You are here

Urban Forest

    Status: Stable

The City of Saskatoon owns and maintains about 107,000 trees on boulevards, center medians, and in parks. (Not included in this total are trees in or on private property, back lanes, shelterbelts, civic golf courses, Meewasin Valley river banks, remnant stands, or naturalized parks.)

Where are we now?

Types of trees

Approximately a quarter of City of Saskatoon trees located on boulevards and medians and in parks are ash trees and another quarter are elms. Three types together—spruce, basswood/linden, and poplar—make up another quarter. And the final quarter encompasses 26 types of trees.

 

Source: City of Saskatoon – Parks  

Data table
City Trees on Boulevards and Medians and in Parks
Common name Percent of total city trees
ash 25.94
elm 24.87
spruce 9.78
basswood, linden 8.21
poplar, cottonwood, aspen 6.33
maple 5.95
pine 4.41
crabapple 2.74
cherry, crabapple plum 2.42
oak 2.05
willow 1.51
larch 1.20
mountain ash 1.16
birch 1.07
other 1

Data provided by City of Saskatoon’s Urban Forestry tree inventory software on October 10th, 2018. Trees in this dataset are planted on City-owned property, specifically on front and side boulevards and center medians, and in parks, and these trees are maintained by the City’s Urban Forestry division. Tree numbers listed here do not include those in or on private property, back lanes, shelterbelts, civic golf courses, Meewasin Valley river banks, remnant stands, or naturalized parks. 

Tree number and species data in more detail

City Trees on Boulevards and Medians and in Parks (as of Oct. 2018)

Common Names Genus Number of Trees Percent of Total City Trees
ash Fraxinus 27,680 25.94%
elm Ulmus 26,445 24.78%
spruce Picea 10,438 9.78%
basswood, Linden Tilia 8,759 8.21%
poplar, cottonwood, aspen Populus 6,752 6.33%
maple Acer 6,349 5.95%
pine Pinus 4,702 4.41%
crabapple Malus 2,923 2.74%
cherry, crabapple, plum Prunus 2,577 2.42%
oak Quercus 2,187 2.05%
willow Salix 1,613 1.51%
larch Larix 1,282 1.20%
mountain ash Sorbus 1,240 1.16%
birch Betula 1,143 1.07%
lilac tree Syringa 345 0.32%
hawthorn Crataegus 267 0.25%
Ohio buckeye, horsechestnut Aesculus 207 0.19%
balsam fir Abies 175 0.16%
alder Alnus 153 0.14%
ussurian pear Pyrus 149 0.14%
Russian olive Elaeagnus 131 0.12%
hackberry Celtis 123 0.12%
walnut, butternut Juglans 53 0.05%
cedar Thuja 43 0.04%
cork Phellodendron 6 0.01%
wayfaring tree Viburnum 6 0.01%
ironwood Ostrya 5 0.01%
buckthorn Rhamnus 3 <0.01%
juniper Juniperus 2 <0.01%
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga 2 <0.01%
elder Sambucus 1 <0.01%

Data provided by City of Saskatoon’s Urban Forestry tree inventory software on October 10th, 2018. Trees in this dataset are planted on City-owned property, specifically on front and side boulevards and center medians, and in parks, and these trees are maintained by the City’s Urban Forestry division. Tree numbers listed here do not include those in or on private property, back lanes, shelterbelts, civic golf courses, Meewasin Valley river banks, remnant stands, or naturalized parks.

 

Trees planted and removed

The number of trees planted in Saskatoon each year has remained relatively stable at 700–800. Tree removals have increased as the city works to deal with an infestation of Cottony Ash Psyllid.

City of Saskatoon Trees Planted and Removed

Year Trees Planted Trees Removed
2013 704  
2014 737 323
2015 817 289
2016 651 842
2017 773 689
2018 783 2,289

Data for trees planted and removed includes City-owned trees in or on front and side boulevards, center medians, and parks. Excluded are those in or on private property, back lanes, shelterbelts, civic golf courses, Meewasin Valley river banks, remnant stands, or naturalized parks.

High numbers of trees removed for 2018 are the result of the cottony ash psyllid capital project.

Source: City of Saskatoon – Parks

What are we doing?

Tree Canopy Assessment Project
This Assessment will provide information on Saskatoon’s existing tree canopy, quantify canopy cover by neighbourhood and by land use, inform planting decisions to ensure that the right trees are planted in the right places, and guide the development of tree-protection policies.

Tree Protection Plan
The City is revising and strengthening tree-protection regulations to align with municipal best-practices and community feedback.

Urban Forestry Management Plan
Drawing together information from the Tree Canopy Assessment, work on revising the Tree Protection Plan, the Green Strategy, engagement with stakeholders, and other input the City is creating an Urban Forestry Management Plan. That Plan will guide development adjacent to trees, provide a process to determine when to protect trees or remove them, and identify strategic planting areas and planting requirements for future planning to maximize the benefits trees provide.

Cottony ash psyllid
Saskatoon is experiencing an outbreak of cottony ash psyllid, an invasive insect that attacks black and mancana ash trees. In 2018, the City removed approximately 1,600 ash trees from boulevards and parks.

Pruning and maintenance
The City maintains a regular pruning cycle. Trees in parks are pruned every 13 years and those along streets are pruned every 7 years.

What can you do?

Request a tree. You can ask the City to plant a tree on your boulevard and you can suggest your preferred tree species.

Request a tree inspection. If you see a tree on City property that creates a safety risk, looks unhealthy, obscures street signage, or blocks a sidewalk or driveway please report it.

Protect our trees. If you plan to landscape or build near a City-owned tree, you are responsible for providing tree protection measures.  

Go pesticide free. Avoid herbicide damage when you (or your lawn care company) look after the grass around a tree. Do not apply any herbicide in the area near the root ball, trunk, or leaves. 

Did You Know

Trees cool our city. They provide shade and prevent sunlight from entering windows. But they also cool the air by transpiration. Trees draw water from the ground and release it through their leaves, cooling the surrounding air as energy is absorbed and used to turn water from liquid to vapor.