Street Tree Planting Program

The Living City Tree Planting Program is a capital program with the objective of maximizing the amount of tree canopy cover over our existing street network by infill-planting within available boulevard space in the City.

Benefits of Street Trees

“Knitting together” the urban street tree canopy has a number of benefits - the most obvious being a reduction in the urban “heat island” affect through shade in the summer. Mature, healthy trees also have a number of other environmental benefits such as reducing Green House Gas emissions, improving air quality, capturing storm water and increasing habitat. They also help people connect with nature and enhancing sense of place and livability.

Site Selection

Planting locations are determined by identifying areas of the City that currently lack street trees and have available space and soil volume. These areas are then prioritized based on the benefit they would provide for the broader community, with a particular emphasis on equity of the urban street tree canopy and improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

Species Selection & Design

Street trees have a significant influence on streetscape design and experience. Staff prepare planting plans specific to each street that take into consideration a number of functional and aesthetic factors including:

  • Environmental conditions – light, moisture, drainage, pollutant exposure
  • Impacts of climate change – species selection, disease potential, and ongoing maintenance requirements
  • Site constraints – above and below ground utilities, soil volume, intersection sightlines, and clearance for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles
  • Street character – selecting species that enhance the character of an area by complementing existing vegetation and buildings (e.g. using a particular arrangement of species to help define an area)
  • Street context – spacing, strategic siting, and tree canopy density can all address views and sunlight exposure

Tree Planting Notice

In advance of a planting, the City sends out Tree Planting Notices to residents that provide information about the proposed tree planting, timing, and whether any parking restrictions will be required to facilitate planting. Staff are available to answer questions and address any concerns.

Planting & Establishment

Trees are planted in the fall and winter because they are dormant and can be planted with minimal disturbance. In spring, the tree’s roots will begin to grow into its new location. In late spring, City staff will install and regularly fill a watering bag which provides a slow release of water to the tree. We welcome residents' assistance in providing additional watering. Together, we can ensure the tree's survival through its first couple of years.

2022 Living City Tree Planting

Four separate areas of the City will receive street trees in 2022.

Central Lonsdale Area
100 block of 18th Street between Chesterfield & St. Georges, 200 block West 16th Street between Mahon & Chesterfield on the north side, and Chesterfield between 16th & 17th Street on the west side.

High traffic, high density area. Increased canopy cover will have a positive effect on pedestrians, south-facing small businesses and residents in older low-rise buildings that lack central air conditioning. The existing trees along 18th are diverse and varied; the Living City planting plan complements this with a varied assortment of drought-tolerant deciduous trees, and large canopies where space allows. Several will be located in the back boulevard. 

Mahon Park & Jones Avenue
West side of Jones Avenue between West 16th Street & West 17th Street and at West 20th Street. South end of parking lot on the northeast corner of Jones Avenue & West 18th Street. Several locations within Mahon Park.

Opportunity to provide increased shade via larger tree canopies for pedestrians and cyclists using Green Necklace Greenway and Mahon Park. Highly drought-tolerant trees have been chosen to replace some of the failed trees in the front boulevards along the Green Necklace. Opportunity to add native conifers with high ecosystem service value. Prioritizing conifers in this area will help address the impact of looper moth, which has severely reduced the number of conifers in the city.

St. Georges Ave between 10th & 12th Street
Several locations on both east and west sides of St Georges. North side of East 11th Street, near corner of East 11th Street & St Georges Avenue.

Replacing failing boulevard trees and infilling gaps between existing street trees, providing increased shade for pedestrians and residential houses, and creating separation from a busier street. Powerline-friendly smaller trees with light and airy yet full canopies have been chosen for the west side, and a larger version of the same species chosen to complement them on the east side.

Esplanade and Low Level Road between St. Andrews Ave & St. Patricks Ave
Several centre boulevard locations between East Esplanade & Low Level Road. Embankment on north side of Low Level Road, west of St Patricks Avenue.

This is a particularly hot south-facing area where many existing trees have died. There is an opportunity to replace them with more climate-adapted species to provide shade for Spirit Trail users and create separation from traffic on Low Level Road. Large canopies are favoured where space allows, to provide places of respite. 

2021 Living City Tree Planting

Four separate areas of the City will receive street trees in 2021:

Mackay Avenue Greenway Connector

This boulevard bioswale tree planting will enhance habitat for the adjacent forest to the west and create an enjoyable experience for pedestrians and cyclists as they move along the greenway between Marine Drive and the Spirit Trail at West 1st Avenue. To be completed in fall / winter.  Proposed tree species:

  • Douglas Hawthorn
  • Vine Maple
  • Red Cascade Mountain Ash
  • Red Elderberry
  • Blue Elderberry
  • Sitka Willow
  • River Birch
  • Sitka Spruce
  • Douglas Fir

Queensbury Elementary (North and East Boulevard)

This tree planting will complement the recent sidewalk project that has provided new accessible routes to school in this neighbourhood. Tree species will enhance habitat and help link existing natural areas of Kealy woods and Greenwood Park. To be completed in fall / winter. Proposed tree species:

  • Hawthorn
  • Vine Maple
  • Mountain Ash
  • Acer truncatum x platinoides ‘Ruby Sunset’
  • Emerald Queen Norway Maple
  • Douglas Fir

1200 Block of St Andrews (west and east sides)

To complement the St Andrews Safety Improvement Project, species have been carefully selected and sited to reflect both the needs of pedestrians and privacy concerns from adjacent neighbours. To be completed in fall / winter. Proposed tree species:

  • Gingko Tree
  • Paper Bark Maple
  • Snow Cone Snowbell Tree
  • Starlight Dogwood

Note: Due to capacity limitations, the remainder of St Andrews (i.e. between East 12th and East Keith Road) will be planted in the 2022 planting season.


Chesterfield Avenue (west side – between West 1st and West 2nd Streets)

These trees will compliment the recent sidewalk upgrade project, providing an enhanced experience for pedestrians and people living in the adjacent strata building. To be completed in late winter / Early Spring of 2021. Proposed tree species:

  • Ruby Sunset Maple
  • Summer Sprite Linden
  • Purple leaved Plum

2020 Living City Tree Planting

The Living City Tree Planting Program will be installing an exciting variety of new street trees along boulevards at these locations throughout the City:

  • 200 block of West 26th Street in the north boulevard
  • 200-300 blocks of West 16th Street
  • East 19th Street between Queensbury Ave and Boulevard Crescent (at the top of Grand Boulevard Park)
  • 1100-1200 blocks of Ridgeway Ave
  • 100 block of East 4th Street in the north boulevard

Below are two other locations included during this program:

  • Replacement tree planting along the 400 and 500 blocks of East Keith Road
  • Planting in Semisch Park (to compliment recent park upgrades).

The City of North Vancouver is a leader in sustainable development, and the urban forest plays a key role in its sustainable future. The Living City Tree Planting Program, including this project, aligns with the objectives of the CNV Council Strategic Plan by "accelerating the expansion of the urban tree canopy" within the City. The program follows the CNV Street Tree Master Plan's guiding principal to plant more street trees (with a target of a fully stocked condition within 50-60 years) and to increase the long-term sustainability of the urban forest assets.

Depending on availability the following tree species were selected for the 2020 Living City Tree Planting Program:

  • Acer campestre ‘Red Shine’
  • Acer x freemanii 'Jeffesred' 
  • Acer ginnala 'Flame' 
  • Acer ginnala 'Ruby Slippers'
  • Acer plantinoides 'Emerald Queen'
  • Acer tataricum ‘Hot Wings’ Cercidiphyllum Japonicum ‘Red Fox’
  • Cornus x 'Rutgan'
  • Crataegus x lavallei
  • Crataegus crus-galli
  • Ginkgo biloba 
  • Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Inermis’
  • Gymnocladus dioicus ‘Expresso’
  • Liriodendron tulipifera 
  • Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’
  • Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii 
  • Quercus coccinea
  • Quercus garryana 
  • Robinia Pseudoacacia 'Frisia'
  • Styrax japonicus ‘Snowcone’
  • Styphnolobium japonicum
  • Quercus conccinea
  • Ulmus americana ‘Brandon’
  • Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’

More info on City tree species.

The trees selected have many seasonal ornamental features:

  • Attractive spring flowers
  • Interesting fall fruit
  • Stunning leaf colour changes
  • Striking bark
  • Unique branch structure in the winter

2019 and Earlier Tree Planting

2019 Tree Planting

The Living City Planting Program planted an exciting variety of tree species on the 300 and 400 blocks of West 14th Street. The trees selected have many seasonal ornamental features such as attractive spring flowers, interesting fall fruit, stunning leaf colour changes, striking bark, and unique branch structure in the winter.

The following tree species were selected: Acer x Freemanii, Acer Truncatum x Platanoides, Cercidiphyllum Japonicum, Crataegus x lavallei, Linkgo Biloba, Gleditsia Tricanthos Inermis, Gymnocladus Dioica, Prunus Serrulata, Quercus Conccinea, Ulmus Americana, Zelkova Serrata. More info on City tree species.

2018 Tree Planting

Approximately 55 trees were planted in the 300 Block West 4th Street and 400 Block West 6th St. Various species of trees were selected based on the planting location and in line with best management practices for urban planting. The trees also have ornamental features which include spring flowers, fall fruit and/or leaf colour, interesting bark, and a unique branch structure. Cobblestone Oak and Black Tupelo trees were planted on the south side of West 4th Street and Persian Ironwood alternating with Amanogawa Cherry Trees on the north side of West 6th Street. These trees are approved by BC Hydro for planting under overhead power lines, as their canopy height at maturity will minimize any conflicts with the utility lines.  All tree locations also took into account sightlines at corners for vehicles and pedestrians, clearance of regulatory signs and a buffer around lamp standards and utility poles.

2017 Tree Planting

Approximately 36 trees were planted on East 2nd Street since it was identified as a suitable site for the Living City Tree Planting program. The street currently lacks street trees, the street connects several prominent open spaces and local parks, and is a popular walking route for local residents and school kids. Tree Species selected for the street because of the narrow boulevard that included Hedge Maple (Acer campestre)and Japanaese Snowbell (Styrax japonica).

2016 Tree Planting

Approximately 40 trees were planted on St. George’s and several of the side streets approaching St. George’s. This street was identified as a suitable site for the Living City Tree Planting program because it currently lacks street trees, the street connects several prominent open spaces and local parks and is a popular walking route for local residents and school kids. It is also a busy street and the addition of trees will mitigate the sound and pollution from vehicles. Columnar trees were selected for one side of the street because of the narrow boulevard. Tree species included Lavelle Hawthorn Crataegus x lavallei, Crimson Spire Oak Quercus robur x Q.alba ‘Crimschmidt’, ‘Japanese Tree Lilac Syringa reticulate

2015 Tree Planting

Approximately 40 trees were planted on 4 blocks of E.9th street. This street was identified as a suitable site for the Living City Tree Planting program because it currently lacks street trees, the street connects several prominent open spaces and local parks and is a popular walking route for local residents and school kids. On the south side of the 400 block is the local elementary school (Ridgeway Community School). Additionally, East 9th intersects several current and future greenways and bike routes. Tree species included 15 Street Keeper’ Gleditsia Gleditisia triacanthos , 20 Korean Dogwood Cornus kousa, 15 Hedge Maple Acer campestre, and 25 Lavelle’s Hawthorne Crataegus x lavallei.

2014 Tree Planting

City of North Vancouver staff planted 62 trees on the 200, 300, and 400 blocks of West 15th between the end of February and beginning of March 2014. The trees selected were Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry Amelanchier and Golden Desert Ash Fraxinus excelsior ‘Golden Desert’ .  These species were reviewed and approved by BC Hydro as appropriate trees for planting under power lines. City crews utilized a Vactor Truck to excavate precisely located and sized holes and installed root barrier at each tree.

Funding Partners

In addition to the core funding provided by the City through its annual budget process, the City gratefully acknowledges the generous funding support through BC Hydro's 2013 Re-greening Grant and Tree Canada.

Contact Info

Engineering, Parks & Environment Department
Tel: 604-983-7333

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