Urban Forest and Tree Management Plan
The Town of Slave Lake has tree management policies and procedures to help us maintain and support our urban forest.
Town Council, through approving budgets, provides direction on the service levels that the Town will provide the community for tree planting, pruning, and removals. Town staff use best practices to manage and protect the trees within the community. This also includes using Firesmart and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles in how we manage trees and shrubs on public lands.
Pruning is done for the health of the tree, for public safety, and (lastly) for aesthetic reasons. Sometimes, trees are dead or are causing problems (or are about to) and must be removed. These include instances where the tree conflicts with public utilities, infrastructure and/or pose a public safety hazard.
Trees will be replaced based on budgets and services levels.
The Town tries to select species of trees with proven hardiness for our local climate. We also select species that do not create other problems (such as aggressive root growth) or attract problem wildlife (such as fruit bearing trees). Some of the preferred species for boulevards are:
- Schubert Cherry,
- Amur Cherry,
- Brandon Elm,
- American Elm,
- Green Ash, &
- Mountain Ash.
Parks and Open Spaces:
In parks and open spaces, the Town can consider plantings of trees that are much larger. Again, consideration has to be given to hardiness of the local climate. Some of the preferred species for parks and open spaces are:
- Northwest Poplar (provided that there is lots of room for their aggressive root system),
- Spruce varieties,
- Pine varieties,
- Oak varieties,
- Maple varieties,
- Juniper varieties, &
- Siberian Larch (or Tamarack).
Again, fruit trees are not a good fit as they may attract problem wildlife.
Preferred Planting Times:
There are two times of the year when the Town prefers to plant trees – spring and fall. The Town tries to avoid planting trees in the summer as they will require additional watering.
Natural Stand of Boreal Forest:
Throughout Town, there are natural stands of boreal forest. Where these are found on Town owned lands, the Town will endeavour to leave these as natural spaces, with the exception of maintenance to for safety and/or disease control.