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The Importance of Urban Forestry


What is an urban forest?

Urban Forestry may not be a term you’re familiar with. Urban forests can be defined as networks or systems comprising all woodlands, groups of trees and individual trees located in urban areas. This includes street trees, trees in parks or gardens and forests.


Benefits of urban forests:

· Cools surface water

· Cools air and land surface

· Decreases heat related illnesses

· Reduces energy demand for air conditioning

· Reduces thermal pollution of waterways

· Reduces heat stress on infrastructure

· Extends lifespan of grey infrastructure

· Improves air quality

· Decrease respiratory ailments

· Promotes environmental education

· Carbon storage

· Promote social interaction and sense of community

· Reduce stress and promote mental well-being

· Provide habitat for wildlife


The city of Toronto has many restrictions and bylaws regarding its urban forestry unit. You need a permit for any activity that could result in injury, destruction, or removal of a protected tree. Such activities include, but are not limited to the following:


· Demolition, construction, replacement, or alteration of permanent or temporary buildings or structures, parking pads, driveways, sidewalks, walkways, paths, trails, dog runs, pools, retaining walls, patios, decks, terraces, sheds or raised gardens

· Installation of large stones or boulders

· Altering grade by adding or removing soil or fill, excavating, trenching, topsoil or fill scraping, compacting soil, or fill, dumping or disturbance of any kind

· Storage of construction materials, equipment, wood, branches, leaves, soil or fill, construction waste or debris of any sort

· Application, discharge or disposal of any substance or chemical that may adversely affect the health of a tree e.g. concrete sluice, gas, oil, paint, pool water or backwash water from a swimming pool

· Causing or allowing water or discharge, to flow over slopes or through natural areas

· Access, parking or movement of vehicles, equipment, or pedestrians

· Cutting, breaking, tearing, crushing, exposing, or stripping tree’s roots, trunk, and branches.

· Nailing or stapling into a tree, including attachment of fences, electrical wires, or signs

· Stringing of cables or installing lights on trees

· Soil remediation, removal of contaminated fill

· Excavating for directional or micro-tunneling and boring entering shafts


Cities rely on urban forestry to maintain healthy communities. Green spaces are important to human well-being and provide environmental, physical, psychological, social, and economic benefits. Urban forests are generating more attention in North America from the government and they are renewing their investments in it due to the positive effect it has on their communities.


For any urban forestry needs, PDQ 4U Urban forestry Services has licensed and equipped professionals that can provide a wide range of tree services. This includes re-topping, thinning, pruning, planting, stump grinding, hedge trimming, cabling/bracing, and the removal of aged or dangerous trees. Contact 1.877.737.4812 today!

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