Tree Maintenance

Trees within our urban forest provide many benefits. They reduce stormwater runoff, clean the air, offer shade and can decrease heating and cooling costs. Maintenance is important for the overall health of trees. 


Inconsistent watering is one of the most common reasons a new tree does not survive. Keeping the soil around the base of the tree moist encourages healthy root growth by keeping the root ball and soil damp. During the first growing season, water the tree twice a week (approximately 35 to 50 litres). Watering should continue at the base of young trees for the first two years after planting. Trees should be watered from the center outward as they grow. The video below provides an illustration of the amount and frequency of watering for common tree species in urban areas.


Pruning promotes robust growth and protects plants against pests and diseases. The main objective is to remove dead, diseased, and loose branches that hinder the growth of the tree. Any branch that crosses over another branch should also be removed, as well as anything that interferes with other parts of the plant. The video below illustrates the basic steps for pruning trees.


A mulched garden means less water loss in the soil, so less time is spent watering, and less water is used. With mulch on your lawn, weeds will be less likely to germinate, so you'll have fewer weeds to pull and fewer to compete for nutrients and water. Mulch also improves soil aeration and drainage and reduces soil erosion. Mulching keeps soil and plant roots cool, prevents frost damage in Winter, and enhances the appearance of the garden bed and landscape. Improper edging and mulching can suffocate your plants by overheating the soil and starving them of light and water. The video below shows how to mulch trees correctly.

Hiring an Arborist

In addition to adding value to your property, trees contribute to the health of your community. Beautiful, healthy trees offer a substantial return on investment for both the community and the environment. A poorly maintained tree, on the other hand, could be a significant liability, or even a hazard.

Maintenance of trees can sometimes be complicated due to the tree’s condition or because it requires equipment that an arborist can only implement. Arborists are professionals who specialize in trees and shrubs. Your trees and shrubs will be well taken care of by arborists with the necessary knowledge and equipment. Your tree’s health, appearance, and safety can be improved by the type of maintenance they recommend. To help you hire a professional arborist, here is a checklist of minimum requirements:

  • An arborist should be ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certified.
  • Make sure the company has up-to-date insurance.
  • Check references provided by the company.
  • Make sure the company’s main focus is tree services.

For more information on tree planting and maintenance, please reference the Ontario Landscape Tree Planting Guide.