Tree Planting Strategy

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Background

Putting Down Roots for the Future is the City of Ottawa’s 20-year strategic Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Ottawa’s urban forest includes all trees and their habitat on both public and private property. The plan was passed by Council in June 2017 and provides a comprehensive long-term vision and strategic direction for Ottawa’s urban forest. The plan includes twenty-six recommendations and is broken down into five 4-year management periods. These management periods guide the City’s work towards achieving the vision, principles, and objectives for the urban forest. The first management period spanned from 2018-2022 and focused on themes of tree protection, data collection, and improving tree retention through policy implementation. Themes were addressed through work on the tree by-law review and the enactment of the new Tree Protection By-law, Tree Canopy Assessment, Ottawa’s Tree Inventory, and improvements to policy implementation through internal engagement.

Project Overview

The UFMP is currently in its second management period, spanning from 2023-2027. Themes for the second management period are tree planting, tree maintenance, and community outreach and engagement. The feature project of the second management period is the creation of a Tree Planting Strategy for Ottawa. This project will help move the City towards the new urban canopy cover target of 40% by shifting the approach to tree planting from reactive to proactive. The Tree Planting Strategy will include:

  • Evaluating existing planting programs

  • Developing new planting programs to deliver tree planting in priority areas and beyond

  • Creating a tool to prioritize tree planting in the areas of the city that need it the most

  • Assessing funding opportunities

  • Creating planting guidelines

  • Better integration for tree planting considerations into City initiatives across the corporation

The equitable distribution of tree canopy will be a guiding principle applied to all work under the Tree Planting Strategy. This approach will address neighbourhood-level gaps in the urban forest by considering canopy cover, socio-economic factors, and health data when selecting locations for new plantings.

The strategy will be rolled out incrementally, allowing for faster implementation of new and revised programs, and ultimately getting more trees planted in priority areas quickly. Staff will consult on and report back to Council on program changes as they are developed. Early actions will include a redesign of the commemorative tree planting program, a recommendation on moving to proactive right-of-way planting, and recommendations for how a private land planting program could work in Ottawa.

Public Engagement

Staff want to hear from you! Public engagement and outreach on the Tree Planting Strategy are key to fostering a tree-aware culture in Ottawa.

This year, the City will roll out a series of surveys on tree planting in Ottawa. The first survey seeks input on current tree planting programs and ideas for future programs. The first survey includes some more detailed questions on the Commemorative Tree Program. The survey is now live and will run until April 15th. Please fill out the survey below. We look forward to your feedback!

Please stay tuned for future surveys on the other tree planting programs.

Next Steps

Subscribe to receive project updates and stay informed.

More information will be added to this page throughout the strategy development process.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about this project, please contact urbantree@ottawa.ca

Background

Putting Down Roots for the Future is the City of Ottawa’s 20-year strategic Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Ottawa’s urban forest includes all trees and their habitat on both public and private property. The plan was passed by Council in June 2017 and provides a comprehensive long-term vision and strategic direction for Ottawa’s urban forest. The plan includes twenty-six recommendations and is broken down into five 4-year management periods. These management periods guide the City’s work towards achieving the vision, principles, and objectives for the urban forest. The first management period spanned from 2018-2022 and focused on themes of tree protection, data collection, and improving tree retention through policy implementation. Themes were addressed through work on the tree by-law review and the enactment of the new Tree Protection By-law, Tree Canopy Assessment, Ottawa’s Tree Inventory, and improvements to policy implementation through internal engagement.

Project Overview

The UFMP is currently in its second management period, spanning from 2023-2027. Themes for the second management period are tree planting, tree maintenance, and community outreach and engagement. The feature project of the second management period is the creation of a Tree Planting Strategy for Ottawa. This project will help move the City towards the new urban canopy cover target of 40% by shifting the approach to tree planting from reactive to proactive. The Tree Planting Strategy will include:

  • Evaluating existing planting programs

  • Developing new planting programs to deliver tree planting in priority areas and beyond

  • Creating a tool to prioritize tree planting in the areas of the city that need it the most

  • Assessing funding opportunities

  • Creating planting guidelines

  • Better integration for tree planting considerations into City initiatives across the corporation

The equitable distribution of tree canopy will be a guiding principle applied to all work under the Tree Planting Strategy. This approach will address neighbourhood-level gaps in the urban forest by considering canopy cover, socio-economic factors, and health data when selecting locations for new plantings.

The strategy will be rolled out incrementally, allowing for faster implementation of new and revised programs, and ultimately getting more trees planted in priority areas quickly. Staff will consult on and report back to Council on program changes as they are developed. Early actions will include a redesign of the commemorative tree planting program, a recommendation on moving to proactive right-of-way planting, and recommendations for how a private land planting program could work in Ottawa.

Public Engagement

Staff want to hear from you! Public engagement and outreach on the Tree Planting Strategy are key to fostering a tree-aware culture in Ottawa.

This year, the City will roll out a series of surveys on tree planting in Ottawa. The first survey seeks input on current tree planting programs and ideas for future programs. The first survey includes some more detailed questions on the Commemorative Tree Program. The survey is now live and will run until April 15th. Please fill out the survey below. We look forward to your feedback!

Please stay tuned for future surveys on the other tree planting programs.

Next Steps

Subscribe to receive project updates and stay informed.

More information will be added to this page throughout the strategy development process.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about this project, please contact urbantree@ottawa.ca

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    The Tree Planting Strategy is the feature project of the Urban Forest Management Plan’s (UFMP) second management period (2023-2026). The project will focus on how to shift the City’s approach to tree planting from reactive to proactive to achieve Ottawa’s urban canopy cover target of 40%. The Tree Planting Strategy will use an equity lens to prioritize tree planting by considering socio-economic factors, health data, and canopy cover mapping. This approach ensures that trees are planted where they are needed the most.

    We are looking for your feedback!

    Staff want to hear from you. This year, the City will roll out a series of surveys on the Tree Planting Strategy. This is our first survey! 

    We want to know if you have participated in the City of Ottawa’s tree planting programs and what your experience has been. How can tree planting be improved in Ottawa? What new programs do you want to see? How can we plant more trees across the City to reach our goal of 40% canopy cover? 

    This survey also includes questions on the Commemorative Tree Program. Staff are looking to improve the program as an early action item under the Tree Planting Strategy.  

    Information from this survey, and the others that will follow, will be used to evaluate existing tree planting programs and develop new tree planting programs. 

    For reference, a description of each tree planting program can be found in the Tree Planting Programs tab or in the Resources section of this project's Engage Ottawa page. 

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Page last updated: 16 Apr 2024, 09:04 AM