The City of Fredericton says no major tree planting will occur this year, as cleanup from post-tropical storm Arthur continues.

But city officials have started working on an expanded tree replanting plan for next year, which will be announced at a later date, said Don Murray, the manager of parks and trees.

"Normally we plant 450 to 500 street trees in a summer. And right now, our numbers are showing somewhere around 1,200 trees totally lost" as a result of the storm, he said.

"There's a lot of trees that are damaged and we'll have to assess those yet. But I'd be very happy if we only had around the 1,200 for lost trees that we have to replace."

Workers

The cleanup of residential tree debris from post-tropical storm Arthur is about half done, city officials say. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)

Murray had previously estimated 4,000 trees were broken or toppled over by the high winds and heavy rains Arthur delivered to the region on July 5. That figure did not include trees on private property or in city parks.

Fredericton, which is known as the City of Stately Elms, is responsible for 30,000 street and ornamental park trees.

There will be a ceremonial tree planting on Friday to replace one of the many lost in the storm. Governor General David Johnston will join Mayor Brad Woodside and council members at a grove of trees along the South Riverfront Trail, between the lighthouse and Crowne Plaza, at 11 a.m.

The grove of trees was established under Canada's Green Plan Tree Planting Program. One of them was planted by the late Ramon John Hnatyshyn, the 24th governor general of Canada, on July 4, 1992, to honour New Brunswick members of the Order of Canada.

Residential cleanup ongoing

Meanwhile, the cleanup of residential tree debris from storm Arthur continues and will likely extend into next week, said Murray.

He estimates the job is currently about half done.

"We're probably not going to finish by the end of the week," said Murray. "We had a couple of contractor crews that couldn't make it in [Tuesday], so that's going to set us back a bit. But we have the other crews that are finishing up their areas and are going to move into the other areas of the city that we need to get some more pickup done in." 

Murray is continuing to ask for the public's patience.

"This is similar to the spring and fall cleanup programs, which takes several weeks to complete — not counting the work already done to date," he said.

Residents had been asked to have tree debris at curbside, ready for pickup by July 28.

Efforts to remove stumps and fill in lawns where trees fell have also begun, said Murray. Crews are working in areas where there is no natural gas, but gas pipelines will need to be located before work can be done in other areas, he said.

Tree debris is supposed to be in two piles — one for larger items, such as trees and limbs and another for smaller branches with leaves in compostable paper bags.

Any debris left after the curbside collection finishes will be the responsibility of the property owners.

The three tree debris depots will remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Aug. 11.

The tree disposal sites include:

  • The empty lot next to the car wash on Two Nations Crossing, near the city’s parks and trees depot.
  • The municipal compost facility at the old landfill on Beek Court near the Vanier Industrial Park.
  • The former Silverwood lagoon, opposite Orchard Drive.