Surrey City Hall is working to get its tree canopy numbers to stop dropping in a new shade tree management plan.
According to city numbers, the tree canopy — amount of tree visible from overhead — has shrunk 5% from 2001 to 2013, down to 28% of coverage.
A report last year from Urban Systems predicted the numbers will continue to drop even further, to 21% of coverage, in 50 years.
Neal Aven, urban forestry and environmental programs manager at Surrey, said on Thursday he intends to plant “one tree for every 10 metres of curb” along streets adjacent to new developments in the city.
“We’re planting those trees, when we plant them we’re trying to maximize the soil volume, that will help them grow. We’re carrying programs to help ensure they survive during our droughty summers,” he said.
“We’re carrying out maintenance, like installing tree wells to protect them from damage and provide nutrients and keep moisture in the soil.”
Coun. Bruce Hayne, chairman of the parks committee, said the city currently has a tree replacement policy in place when trees are taken down during development.
“Trees have to be replaced one to one if they’re alders and so on, and two to one if they’re protected or significant species,” he said.
“If those trees can’t be planted on site then the developer pay into the green fund and the city plants trees on their behalf elsewhere.
“Keep in mind that while the canopy has shrunk because of development, the trees have been replaced, but of course they’re not mature yet.”
Under the plan, until 2025, the city intends to plant 1,000 street trees and 500 park trees per year.
The city is taking feedback on the plan, comments can be submitted email@example.com