In order to improve horticulture in Moose Jaw and clear things up for residents, the City's Parks and Rec Department have updated their Boulevard Tree Removal Policy.

"The biggest reason [for the change] is just to update the policy," City Parks Gardener Sarah Regent explained. "The existing policy was seventeen years old and so a lot of things have changed. There's been a lot of progress in the world of urban forestry and so we wanted to update the tree removal policy to reflect some best management practices and also make the policy a little clearer and more comprehensive."

The previous policy was ambiguous and prioritized infrastructure over the environmental and aesthetic benefits that trees have also, giving the reason for the change.

In a news release from the City, the biggest changes they've outlined include:

  • Trees are defined as City trees if 50% or more of the main trunk is on City property;
  • Trees will not be removed for sewer blockages;
  • Trees will not be removed for damage to sidewalks unless all other options, including root pruning, have been exhausted;
  • Trees will only be removed for sewer and water work if there is no way to do the work using less destructive methods that would save the tree;
  • Reforestation fee increased to $300;
  • Director of Parks and Recreation can authorize the removal of a boulevard tree at either the City’s or applicant’s expense.

"I think some of the biggest changes are that we are starting to favour trees and all the benefits that they have over things like sewer and water work and sidewalk little problems. Lots of things that we know that we can fix using methods that don't necessarily have to have the tree removed," Regent added. "So I would say that's the biggest change there that homeowners are going to notice."

If you would like to remove your tree but are unsure if it is yours or the City's, you can contact City Hall and both the Engineering and Parks Departments have access to where property lines.

You can view the full updated policy online at the City's website.


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