Taking care of urban forest preserves the natural environment in our city and improves air quality. Trees are environmentally and economically beneficial.

Did you know the average tree will:

  • Consumes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide every year, transforming it into oxygen for your family;
  • Shed up to 400 litres of water per day during the summer;
  • Can reduce your home energy bills by providing shade and cooling the air;
  • Create noise barriers and protect us from wind;
  • Shelter wild life; and
  • Beautify the surrounding environment.

Urban Forestry bylaw

Report a damaged tree

Report a concerning tree online that may be damaged due to storms or diseases.

Pruning trees

Trees are pruned to remove dead and unproductive branches, to control diseases and to make trees safe and balanced.

Pruning depends on the age of your tree.

  • Newly planted tree: Only prune dead or broken branches since the tree needs all its branches and leaves to grow in a new location.
  • Year two: Prune branches to develop a strong central leader. If present, prune and remove co-dominant leader.
  • Years three and four: Begin regular pruning.
  • Years five to seven: By this time, your tree should be healthy and shaped from previous pruning. To stay healthy, remove dead or damaged limbs. Keep the tree's outline tidy by pruning long branches. If you wish, you can remove bottom branches.

Special pruning for certain tree species

  • Prune deciduous ornamental trees every three to four years. Pruning in the late winter or early spring is the best so pruning cuts will close quickly.
  • Prune Maple and Birch trees in June or July to prevent cuts from “bleeding”.
  • Elm trees are to be pruned after September 1 to March 31 when the Dutch Elm Disease Ban is lifted.
  • Prune apple trees every spring.
  • Only prune dead, damaged and diseased branches from evergreen trees. In the spring, you can create a denser pine or spruce tree by cutting its candles in half before the needles have elongated.

Please contact the Parks Office at 306-786-1780 if you are wanting to prune or remove a tree on your property that is adjacent to the street boulevard.

Tree mulch

Mulch is any material, organic or inorganic, applied to the soil surface in a layer around a tree about 7.5 to 10 cm deep. Mulch has many benefits:

  • It reduces surface moisture evaporation;
  • It creates a physical barrier that prevents weed growth;
  • It prevents wind and water erosion of soil;
  • It reduces soil compaction and prevents mud or rain splash on tree trunks;
  • It can prevent damage from lawnmowers and string trimmers;
  • In the spring, a layer of mulch lessens plant damage caused by alternating freezing and thawing conditions; and
  • In summer, mulch can cool the soil which promotes growth.

Trees should have a large mulched area that extends past the tree's root system. The mulch area should extend out as far as the tree is tall. Leave a “mulch –free” area 3 cm around your tree's trunk to discourage small rodents from chewing on the lower bark.

Tree replacement

The City of Yorkton extends the life of our urban forest by replacing dead, diseased or damaged City owned trees within municipal parks, residential streets and boulevards.

Dutch elm disease

Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease that is spread by the elm bark beetle.

As the beetle makes a hole in the bark of the tree, the beetle introduces the fungus into the tree's system that carries water inside the tree. The fungus clogs the system and prevents the tree from transporting the necessary nutrients and water to its canopy and leaves. Eventually, the tree dies do to lack of water. The disease can also be spread by contaminated pruning equipment. Infected trees must be removed and discarded properly.

Dutch elm tree pruning ban is lifted from September 1 to March 31. Thanks to our Urban Forestry Program and your support, the disease has been kept under control in Yorkton. We currently have 1,595 elm trees throughout the City.

Download our Dutch elm disease brochure [insert: dutch elm brochure, waiting for an update] for more information.

Emerald Ash Bore

The Emerald Ash Bore is an invasive species beetle that infects and kills Ash trees. The beetle is commonly spread by Ash firewood being transported, but can also spread by hitching rides on the nursery stock of young Ash trees. We currently have 2,541 Ash trees throughout the City.

Our Parks department set up traps throughout the City to help with early detection.

Some symptoms include:

  • Branches appear to be dying or thinning out in the upper part of the tree.
  • Green shoots growing from the trunk if the upper branches are thinning.
  • “D” shaped exit holes may be visible.
  • Bark on the tree trunk may be splitting away from the wood.