Our community is home to a variety of habitats and ecosystems that include a diversity of trees in public and private spaces. These trees play an important role in keeping our communities vibrant and healthy. The preservation and protection of these trees is a priority for Prince Edward County, which is supported by a Tree Management and Preservation Policy passed in 2020. This policy provides guidelines on the management of trees on County property and on private developments and establishes a goal of a net zero loss of trees.
Prince Edward County Tree Management and Preservation Policy
Prince Edward County Tree Management and Preservation Policy provides guidance to the County Operations and Development teams on protection and management of trees in settlement areas. The policy applies to trees on public property and on properties where a development application has been made. It describes the procedures to follow when wanting to remove, maintain, or plant trees and contains recommendations for tree species, which species not to plant, and how to determine if a tree is healthy. By following these policies and keeping everything healthy and safe, we can reach a positive number of trees and grow Prince Edward County’s urban forest.
Instructions for Developers
Developers who will be removing trees as part of a Planning Act application have specific requirements under the policy. Those intending to build a subdivision, condominium, or obtain a site plan will be required to retain an arborist to prepare a Tree Preservation, Management and Planting Report. A copy of the Terms of Reference for such a report can be found here. Developers are encouraged to contact the Planning Department to understand their requirements.
Tree Maintenance and Reporting a Hazard Tree
Tree conservation and preservation is an important part of maintaining a healthy urban forest canopy. The County maintains a number of procedures to keep public trees healthy such as tree assessments, maintenance, and removals where trees have become hazards and cannot be remediated. These procedures help prevent impact to the community’s safety or the County’s infrastructure.
Unfortunately, trees can become hazards to the public for a number of reasons such as wind, disease, age or damage. If you notice a tree on public property that appears to be dead, damaged, or diseased, please reach out to Customer Service to report this information.
Prince Edward County conducts seedling giveaways from time to time to increase the tree canopy across the County and to respond to specific threats to trees such as the emerald ash borer. Seedling giveaways typically occur in the Spring and include a variety of native species. Please visit the Sustainability Events Calendar for information on future tree giveaways.
You can read more about the Tree Giveaways here.
If you have previously collected a tree from the County and wish to provide a health update, please repot it here:
What Can I do to Help? / Adopt a Tree Policy
The Adopt-a-Tree program provides a way for citizens to participate in tree planting, maintenance, and monitoring and is intended to increase the number of replacement trees planted each year.
The objectives of the Adopt-a-Tree program are to:
- Improve the number of trees planted throughout the County
- Contribute to maintaining a zero-net loss of trees on County property
- Improve public participation in tree management, planting and maintenance
- Make it feasible to plant trees in areas where trees are difficult to maintain for logistical reasons.
Citizens wishing to participate in the Adopt-A-Tree Program can sign up via this link.
You can read more about the Adopt a Tree Policy here.
Those participating in the program can contribute in the following ways:
Two common pests found in our community are the emerald ash borer and the spongy moth (Lymantria dispar). Residents can get involved by reporting the sightings of these pests and any other invasive species using the County’s Invasive Species mapping tool found here. The link provides detailed information on identification of these invasive species as well as suggestions for mitigating their effects.
New trees require a regular supply of water (approximately 60 litres per week) since their root network is not as strong and not able to absorb water as well. If it rains for two or more days consecutively, watering is usually unnecessary. The best practice is infrequent deep watering once or twice a week as needed. Use a soaker or slow flowing hose for up to two hours at the base of the tree.
It is best to stay at least 10 feet away from the base of the tree when doing any construction or maintenance. This allows for the tree’s root system to stay undisturbed.
Community groups that are interested in coordinating a community planting event are encouraged to reach out to the Operations Department with their proposed plan.
Two projects will be selected by the Director of Operations (or designates) each fall for implementation the following year. Additional sites may be made available at the discretion of the Director of Operations based on site availability and staff resources.
Projects submitted for consideration must identify the scope, tree species proposed, proposed location, and funding source, as well as include a long-term plan for maintenance. Projects including native trees will be preferred. A list of available grants that may be able to support community driven plantings will be made available on the County’s Sustainability Hub.
The Butternut is a native tree species that has lived in the Eastern Ontario forests for thousands of years. The presence of Butternut is important for several ecological, economic and medicinal reasons. Butternut is classified as an endangered species under the Ontario Endangered Species Act . It is illegal to harm or kill a naturally occurring Butternut tree without a Butternut Health Assessment.
More information can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website.
Recommended Trees to Plant
When looking to plant trees on your property, it is important to plant native insect resistant trees or those that can adapt to our climate. It is also important to maintain a healthy variety of species to reduce susceptibility to insect and disease outbreaks such as the emerald ash borer. Some species we recommend for various purposes include:
Flowering trees are trees that produce flowers typically in spring or early summer.
Flowering trees include: Magnolia, Tulip Tree, Horse Chestnut, Black Cherry.
Shade trees are trees that produce large leaves and wide spreading branches.
Shade trees include: Basswood, European Beech, American Sycamore, Oaks.
Side of Road trees are trees that are able to withstand small growing spaces, harsh road chemicals, and do not pose threats for powerlines.
Side of the Road trees include: Gingko, Eastern Redbud, Serviceberry, Japanese Tree Lilac.
These are trees that produce dense branches, grow tall and can be placed in close proximity to other trees.
These types of trees include: Eastern White Cedar, White Spruce, Norway Spruce and Serbian Spruce.
These are trees that are able to grow on rocky, depleted, thin soil or harsh conditions.
These trees include: Chinquapin Oaks, Eastern White Cedar, White Oak, Burr Oak, Ginkgo and Hackberry.
There are trees that prefer to grow in more moist areas.
These trees include: Ohio Buckeye, Hackberry, Silver Maple and Black Walnut.
These types of trees frequently produce some sort of hazard, are commonly diseased, or are over-populated around Prince Edward County.
These trees include: Norway Maple, any species of Ash, Scots Pine and Black Locust.
Many tree species are important to a number of Indigenous cultures.
Some of these species include:
White Pine: Some traditional uses included relying on the inner bark as an emergency food source, a resin to seal canoes, and a traditional remedy for wounds and respiratory problems like coughs and colds. It is know as the “Tree of Peace” to the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee Nation.
Pawpaw: It is believed that Indigenous people, including the Erie and Onondaga, introduced the tree to Southern Ontario from the United States. The Pawpaw fruit was used as food and for medicinal purposes while the bark and inside wood was used to make rope and bags.
Butternut: It was likely used by all First Nations within its Canadian range. It is reported to have been used for food, dyes and medicine. Its nuts were prized for their high nutritional value and its sap was boiled to produce syrup.
Willows: The bark of Willow trees has been an important medicinal herb to many cultures (salicylic acid, which comes from willow bark, is the original source aspirin was derived from.
It is important to consider the soil type, setting, future potential conflicts, and the possible presence of utilities when selecting a planting location. Remember, public utility locates should be obtained prior to digging/planting a tree.
For more information, refer to our Tree Management and Preservation Policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best procedure to follow when there is a dead or hazardous tree is to contact Customer Service so municipal staff can safely determine how to proceed.
Look to see if there are any visible property stakes or if the information is contained in the deed to your property. If you are still unable to determine ownership contact Customer Service who will alert staff to the situation to help determine ownership. This will only be done in the case of hazardous trees.
Yes. But first you must obtain permission from The County. Operations staff will assess the tree and evaluate the purpose for removal. Permission to proceed may require a replacement tree. Depending on the size of the tree, multiple trees may be required as replacement.
If you wish to volunteer and help the County with our future projects, check our calendar of events to see if any projects are scheduled. There will be details on how to volunteer or who to contact about getting involved.