- Municipal Council
- Chronique du maire
As happens every spring the Town’s urban forest has sprung back to life. Garbed in lush greenery, the forest has returned in all its splendour. If you’ve ever admired it from the air on a return flight, you know just how much it stands out from the surroundings. But even viewed from the ground, it can’t help but inspire admiration. Whatever angle you look at it from, our urban forest makes Mount Royal unique. That’s part of why we take such good care of it.
Numbering in excess of 32,000 – over 10,000 more than the Town’s population – the trees covering our territory do much to eliminate heat islands in our living environment. They buffer us against the winds that bear down on the Town. They replenish our oxygen and filter out particles suspended in the air. They dampen noise pollution, help prevent soil erosion and shade us from dazzling light. They provide protection and food to birds and the rest of our fauna and are a source of comfort and pride for residents. They are a true asset for our garden city.
The Town adopted its first Tree Policy in 2007. The policy was updated and improved in 2017. Under my administration, the budgets for maintaining and planting our urban forest have been increased, a landmark decision that speaks of the high regard in which we hold our vegetation cover. It is also, of course, an initiative logically aligned with the other actions we are taking to meet the challenges of climate change.
Did you know that Town of Mount Royal has planted no fewer than 3,000 trees in the last 10 years? That is 1,000 more than we have reluctantly cut down, as we have been forced to do by the emerald ash borer and an entire generation of Norway maples reaching the end of its life cycle. Dealing with ageing specimens is part of sound forest management, whether urban or not. That does not mean saving every single tree, no matter the cost and despite the hazards, but rather making sure that any trees we must cut are replaced.
And the process is far from over. This year, preventive maintenance of our urban forest will require cutting down some 150 trees. At the same time, in keeping with our ambitious reforestation aims, 283 new trees will be planted. What’s more, the trees chosen will further diversify the mix of species. Actions like these ensure this urban forest, our pride and joy, and the unique treasure it represents, will continue to thrive for a long time to come.