permit process to support its efforts to build and preserve Edmonton’s urban forest.

All worksites within five metres of a boulevard and open space trees or within 10 metres of a natural stand boundary will require tree protection measures and an approved public tree permit.

Officials noted the permit process applies only to work being done near trees on city land, like natural and naturalized areas, city parks and the boulevard between the roadway and sidewalk. Regular yard maintenance activities like grass cutting and weeding do not require permits.

An approved public tree permit and tree protection measures must be in place before work begins on site. For projects already in progress, the city recommends submitting a permit application by June 30, so applicants can have an approved permit and tree protections in place by July 15, when enforcement begins.

The city is focusing on education and data gathering in 2022, so applications for permits with both tree protection and preservation plans are free until a fee structure is announced for 2023.

The process was created after engaging with the construction, utility and telecommunications industries.

“Impacts that seem small like bark damage and root compaction can cause irreparable damage to a tree, and the benefits provided by mature trees are not replaced by planting a new tree for many years, if ever,” said the city in a release. “The public tree permit process helps people working near city-owned trees work with the city’s Urban Forestry team to preserve trees near their worksites. “

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