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  Last updated Apr 25, 2008

Urban Forestry


The Urban Forestry Section of the Park Department is responsible for the planting, care, pruning and removal of all trees on Town of Markham property. These include street trees (trees in the Town maintained boulevards) as well as those in parks. For additional information or inquiries call the Town of Markham Contact Centre at 905-415-7535. They will make a record of your call and an urban forester will contact you at a later date.

 Trees for Tomorrow

We’re making Markham greener with a commitment to plant more trees. And we’re inviting everyone to get involved. Learn more »

 Natural Areas

Trees and all other vegetation within natural areas contribute to the natural ecosystem of that area. Forested areas including the understory and fallen trees have their place in nature by decaying naturally and provide organic material and protection of the forest floor. They also provide a natural habitat and environment for animals, birds and insects. Unless there is a danger to the public, natural areas are left undisturbed. We encourage the community to adopt these areas and help to keep them clean of garbage.

Check on the Town's website under "Celebrate Our Environment" (especially in the spring) for opportunities for you help plant native trees and shrubs. These activities help clean the air and contribute to the Town's goal of increased forest cover.

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 Trees in New Developments

Please note that new trees in new developments and new parkland development are coordinated through the Urban Design Department of the Development Services Commission. Inquiries should be directed to the Development Services Commission at 905-475-4861.

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 Ways you can help maintain your boulevard trees

Resident may not undertake any work on trees situated on the road allowance adjacent to their homes. Residents are however encouraged to maintain the health of these boulevard trees by:

  1. Water your tree during dry periods and just prior to winter freeze-up. A soaker hose is an effective method to ensure slow percolation.

  2. Mulch at the base of the tree is an excellent way to promote a healthy root zone while preventing mechanical damage. Avoid mounding soil up against the trunk of the tree. Organic mulch placed 5 to 8 cm deep around the tree is recommended.

  3. If your tree is newly planted, please do not remove any stakes that have been placed around your tree. They help keep your tree straight until the root system is fully developed.

  4. Please do not remove or prune Town trees (pursuant to Bylaw 68-92 (PDF Document 150k/6p)). Trees in new developments are planted under the direction of the Development Services Commission 905-475-4861. Trees in older neighbourhoods are maintained by the Town of Markham Urban Forestry at 905-415-7535.

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 Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect native to Asia and is known to kill healthy ash trees. While it poses no risk to public health, it is a significant risk to Canada's trees and forests. It has no natural controls in North America that would prevent its spread.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed an infestation of the EAB in the vicinity of Sheppard Avenue East and Highway 404 in the City of Toronto and are presently surveying the area to determine the extend of the infestation.

While there is no evidence of the beetle in Markham, the CFIA and the Town of Markham are asking the public’s help in watching for the insect and signs of infestation.

Should you suspect that an ash tree is infested with EAB, please call the Town of Markham’s Contact Centre at 905-415-7535 or the CFIA hotline at 1-866-463-6017. Staff will assess all reports and send inspectors if necessary.

Additional Information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency website www.inpsection.gc.ca

City of Toronto http://www.toronto.ca/trees/eab.htm

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 Does my Tree Require Maintenance?

If you have a street tree that you think needs maintenance, call the Contact Centre at 905-415-7535 and they will request a forester to inspect your tree and contact you with their diagnosis.

If deemed necessary by forestry staff, the following practices have been put into place to increase the trees' chances for survival.

  • A fertilizer application will be performed on those trees that are exhibiting signs of decline but still appear viable.
  • The dead wood will be pruned out to allow trees to recover and prevent a vector for disease and insects.
  • Any trees that are dead or have declined to the point of becoming a hazard have/will be removed and replaced.
  • Homeowners will be requested to perform thorough waterings during extended dry periods.

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 Asian Longhorned Beetle

Although at the present time there is no evidence of the Asian Longhorn Beetle in Markham, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the first infestation of the Asian Longhorned Beetle in Canada, in an industrial area bordered by Highway 400, Highway 407 and Milvan Drive in the City of Vaughan.

The beetle is an invasive quarantine insect native to Asia, and is known to kill healthy deciduous trees. While it poses no risk to public health, it is a significant risk to Canada's trees and forests. It has no natural controls in North America that would prevent its spread.

The CFIA is implementing an aggressive campaign to control and eradicate this unwanted pest with the full cooperation of the Regional Municipality of York External Link, the City of Vaughan External Link, the City of Toronto External Link and other federal and provincial partners.


What to Do

Should the beetle be found and captured, residents are urged to call the CFIA hotline at 1-800-442-2342. CFIA staff will assess all reports and send inspectors if necessary. Residents are urged not to transport the beetle, or remove potentially affected trees.

Please contact the Town of Markham Contact Centre at 905-415-7535 with any questions or concerns. More information is also available on the CFIA Website http://www.inspection.gc.ca/ External Link


Additional Information

Background

  • Native to Korea, Japan and southern China
  • Transported in untreated wood packing materials. Adults may emerge in transit, at port or final destination ports.

The Threat

  • Canada's temperate climate is suitable for the establishment of the insect.
  • The insect has no known natural enemies within Canada's forests.
  • The majority of Canadian broadleaf trees are susceptible. Most hardwoods are at risk, including all maples, poplars, sycamore, elm, willow, cherry and various fruit trees.
  • The insect presents no threat to public health, however it poses a significant risk to Canada's trees and forests.

Area

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during the week of September 15, 2003 confirmed the first infestation of the Asian Longhorned Beetle in Canada.
  • The first infestation has been found in an industrial area bordered by Highway 400, Highway 407 and Milvan Drive in the City of Vaughan.
  • Toronto.

Action Plan

CFIA, The Regional Municipality of York, the City of Vaughan, and the City of Toronto, along with other federal and provincial partners have implemented an aggressive campaign to control and eradicate this unwanted pest. Town of Markham forestry staff are monitoring for any signs of the beetle within the Town of Markham.

Should the beetle be found, or residents have a question about any beetle, residents are urged to capture the beetle and contact CFIA immediately at 1-800-442-2342.

Residents are urged not to transport the beetle, or remove potentially affected trees.


Recognition

Images of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle are posted to the Region of York website at www.region.york.on.ca/Services/Forestry/Forest_Asian.htm External Link or

The CFIA site www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/protect/facren/alhbe.shtml External Link


Next Steps

Should the beetle be found and captured, residents are urged to call the CFIA hotline at 1-800-442-2342. CFIA staff members will assess all reports and send inspectors if necessary.

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 Did You Know?

Boulevard Tree Planting
The Urban Forestry Division plants approximately 800 trees per year on Town boulevards.

Requests received by March 31 of each year are planted in the spring and early summer, and requests received by July 31 of each year are planted in the fall and early winter, weather and supply permitting.

Boulevard and Park Tree Maintenance
Town trees are pruned on an ongoing block pruning program and on a homeowner request and assessment basis. Trees deemed by Town arborists as a "hazard" are pruned or removed immediately.

 

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