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Street Trees

The City is committed to beautifying and improving the urban environment through the introduction of trees on City-owned road right-of-ways.

Street trees are planted on the area of City-owned land between the property owner’s front property line and the street curb. These areas can be:

  • on the boulevard (between the sidewalk and the curb). 
  • within a set distance from the curb, in instances where there is no sidewalk. Note this distance varies and is dependent on the individual property limits.

As such, these trees are municipal property and requests for maintenance or planting can be made via Service Barrie. Each year the City undertakes a Street Tree Pruning Program.

Planting in New Subdivisions

All new subdivisions are required to be planted by the subdivision developer. The City will not reimburse residents for any payments made to the developer for boulevard/street trees.

Replacement Trees

The City provides replacement trees in older areas of Barrie, provided the location conforms with minimum setback standards and is clear of utilities. To request a street tree, please call 705-726-4242. Trees are planted during the annual tree planting contract in the spring and/or fall, as budgets permit.

Street Tree Care

Residents are encouraged to care for their new street tree by providing adequate watering and fertilizing. To remain healthy, the new tree will require some help from the homeowner:

Water

Please water the tree once a week during the summer months or during dry periods. Participate in the Street Tree Watering Pilot Program (three-year commmitment) to use a slow release watering bag provided by the City, or water by letting the hose dribble slowly at the base of the tree for an hour.  

Protect

Protect your tree by avoiding striking the bark with your lawnmowers or weedeater as this will girdle the tree and lead to its death.

Fertilize

Keep all weed killers away from the tree and do not fertilize the tree for the first two years. Your new tree may experience some shock and appear under stress for the first few months.

If the tree's health appears to be declining even after your taking the above actions, please contact Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca.

All newly planted street trees are automatically inspected the year after they are planted to ensure they are healthy. If they did not survive, they are marked for removal and replacement as part of the process of inspection.

If you have concerns about the health of your street tree, please contact Service Barrie at (705) 726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca to provide details so an urban forestry staffperson can attend to assess the tree's health.

​​​Tree Removals due to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

In 2006, City staff instituted a moratorium on planting Ash species on public lands in Barrie and recommended that land developers and consultants omit ash from planting on private property. Signs and symptoms of EAB-infested ash trees include:

  • premature yellowing of leaves
  • dead branches
  • thinning crown
  • branches sprouting from the base of the tree
  • bark cracks
  • a “zig-zag” path under dead portions of bark
  • D-shaped holes from where new adults exit the tree

If a City tree exhibits these signs, please report it online or contact Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 or ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca. Please also refer to Ash tree removal schedule for 2022​​.

If you're concerned that your private tree is infested, please contact a certified arborist to have it inspected. There are several local tree companies with certified, licensed and insured arborists who can assess your trees and provide recommendations on the best course of action.​

Street Tree Pruning Program

Between May and October each year, the Forestry department undertakes a Street Tree Pruning Program, pruning approximately 3500 street trees as part of maintenance requirements for clearance from streets, lights, signs, sidewalks, lawns, as well as to remove crowded branches, structurally weak branches, dead branches, etc. The primary purpose of the program is tree health and public safety. The City contracts out the pruning of street trees within three areas of Barrie. 

2022 Pruning Schedule / Locations

Ward 1 Pruning Contract

Ward 5 Pruning Contract

Street Tree Pruning FAQs

How often is street tree pruning required?

Street tree pruning is required approximately every 7–10 years.

Who undertakes the pruning?

Street tree pruning is completed by a qualified forestry crew.

Why do the trees need to be pruned?

Street trees are pruned for:

  • safety concerns
  • maintenance of legislated clearances
  • tree health & vitality
  • disease control
What is involved in pruning?

Standard tree pruning involves:

  1. removing all dead, dying, diseased, decayed, interfering, noticeably weak or crowded branches.
  2. crown raising, the removal of lower branches and stem suckers as follows:
    a. 4 metres over curb and street
    b. 2.5 metres over sidewalk and lawn
    c. All other necessary clearance from driveways, signs, lights and other fixed objects or structures.
  3. clearing stop signs to a minimum of 25 metres clear view.
  4. clearing traffic signals to a minimum 25 metres clear view.
  5. reporting any other defects to the Forestry Coordinator for inspection and action.

Individual tree pruning requirements may include:

  • removal of dead branches
  • clearance for pedestrian/vehicle traffic
  • visibility clearance for stop signs, traffic signals
  • clearance from buildings
  • structural training
  • crown thinning for tree health/vigour and improve sunlight penetration
  • crown balance to correct for storm damage

If, during the tree pruning, a tree is found to be more than 50% dead; is diseased; or is deemed to be structurally unsound it will be scheduled for complete removal.

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