In response to the need for the town to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19, all non-essential services have been reduced so that the town can focus on the delivery of essential and critical services. Currently the town will be completing hydro line clearing program, as well as tree removal and tree pruning to eliminate safety hazards due to high risk trees or branches. Town trees or part of town trees damaging any town or private infrastructure are also being inspected and addressed accordingly.
Starting in January 2021, the Town of Oakville and its tree service contractor will perform hydro line clearing in south central Oakville (Area 3) from Chartwell Road to Fourth Line and Westdale Road, and from QEW to Lake Ontario.
Review the progress of hydro line clearing on the interactive map.
Each year, the town and its tree service contractor perform hydro line clearing on behalf of Oakville Hydro to reduce safety hazards and power outages, while maintaining the health, safety and well-being of the town’s tree canopy.
If not properly maintained, trees can create power outages or hazardous situations by touching or even falling on hydro lines. In rare instances, trees growing too close to the hydro line will be removed as a last resort if the arborist cannot balance the clearance standard with acceptable pruning standards.
Trees are pruned on a four-year cycle following the Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA) industry standard of providing a minimum three-metre (10 foot) clearance between branches and primary power lines and one metre (three feet) for secondary lines. Crews will also prune trees to provide clearance from hydro poles and guy-lines. Our professional arborist contractors prune trees with these goals in mind:
In some instances, the town must prune privately owned trees if they have grown too close to the hydro line.
When hydro lines are located in rear yards, Oakville Hydro has an easement through the property which allows the arborist to access the tree.
Council approved the rotational tree maintenance program to proactively prune all 108,000 street trees in the town on a nine-year cycle.
In 2021, the rotational tree maintenance program will include all town-owned street trees south of QEW between Bronte Road and Third Line. Forestry staff inspected all street trees in this block and identified 3,296 trees in need of pruning.
When crews examine the urban forest in a block pattern for possible hazards and tree health problems, there is a reduction in calls for emergency pruning. Additionally, crews can often find problems that would not have been reported by residents, such as an insect that needs to be controlled. The block pruning method can also focus on certain tree species that may require more attention.
Tree health and structure can be greatly increased by regular pruning, especially when the trees are young. Immature trees that are left unpruned can develop many structural problems such as weak branch structure, crossing branches, and co-dominant leaders. Some branches may be removed to provide clearance for sidewalks, roads, traffic signs, traffic lights and buildings.
Pruning does not harm or damage the tree. All work is performed in accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture’s best management practices and guidelines.
Rotational tree pruning is performed on town trees only. In some cases, trees are located on the municipal property bordering a homeowner’s yard which may include the house-side of the sidewalk. Crews will not prune residents’ private trees.
Report trees on town property that need pruning or appear to be dead or dying.