As the province begins to gradually ease restrictions on January 31, 2022, the Town of Oakville is ready to welcome residents back to our facilities with health and safety measures in place.
Starting in January 2022, the Town of Oakville and its tree service contractor will perform hydro line clearing in east Oakville (Area 4) from Chartwell Road to Winston Churchill Boulevard and Trafalgar Road to Ninth Line.
You can review the progress of the Hydro line clearing program 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 ten-year cycle.
In 2022, the rotational tree maintenance program will include all town-owned street trees between Bronte Road and Third Line north of the QEW, and from Bronte Road to Sixteen Mile Creek between Upper Middle Road and Dundas Street.
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 infestation 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.
Review the progress of the 2021 rotational tree pruning program on the interactive map.
Please do not blame trees and their roots for breaking and clogging water or drain pipes, damaging foundations or cracking and heaving walkways, driveways or patios. They didn’t do it.
The three most important things that roots need and want are: soil, air and water. The easiest and best place for them to find these three essentials is at the surface of the ground in your yard and your neighbour’s yard.
If there is a broken drain or water pipe, the roots will be attracted to the leak since it provides water and air. Without a break or leak, there would be no water or air to attract the roots. The roots do not cause the breaks. They are only taking advantage of the break or leak caused by something else such as aging pipes or faulty joints.
When planting a tree, make sure to leave enough room for the trunk to grow. To avoid damaging your walkway, driveway or patio at least 1.5 metres (five feet) is recommended. Beyond this distance, tree roots are not the cause of any heaving or cracking.
If at the owner's expense, an owner wishes to have a contractor perform town-approved maintenance on a town-owned tree, or tree planting adjacent to the owner's property, the owner is required to submit a completed Agreement for Contractors to Perform Arboricultural Services on Town Property (pdf).
Report trees on town property that need pruning or appear to be dead or dying.