Edmontonians are lucky to live in a city with one of the largest urban park systems in the world. However, the North Saskatchewan River Valley system is only one element in a greater urban forest made up of trees on both private and public property. Since the early 2000s, though, the city has lost tens of thousands of them due to storms and warmer weather that has brought drought and new insect infestations. With the right care through pruning and deep root watering or fertilizing, it’s possible to stave off infestation and disease and extend the life of the ash or elm in your yard. The team at Chipps Tree Care has put together this guide to help Edmontonians understand what their canopy does for them and why it’s so important to give our city’s natural landscape a helping hand.
Natural elements and landscaping on residential property are widely acknowledged to increase the value and sale price of houses. Different species, sizes, and conditions make it difficult to pinpoint the exact effect shrubs or a lush canopy will have on a property’s value. Nevertheless, the International Society of Arborists estimates that landscaping can lead to a five to twenty percent increase in home value, and it’s not hard to see why. Older neighbourhoods like Old Strathcona and Glenora are known for their beautiful streets and lawns because their American elms and Colorado spruces have had time to mature. The City of Kelowna estimates that every $1 spent in urban forest management creates up to $3 in spin-off value for residents and property owners. Homeowners blessed with mature, shade-giving elms and ashes on their properties can extend the economic benefits with professional maintenance like pruning and fertilizing while delaying the expenses involved in removal and replacement.
The strategic placement of deciduous species around a home can have remarkable effects on heating and cooling throughout the year. A large, shade-giving canopy can reduce localized temperatures by up to 5°C, significantly saving homeowners on air-conditioning. Planting deciduous species like ashes and elms to the west and south of a house can provide shade through the summer while still allowing much-needed sunlight through during the winter when they have lost their leaves. Spruces and pines, on the other hand, can act as windbreakers and save on heating through the winter by sheltering homes from bone-chilling Arctic winds.
In a study conducted by the University of Washington, researchers discovered some surprising benefits to retail businesses and commercial property owners. No less than three quarters of the individuals surveyed responded that they preferred shopping where buildings and parking lots had been improved with canopies and other landscaping. In addition, landscape features were more likely to lead to high office and commercial occupancy rates than any other tested variable, including access to highways and busy arteries. In urban retail zones, shade and wind shelter encourage shoppers to run their errands on foot rather than zipping from one location to the next in their cars.
Pruning is one of the most of the effective ways to maintain the health and aesthetic appeal of mature trees. The ideal pruning time for most deciduous species common to our city is from January to April. Elms can only be treated from October 1st to March 31st, when bark beetles are inactive and won’t be transmitted. Winter is the perfect time to check out our tree pruning services and maintain your piece of Edmonton’s urban forest. Chipps Tree Care’s ISA-certified arborists are trained in low-impact rigging and pruning to take the best care of this city’s natural wonders. We care about the urban forest and we care about your property. Get in touch with us this winter and get ready for a beautiful spring.