The City of St. Catharines Forestry Services provides for a healthier urban forest by maintaining, pruning and performing surgery on viable trees while removing others as required. Maintenance and pruning promotes existing tree health as well as public safety. All work is performed by specialized tree personnel, called arborists, who follow standards set by the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A.).
To contact Forestry Services please call 905.935.3813
An arborist is a trained professional, who is knowledgeable about tree physiology and biology and is trained and equipped to provide proper care to trees and the urban forest. An arborist practices arboriculture, which is the cultivation, art and science, and management of individual trees.
An urban forest is the collection of trees and shrubs that are growing within a city. It may contain any kind of woody plant vegetation growing in or around human settlements. An intricate role in sustaining an urban forest is constant management of the vegetation/trees. Some of the major benefits of an urban forest are:
The City of St. Catharines plants trees to help improve air quality and add economic value, beauty and shade to a neighbourhood. Trees are planted on public boulevards, road allowances fronting residences and in circles where trees do not currently exist.
Any resident, business or land owner can request that the City plant a tree on the road allowance or boulevard in front of their property by calling 905.688.5601 ext. 3222.
If you would like to be involved in selecting the type of tree that will be planted on your boulevard, please view the list of trees approved for boulevard planting. We urge property owners to select different types of trees than their neighbours to assist in creating a diverse and healthy urban forest. Having a variety of species helps protect trees from pests and diseases that spread through an area and target specific tree types.
The City has a spring planting season which runs from April to June (weather dependent) and a fall planting season which runs from September to November (weather dependent). The deadline to request a new tree is April 1 for the spring planting season and August 30 for the fall planting season.
Property owners are not permitted to trim trees on city property in front of or behind their homes.
Please report any issues about a tree's health or concerns for public safety, such as a low-lying limb over the sidewalk or roof, by calling 905.935.3813 to report this.
Trees will be removed using the following process:
The arborist that inspects your tree and schedules the removal can assist in selecting an ideal species for your site. This is only done at the request of the property owner. If you are interested in this service please call 905.935.3813 when you receive notification of the tree removal.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a pest introduced from Asia that affects all species of Ash trees (Fraxinus) in North America. EAB has killed millions of Ash trees across southern Ontario and North America. Mortality may occur in as short a period as one year; however death normally occurs within two to three years of a tree becoming infested.
Infestation occurs when the beetle lays its eggs on the bark and in bark crevices on the trunk and branches. The larvae then tunnel beneath the bark and feed on the layer of live cells between the bark and the sapwood (the Cambium), cutting off the transport of nutrients and water to the tree. Although a tree may have some signs of EAB infestation, other diseases or infestations may be affecting the trees growth.
The EAB has been discovered within pockets of the city and all Ash trees in St. Catharines are at risk of dying from infestation. As a result the City is implementing an EAB management program which includes treatment of viable Ash trees, and removal and replacement of non-viable trees where appropriate.
If you see an Ash tree on City property showing signs of EAB contact Forestry Services at 905.935.3813.
It is recommended that you contact a private certified arborist to inspect a tree on private property that is showing signs of EAB. The arborist will be able to confirm the presence of EAB and recommend treatment options.
The city encourages citizens to treat their Ash trees and limit the movement of firewood wherever possible to help contain the spread of EAB.
The European Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) is an introduced defoliating insect that is considered a major pest in North America. The caterpillar, or larva stage of the insect, has very distinctive blue and red spots, and eats the leaves of trees making them more susceptible to disease and damage from other insects.
If you find gypsy moth, destroying the egg masses is an effective control method. View this Gypsy Moth Information Sheet for information on identifying and controlling Gypsy Moth.
The City of St. Catharines does not collect leaves or fruit that fall from trees. Leaves and fruit must be collected in a yard waste bag for collection by the Niagara Region.
Additional information about leaves, composting and recycling is provided by the Niagara Region.