You can request a tree for the municipal boulevard in front of your property, subject to the City’s inspection and approval.

Requesting a tree

To request a tree, contact the Forestry and Horticulture Section at UrbanForestry@ThunderBay.ca or call Infrastructure and Operations Dispatch at 625-2195. This will add you to a two-year waiting list. Your planting site will then be inspected by qualified city staff to determine if eligible.

Not all boulevard locations qualify

Not all boulevard locations will qualify due to space and utility restrictions. Boulevards will be assessed by qualified individuals who will consider the requirements of a tree to survive at that site.

Requirements

Trees require space above ground to grow their canopy and below ground to absorb nutrients and water. City staff will account for nearby paving, overhead wires, permeable growing space, and underground utilities before planting occurs. Any interference with nearby utilities, severely compacted soil, and cramped areas can stress trees, leaving them more susceptible to disease and pests.

Tree species selection

There is a limited selection of species that will thrive in Thunder Bay, especially on boulevards. Forestry staff make every effort to plant the right tree in the right location, to not only help that tree thrive, but also for the nearby uses of the site. Tree species selection will ultimately be determined after site inspections and will be up to city staff to decide.


For larger planting areas

For larger planting areas where there are no overhead restrictions, the following species may be a good fit:

Manitoba Maple

  • Height: 14 m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: green, pinnately compound
  • Fall Colour: yellow/brown
  • Flowers: yellow-spring
  • Note: hardier, reduced-seed variety, fast growing, shorter lived

Silver Cloud Silver Maple

  • Height: 17 m
  • Form: oval
  • Foliage: green 5 lobed
  • Fall Colour: bright yellow, some burgundy and red
  • Flowers: small, dull red/orange
  • Note: fast growing, bark splits to show orangey colour underneath

Lord Selkirk or Unity Sugar Maple

  • Height: 12 m
  • Form: round
  • Foliage: green, 3 lobed
  • Fall Colour: deep red to bright orange
  • Flowers: small, dull red/orange
  • Note: slow growing, sensitive to sun scald, better in protected areas

Freeman Maple

  • Height: 20 m
  • Form: round
  • Foliage: green, 3 lobed
  • Fall Colour: vibrant red - orange
  • Flowers: small, dull red/orange
  • Note: a hybrid of the red maple and silver maple, strong branch attachment of red maple, quick growth of silver maple

Ohio Buckeye

  • Height: 6-12 m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: green, palmate compound
  • Fall Colour: yellow to red
  • Flowers: cream, upright, large, fragrant
  • Note: beige coloured prickly fruits containing nuts eaten by wildlife, long lived slow growing tree

Autumn Splendor Buckeye

  • Height: 10m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: dark green, Palmate compound
  • Fall Colour: bright red
  • Flowers: cream, upright, large, fragrant
  • Note: beige coloured prickly fruits containing nuts eaten by wildlife

Hackberry

  • Height: 14 m
  • Form: round
  • Foliage: green, birch-like
  • Fall Colour: golden
  • Flowers: showy, white
  • Fruit: small, purple
  • Note: corky and rough bark, hardy tree, spring plant only

Butternut

  • Height: 14 m
  • Form: widespread
  • Foliage: opposite, compound leaves
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers: not ornamentally important
  • Fruit: nuts
  • Note: slow growing, only on large boulevards or in parks

Skyfest Poplar

  • Height: 24 m
  • Form: upright
  • Foliage: green
  • Fall Colour: golden
  • Flowers and Fruit: not ornamentally significant                                    
  • Note: fast growing, parks only, male cottonwood

Prairie Sky Poplar

  • Height: 20m
  • Form: upright
  • Foliage: light green
  • Fall colour: yellow / gold
  • Flowers and Fruit: not ornamentally significant
  • Note: faster growing, adaptable, requires full sun

Sundancer Columnar Poplar

  • Height: 14 m
  • Form: upright
  • Foliage: light green
  • Fall colour: yellow / gold
  • Flowers and Fruit: seedless
  • Note: faster growing, northern Sask. source tree, adaptable

Northern Pin Oak

  • Height: 20 m
  • Form: irregularly rounded crown
  • Foliage: elliptic-oblong
  • Fall Colour: red
  • Flowers: not ornamentally important
  • Note: drought tolerant

Bur Oak

  • Height: 20 m
  • Form: broad crown
  • Foliage: green, obviate shape
  • Fall Colour: yellow/brown
  • Flowers: brown, not appealing
  • Note: slow growing, long lived, strong/straight stem, drought resistant

Red Oak

  • Height: 20 m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: green, obovate shape
  • Fall Colour: rusty red
  • Flowers: pale yellow/green
  • Note: only planted in spring, strong, long lived, needs room

American Linden / Basswood

  • Height: 18 m
  • Form: oval
  • Foliage: heart shaped
  • Fall Colour: dark yellow
  • Flowers and Fruti: small, white, fragrant flowers that produce small nutlets
  • Note: great form, reliable

Dropmore Linden

  • Height: 15 m
  • Form: pyramidal
  • Foliage: very dark green, glossy
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers and Fruti: small, white, fragrant flowers that produce small nutlets

Harvest Gold Linden

  • Height: 12m
  • Form: upright oval
  • Foliage: heart shaped, dark green
  • Fall Colour: golden-yellow
  • Flowers: small, yellow, fragrant
  • Note: attractive exfoliating grey bark

Triumph Elm

  • Height: 14+ m
  • Form: upright oval to vase
  • Foliage: glossy dark green
  • Fall Colour: bright yellow
  • Flowers: inconspicuous
  • Note: fast growing, Dutch Elm Disease resistant, drought tolerant

Discovery Elm

  • Height: 12 m
  • Form: vase/ symmetrical upright
  • Foliage: dark green
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers: not ornamentally important
  • Note: slow growing, requires thinning when young, resistant to Dutch Elm Disease

Hackberry

  • Height: 12 m
  • Form: vase shaped, corky bark
  • Foliage: light green 
  • Fall Colour: bright yellow 
  • Flowers and Fruit: inconspicuous flowers producing small, fleshy drupe that matures to dark purple
  • Note: nutrient dense food for birds

Ironwood

  • Height: 12 m
  • Form: spreading, shaggy bark
  • Foliage: dark green 
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers and Fruit: inconspicuous flowers producing hop-like fruit and seed clusters
  • Note: hardest and densest wood of any species in Canada!

 

In smaller planting areas

For smaller planting areas, or if there are overhead wires, these species may be a good fit:

Gladiator Crab Apple

  • Height: 6m
  • Form: upright narrow
  • Foliage: attractive deep purple foliage which emerges burgundy in spring
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers: stunning clusters of fragrant pink flowers along the branches
  • Fruit: showy, small, purple pomes carried in abundance from early to late fall

Starlite Crab Apple

  • Height: 8 m (not recommended under hydro lines)
  • Form: upright
  • Foliage: dark green, glossy
  • Fall Colour: yellow
  • Flowers: very showy, white
  • Fruit:  bright red, small, persistent 

Showy Mountain Ash

  • Height: 6 m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: dark green, oval compound
  • Fall Colour: vibrant orange/red
  • Flowers: showy, white
  • Fruit: very red berries
  • Note: smooth olive green bark

Oakleaf Mountain Ash

  • Height: 6 m
  • Form: upright
  • Foliage: dark green, complex compound and lobed
  • Fall colour: burgundy
  • Flowers and Fruit: medium, white flowers producing bright red berries in clusters
  • Note: resisitant to fire blight

Ivory Silk and Ivory Pillar Tree Lilacs

  • Height: 5 m
  • Form: rounded
  • Foliage: glossy, dark green
  • Fall Colour: brown
  • Flowers: spectacular, off-white, light fragrance
  • Note: tree version of its shrub cousin, salt tolerant

Nannyberry Tree

  • Height: 4 m
  • Form: dense branches that become more open as branches arch outwards.
  • Foliage: shiny dark green
  • Fall Colour: red
  • Flowers and Fruit: creamy white clusters, no fragrance produces small drupe turns reddish, changing to bluish-black when mature
  • Note: food for wildlife

Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn

  • Height: 6 m
  • Form: broad, round
  • Foliage: dark glossy green
  • Fall Colour: purplish
  • Flowers and Fruit: showy white blossoms, persistent small green fruit
  • Note: mostly thornless 

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