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Urban Forestry

Updates on Elm Pruning, Elm Wood Storage and Inspections

Please note in accordance with the Forest Health Protection Act:

  1. Pruning of elm trees is prohibited from April 1 to July 31 inclusive.
  2. Storage of elm wood is prohibited at any time of year unless the wood has been treated as described below:
    1. all bark has been removed from the wood;
    2. the wood has been treated by kiln drying it to a moisture content of 18% or less, or heating it to 56℃ for at least 30 minutes;
    3. the wood is chipped to have thickness of wood adhering to the bark in any dimension of not more than 5cm; or
    4. a storage permit is obtained from the province.
  3. City of Winnipeg staff is currently conducting elm wood monitoring and Dutch elm disease surveillance on all properties in the City of Winnipeg.

The co-operation of all citizens is appreciated.

Urban Forestry responsibilities

We are responsible for all aspects of modern 'urban forestry'. Includes tree inventories, tree planting, watering and fertilizing, pruning, D.E.D. control, removal operations, public relations and education, extension services, group workshops, on-site inspections and contract administration.

DED Notice English | DED Notice French

Winnipeg ReLeaf Program

Tree maintenance priority guidelines

The tree pruning program is rated on a priority basis, from high priority where the work will be carried out as soon as operationally possible to low priority where the work may not be carried out as quickly, click on the link above for an explanation.


Significant increases in operating budgets have reduced the pruning cycle from 40 years to 12 years. The Urban Forestry Branch does not prune privately owned trees.

Tree pruning


Every year approximately 2,000 - 3,000 boulevard & park trees are lost. The reasons include vehicle impact, vandalism, snow plow damage, construction requirements, and normal tree mortality.

Visit the tree removals page for more information as well as information about mushrooms growing around the removed tree stump.


New subdivisions are planted under agreement between the City and private developers with the Urban Forestry Branch monitoring progress and accepting trees after all the obligations have been met. All newly planted trees receive water and fertilizer on a regular basis for 2 years after installation. New park plantings are completed as capital funds become available.

Tree planting

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a wood-boring insect that was introduced into North America from China and eastern Asia. It has recently been found in Winnipeg. The beetle is currently in Ontario, Quebec, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Emerald Ash Borer

Tree banding

For more detailed information about cankerworms and related defoliating insects in Winnipeg, please see cankerworm information.

When to band your trees

To avoid cankerworm problems in the spring, band your trees in the fall by September 15th or before the first frost. Bands remain on the tree over winter. In late winter or by March 15th, check your bands to see if more tanglefoot should be applied to protect the tree against the spring cankerworm. If the band is coated with moths and other debris, the spring cankerworm moth can crawl over the band. A fresh application of tanglefoot may be required.

When to take the bands off

Take bands off by May 15. A good rule of thumb is to band the trees on the September long weekend and take them off on the May long weekend. Bands that are left on the trees over our hot summers cause tree rot, encourage insect infestation and are unsightly.

Dutch Elm Disease (D.E.D.)

This devastating vascular wilt disease of elm trees was first identified in the Winnipeg area in 1975. To date, the integrated control program has limited the spread of the D.E.D. in the city while new research attempts to discover better methods of control.

What is Dutch Elm Disease?


Stumps are removed to approximately 6 inches below grade and removal shall include buttress roots. Excess wood chips are removed so that a 4 inch layer of soil fills the remainder of the hole.

Visit the stump removal page for more information as well as information on mushrooms growing on the stump area.

Maintaining City-owned trees

Property owners may arrange to prune, remove and plant city-owned trees on boulevards and in parks, using a qualified contractor if they are willing to pay a qualified contractor to complete the work.

Maintaining City-owned trees

City Hall Christmas tree donations

In 2019, a new tradition commenced at City Hall with the installation of a 28-foot artificial tree in the front courtyard. This new tree is an economical, environmentally friendly, and less labour-intensive alternative to a live Christmas tree that can be reused annually for the next decade. The City's annual Christmas Tree Donation Program has been discontinued.

Arbor Day

Arbor Day is a special day set aside each year to celebrate trees in our communities. Arbor Day was conceived by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska, U.S.A. where the first Arbor Day took place in 1872. Since that time it has been celebrated throughout the U.S.A., Canada and other countries.

Arbor Day

Customer Service

The Urban Forestry Branch responds to between 6,000 - 10,000 customer service calls each year. Urban Forestry Branch staff investigate these requests and prioritize them. If you have a boulevard or park tree concern then please contact 311.

Tree roots and sewer concerns
After hours emergency contact 311

Urban Forestry
1539 Waverley St.
Winnipeg, MB R3T 4V7
Phone: 311
Fax: 204-222-2839

Last update: May 17, 2021

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