The City of North Vancouver enjoys a diversity of urban trees that play a critical role in providing a healthy and sustainable community, and enjoys a tree canopy coverage that is amongst the highest for urban municipalities in our region.

Mature, healthy trees also have a number of other environmental benefits such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, capturing storm water and increasing habitat. They also help people connect with nature and enhance the sense of place and livability.

What We’re Doing to Increase Tree Canopy in the City

The City has devoted significant resources to the expansion of this canopy, including planting over 4,000 trees in the last three years. These trees are delivered through a combination of initiatives, including the City’s Living City Tree Planting Program, park and natural area restoration, and special events.

The Living City Street Tree Planting Program is a capital program that aims to maximize the amount of tree canopy cover over our existing street network by infill-planting within available boulevard space throughout the City. “Knitting together” the urban street tree canopy has a number of benefits – including a reduction in the urban “heat island” effect through providing shade in the summer.

The City also works to protect and expand trees on private development sites using Development Permit Guidelines, streamside protection regulations, and sustainable development guidelines. The use of these tools ensures that most new private developments include the protection of existing trees where feasible and result in a net increase of onsite trees.

More Long-Term Tree Management Solutions to Come

As the City continues to work to protect and expand our urban forest, we know we have more to do. Upcoming initiatives include:

  • Developing a tree protection bylaw, as directed by Council;
  • Developing mandatory tree replacement ratios, where significant trees are required to be removed; and
  • Creating a broad tree management strategy and urban forest management strategy, in coordination with the City’s Climate and Environment Strategy, with input from the Climate and Environment Advisory Task Force.

Work on these initiatives is expected to continue throughout the next year. Watch for more updates to come.

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