Right tree, right place

We use the right tree, right place concept when planning our planting projects. Contractors and residents who want to plant on public property must also do the same.  

Right tree, right place gives new trees get the best chance at successful growth and a long lifespan.  

Timing of planting

  • Planting generally takes place from May to October
  • Trees can only be planted if they are available and contractors are available to plant them

Tree type

Planting location

  • Not all locations are suitable for trees 
  • Trees can’t be planted where:
    • Conditions won’t support root growth
    • Soil is too dry or too wet
    • The area is too bright or too dark
    • Underground or overhead utilities are present
    • They would disrupt traffic sightlines 
  • Any changes to public property must consider the wide range of community interests in any given space
  • We must balance planting trees and preserving native tall grass prairie habitat

Anticipated maintenance requirements

  • Newly planted trees require two years of considerable maintenance 
  • Initial maintenance includes vegetation management and regular watering
  • Long-term maintenance includes pruning, pest management and other services
  • We must ensure we have capacity to maintain any new trees 

Tree planting guidelines

Our tree planting guidelines expand on the right tree, right place concept. They are updated over time to reflect updates in best practices.

These guidelines are meant for both City plantings and plantings done by private contractors on public land.

Boulevard trees should be spaced an appropriate distance apart

This rule also applies to existing trees on private property in close proximity to potential planting sites on the boulevard. The guidelines for the City of Winnipeg are:

  • Large trees: 10 - 12 meters apart
  • Medium trees: 8 - 10 meters apart
  • Small trees: 7 - 8 meters apart

Boulevard trees should not be planted close to any above ground structures

The recommended minimum distance guidelines for the City of Winnipeg are:

  • Street intersections: 6 meters
  • Light standards: 3 meters
  • Fire hydrants: 3 meters
  • Hydro poles: 3 meters
  • Manholes: 3 meters
  • Private approaches: 1.5 meters

As a general rule, the City of Winnipeg does not replant trees under overhead wires for the following reasons:

  • Trees and overhead wires can come into conflict as the trees grow, posing safety and service reliability concerns
  • It is dangerous for arborists to prune trees within wires
  • Pruning trees for clearances within wires can result in an unbalanced crown
  • Increased pruning may decrease the tree's life span.

No trees are to be planted on boulevards less than 6 feet (2 meters) wide

Bus stops, signs, cross walks, snow storage, and underground utilities are other things to consider when determining if a site is suitable for planting. Trees will not be planted in sump pump discharge zones as excess moisture can drown the tree. Water from sump pump discharge also may be toxic to the tree depending on the mineral content of the discharge.

The Urban Forestry Branch is not responsible for tree planting in the following situations:

  • Private Property
  • New development where a tree was planted within the last two years
  • Dutch Elm Disease removal on private property
  • Please see the "Releaf" program information if you are interested in planting a tree on private property.

Tree planting timelines

From 3-5 years depending on resources available.

Tree planting options (hiring a private contractor):

If you would like to have a tree planted sooner, citizens have the option of hiring a private contractor at their own expense, please see Guidelines for Maintaining City Owned Trees Using a Qualified Contractor.

Planting Notices are distributed to homeowners with information regarding the new tree on the boulevard directly adjacent to their house/property.

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