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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 lost during the July 15th Barrie tornado will be replaced in fall 2021 and spring 2022, based on availability of tree species. Related information:​ Tornado Recovery Updates & Resources

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 City staff.

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.

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

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.

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:


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


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

All newly planted boulevard 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.

Street Tree Pruning Program

The City is responsible for the maintenance of trees located on the City-owned road right-of-way (between curb and private property line). Each year the Forestry Section 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 streets within three areas of the City. The tree pruning runs May through October.​

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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