mi-wpg-elm-trees-file

The new HRM tree plan calls for the number of trees planted on city land in residential neighbourhoods to double from 1,500 to 3,000 each year. (CBC)

 

Halifax regional council endorsed a new plan Tuesday to protect the trees that grow on municipal land in urban areas.

It calls for the number of trees planted on city land in residential neighbourhoods to double from 1,500 to 3,000 each year.

The new initiatives could add $1 million annually to the existing tree budget, for a total of $2.4 million.

John Charles, manager of the Urban Forest Master Plan, said there would also be an increase in preventative pruning.

"[The] biggest cost is the new $600,000 a year for proactive pruning. That's an estimate because we've never done proactive pruning before. We're really good at reactive pruning. That's when somebody phones in and says 'A branch is going to fall on my house.' Proactive pruning, you remove the hazardous branches as the tree's growing up. You do it, for every tree, every seven years."

Under the plan, five urban neighbourhoods would get extra attention for tree planting:  Colby Village, Eastern Passage, North End Halifax, Fairview and the Connaught-Quinpool corridor.

Charles said there's either a complete lack of trees in those areas, or the trees are all the same age or species.

"No area is going to be shortchanged," he said.

Regional Council endorsed the plan in principle and now HRM city staff is tasked with finding the money in next year's budget to get the trees in the ground.