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Environment

City of Montreal pledges to plant 22,000 trees by year’s end

WATCH: A new campaign aims to make Montreal a little greener by increasing the number of trees within the city.

Montreal is going on a green offensive: the city hopes to plant 22,000 trees by year’s end.

With a budget of $17 million, the initiative will make the city a little greener, according to municipal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.

“We know we have to fight against climate change and we know that trees are the appropriate response,” he said.

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Work crews began turning up soil on Thursday morning, planting the first batch of 100 trees on the grounds of the Claude-Robillard park in the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

The ambitious project will boost the city’s tree canopy from 20 to 25 per cent.

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The new trees will be of various species and will be planted in parks and on strips of public property adjoining residential properties.

Sabourin said that because of limited green space, trees will have to be placed in front of private residences for the city to reach its goal of 22,000.

“Many will be in parks, but there is only some space on the sidewalk,” he said.

While trees will be planted in all of Montreal’s 18 boroughs, the city has launched an awareness campaign in seven.

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Trees that are planted on the section of public property in front of residential homes will be accompanied by a blue tag.

The tag will provide information such as the type of tree as well as a breakdown of environmental and economic benefits.

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These are the seven boroughs where trees will be marked with the information tags:

  • Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville
  • Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
  • St-Leonard
  • Verdun
  • Montréal-Nord
  • Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles

While the initiative will make Montreal greener, the city says it will also be saving residents money.

Each tag will list the monetary value associated with the individual tree’s carbon dioxide, water absorption and energy reduction over a 40-year period.

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The calculated savings are based on several factors, including energy consumption and the increase in property value.

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According to Sabourin, a maple tree grows in value by $50 a year, for example, meaning the tree’s monetary worth would grow to $2,000 over 40 years.

The city got these figures while working in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation and urban environmental firm Eco2Urb.

Between 2012 and 2019, the city spent $6.8 million to plant 135,000 trees.