Trees stand as the pillar of the environment. Not only do they add natural beauty and diversity to our landscapes, but they provide critical benefits to support a thriving ecosystem.
They produce oxygen and improve air quality by absorbing pollution and regulating microclimates. Their leafy canopy, sturdy trunks and root systems provide shade from the heat and habitat and food for wildlife, as well as retain stormwater and reduce flooding. Along the banks of water courses, such as rivers, creeks, lakes and ocean, trees reduce harmful sediment, nutrients and water pollution, keep water shaded and cool for wildlife, and minimize stream bank erosion.
Delta preserves trees through the Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw, which requires permits to be obtained to cut or remove trees 20 cm (8”) in diameter or greater when measured 1.4 m (4.6 ft) above ground, including trees on private property and development sites.
In addition to preserving our trees, we are committed to Growing Delta’s Urban Forest through initiatives that increase and support tree growth in our community:
Urban Reforestation Project
When we think of trees, we think of forest and natural parks but our urban trees are just as important to our community and environment. Next time you’re out for a walk in your neighbourhood, notice the trees lining your streets or boulevards or the ones giving you shade in your back yard.
These are the trees of focus for the Urban Reforestation Project, which will see 5,000 trees planted in Delta’s parks, boulevards and medians in a five-year period, including 1,000 planted in the first year alone!
At least 67% of trees planted under the Urban Reforestation Project will be native species with lifespans of 50–100 years.
Trees for Tomorrow
An addition to the Urban Reforestation Project, the Trees for Tomorrow tree planting program supports you in increasing Delta’s tree canopy. You choose a tree from the list of eligible trees, we will purchase it and plant it for you on municipal property adjacent to your property, and you water it to ensure its health and growth.
By protecting trees on your property and participating in programs like Trees for Tomorrow, you can help us grow Delta’s urban forest. Other ways you can do your part:
- During hot, dry weather, assist us by watering boulevard trees. Twice a week, water the roots of trees near your property with 12–20 litres of water (5–10 minutes with a slow running water hose or a couple of large watering can full).
- Keep aware of young, stressed trees adjacent to your property (usually indicated by leaves turning brown or falling).
- Comply with Open Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings and practice forest fire safety to protect our forests.
- Follow Delta’s Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw if removing trees on private property. If you remove a tree, plant a new one where possible.
Policy and Regulations
There are a number of policies regarding trees in the Official Community Plan, which was adopted in 2005, including policies to protect trees and plant new trees when trees are cut.