Delta’s tree canopy is growing

40% reduction in the number of tree cutting permits over a five-year period

THANKS to regulatory adjustments and active tree planting programs, Delta’s tree canopy is growing. The most recent analysis based on 2016 aerial photos showed increases in the tree canopy in all of Delta’s communities from the 2004 baseline, according to information reported to City Council at the July 29 regular meeting.

The canopy growth can be attributed to a more restrictive tree protection bylaw that was adopted in 2015 in conjunction with a new urban reforestation project. The urban reforestation project will have resulted in 4,400 trees planted by the end of 2019 while an additional 500 trees have been planted through the Trees for Tomorrow program.

George Harvie Official photo

“Trees are so important for local air quality, wildlife habitat, air temperature, and many other human and environmental benefits,” said Delta Mayor George V. Harvie. “I’m proud of our recent progress to enhance our tree canopy and we will continue working towards our goal of 40% tree canopy cover in the City’s urban areas.”

While Delta has planted nearly 5,000 trees since 2015, the number of permits issued to cut trees has decreased since Delta’s current tree protection bylaw was adopted. In 2014 there were 1,532 permits issued to cut trees, but by 2018 that number fell to 921. This is a 40% reduction in the number of tree cutting permits over a five-year period.

Delta is continuing its efforts to plant more trees by working with the City of Vancouver and the Burns Bog Scientific Advisory Panel for a planting plan for the western 40 hectares of the Vancouver Landfill. New opportunities are also being investigated for the expansion and promotion of the Trees for Tomorrow program.