Trees in Calgary still recovering after freak September storm of 2014

CALGARY – After one of the most devastating September storms in memory, an early spring has the city of Calgary eager to start its spring planting.

“In a normal season we plant 5,000. On top of that we are looking at planting 1,600 more through our normal operations,” said Jill-Anne Spence, Urban Forestry Lead for the Parks department.

The Parks department will also be planting 3,000 new trees in 30 different communities–which is triple the normal quantity–all in an effort to make up for the devastation that crippled the city’s trees when 28 cm of snow fell last September in a freak storm.

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“About 50 per cent of ours were damaged, so that was about 250,000 trees, but we also estimate that 1.5 million trees were damaged on homeowners’ private property,” said Spence.

In order to help residents assess damaged trees, the city will be holding tree resource fairs in May and June. For more information click here.

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Lisa Silva, an expert at Blue Grass Garden Centre, says even with an early spring, residents should use caution when planting new trees.

“If they are dormant, it’s fine. As long as you have a hole dug, it can go in.”

Silva says if you’re worried about a repeat snowfall in September, plant an evergreen, since they withstand snow better than other trees. But she says the real key is proper maintenance, and if in doubt, consult a certified arborist.

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