Urban forestry


It's a tree's life:
Kitchener's first draft sustainable urban forest strategy

Its hard to imagine a vibrant, caring and innovative city without picturing trees. To hear how trees improve our community and much more watch our short video:

After an extensive community engagement and planning process, Kitchener’s first draft sustainable urban forest strategy and implementation plan is now being finalized and will be brought back for Council's consideration in early 2019. You can learn more about this work and Kitchener's urban forest by opening the resources tab below. To stay informed about this work you can subscribe to this webpage.  

Resources (Background Information)

  1. Kitchener’s Sustainable Urban Forest Strategy DRAFT This concise document provides you with the key information to quickly understand what the strategy is about, our vision for a sustainable urban forest, our goal, the five branches (Plan, Engage, Maintain, Protect, Plant) of a sustainable urban forest, and 15 identified actions.

  2. 2017 Kitchener’s Sustainable Urban Forest Report Card rates the city’s exiting forestry program using 28 targets that are recognized as key components of a sustainable urban forest program.  

  3. Developing a sustainable urban forest program background document explains why the city is doing this work, the benefits of the urban forest, provides an overview of the project,  key challenges and opportunities facing Kitchener's urban forest, and the next steps.

  4. Tree Canopy Report details Kitchener's tree canopy, based on analysis of 2014 imagery.

  5. Kitchener's online urban forest story map allows residents to discover the urban forest in their neighbourhood and learn more about the city's tree canopy.

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To stay up to date on this project look for the yellow “subscribe” button at the bottom of the page

Concerns about city trees

If you have a concern or question about a city tree (e.g. low tree limbs, dead tree) please contact our Corporate Contact Centre at 519-741-2345 or info@kitchener.ca.

More information about trees

Structural Pruning

City of Kitchener's forestry staff conducts structural prunning on city trees to help them grow into heahty, mature trees. Structural pruning helps increase trees health, longevity and resiliency to climate change. 

What is structural pruning?
In forests, trees develop strong branch structure because they grow in close proximity to each other. The shade created by other trees suppresses growth of lower limbs. In the city, where there are a lot of single trees, the amount of sunlight encourages them to develop multiple, competing branches. This type of tree structure is vulnerable to breakage and can reduce the tree’s life expectancy. Trees with one dominant stem and well-spaced branches are more likely to thrive for a long time. 

Before structural pruning     After structural pruning 
Tree before structural pruning.               Tree after structural pruning.

The tree will have fewer branches and look less full after structural pruning is complete, but don’t be alarmed, this is part of the process. Pruning happens over a period of years and helps develop a strong, resilient branch structure.


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