Winter Tree Tips

Vancouver Urban Forestry reminds residents and businesses that healthy trees are resilient trees. Winter is a great time to have existing trees professionally inspected and possibly serviced to lengthen life and minimize future storm damage. 

Healthy trees provide shade, reduce energy costs, prevent soil erosion, beautify landscapes, and filter air and water. Trees can add significant value to property. If properly cared for, trees can live a very long time. 

Care includes proper pruning, which improves the health and vigor of trees by removing dead or diseased branches, improving tree shape and structure, and correcting potential hazards. Proper pruning and maintenance are the best defense against storm-related tree damage. 

Improper pruning can cause more damage to a tree than a severe storm. Topping, the practice of indiscriminately removing large branches and tree tops, is one of the worst hazards that trees can encounter. A topped tree is more likely to be damaged in a storm than a tree that has been properly pruned. 

The Urban Forestry webpage – – offers advice on hiring tree care professionals and provides a list of certified contractors. The site also helps property owners seeking necessary tree permits, which are required by the City of Vancouver for tree removal in many situations and for major pruning of trees within the public right-of-way. 

Winter months can also be a good time to plant trees. Two resources are available to help Vancouver residents plant trees at reduced costs – Friends of Trees and Treefund. 

Urban Forestry’s partner, Friends of Trees, works with homeowners to purchase large street and yard trees from a comprehensive list and plant them with neighbors during a scheduled Saturday morning planting. To find out if your neighborhood is participating in a Friends of Trees planting this winter, visit or call 360-487-8324. 

Vancouver Urban Forestry’s TreeFund Program supports the efforts of property owners who plant from one to five approved trees on their residential lot within the city of Vancouver with a special 50 percent rebate, up to $50 per tree. City of Vancouver Utility customers who make the switch to eBilling, eliminating regular paper bills, can get back as much as $100 on the cost of the first tree planted. To be eligible for a Treefund, trees must meet size, planting, and other requirements. Treefund guidelines and procedures can be found online at or by calling 360-487-8308.

Vancouver Urban Forestry, part of the city’s Department of Public Works, recognizes trees as a valuable asset to our community and an important component of managing stormwater. For more information or questions, call 360-487-8308 or email

Source: City of Vancouver

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