Trees and urban forests

On this page

Weather events

Brush Operations 

Most storm debris will be collected through the weekly leaf and yard waste program. Please ensure that brush or debris intended for weekly pickup meets the following criteria:

• Only use compostable paper yard waste bags, a garbage can or cardboard boxes when setting out leaf and yard waste for collection

• Ensure containers and bundles are no more than 15 kg (33 lb.) in weight

• Extra leaf and yard waste goes in the green bin

• Branches are to be tied in bundles of less than 1.2 m (4 ft.) in length and 60 cm (2 ft.) in width

• Individual branches should be less than 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter

• Leave grass clippings on the lawn.

• All leaf and yard waste must be bundled using biodegradable material. Twine or string is the best option. Wire, duct tape and plastic twine will not biodegrade

A reminder: Property owners do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on their private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health or safety. Photos should be taken prior to removal of dead or hazardous trees in such cases to provide evidence of the condition of the tree and the reason for exemption.

If you need to report a tree or limb that is hazardous or blocking a roadway, please call 3-1-1.

Tree inventory

Tree inventories are an essential tool to protect and enhance urban and rural forests which helps ensure healthy forests for generations to come. They are useful to help maintain diversity in the street tree population, assess the health of the urban forest, and communicate with property owners. Inventories need to be updated regularly in order to help schedule tree maintenance work, determine planting sites, and manage invasive insects. The inventory of city-owned trees began in March 2009 and once completed it will contain information on over 300,000 street and park trees, woodlots, ravines, and community forests. Information such as species, diameter, health condition and GPS location is gathered on individual street trees and downloaded into a database where the records can be extracted and mapped to provide information on the number of different types of trees on a particular street. New tree data is collected on an ongoing basis as tree inspections or routine tree maintenance work is completed.

The dataset provides an inventory of City-owned trees located on the road right-of-way, and in parks. Some privately-owned trees are also collected by Forestry staff are included the dataset for reference. The dataset should not be used for ownership verification. Not all information has been verified for precision or accuracy and therefore should only be used in an advisory capacity. Forestry Services reserves the right to revise the data pursuant to further inspection or review.

The Tree Inventory dataset is available on the site, or can be viewed in geoOttawa. Tree Inventory data is made available with the Open Data Licence Version 2.0.

If you find any errors or omissions, please report them to 3-1-1.

Trees near foundations

Trees are often considered to be the cause of damage to building foundations, but trees are not always the source of the problem.

Damage is often a result of the behaviour of the soils under the foundation. Uneven soil shrinkage can lead to uneven settlement and foundation damage. In the Ottawa area, shrinkage of sensitive marine clay is a major contributor to building foundation damage.

The City of Ottawa is committed to protecting its natural environment and resource base. In an effort to preserve mature trees, the City has instituted a formal 4-phase assessment process to investigate the circumstances related to mature municipal trees that are suspected of contributing to foundation damage.

For program information call 3-1-1.