“ReLeaf” for Winnipeg’s Urban Forest Continues in Spring 2017

Winnipeg, MB – Trees Winnipeg is proud to continue the Winnipeg ReLeaf Tree Planting Program. Initially launched in 2015 as a pilot project with support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the program is set to continue in spring 2017. Over 400 trees were planted during the pilot program in 2016. Trees Winnipeg will deliver the program in partnership with the City of Winnipeg and with volunteer support from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). The ReLeaf Program is designed to provide Winnipeg homeowners with quality, affordable trees for their own yards, as well as training on how to plant their trees to ensure the best chance of survival.

The American elm is Winnipeg’s most beloved urban tree and Winnipeg continues to lose approximately 5000 elm trees per year because of Dutch elm disease, 80% of which are located on private property. Ash is Winnipeg’s second most common species and accounts for about 40% of our forest canopy – all ash trees will be at risk when emerald ash borer invades Manitoba and will cause losses in the thousands.

The City of Winnipeg supports replanting efforts on public property such as parks and boulevards, but the number of trees being replaced on private property is estimated to be very low to almost non-existent. The Winnipeg ReLeaf Program will encourage replacement of these trees and help maintain the city’s urban forest canopy.

“The combined effects of Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer in our communities will be devastating,” said Trees Winnipeg’s Executive Director, Kerienne La France. “The City of Winnipeg’s own tree planting program simply won’t be able to keep pace with the damage caused by emerald ash borer, but homeowners can get a head start by planting trees before this pest arrives”.

Property owners can participate in the Winnipeg ReLeaf program to receive tree packages at a subsidized cost of $55 each, a tree planting workshop, technical support, and follow-up after planting. Trees Winnipeg has partnered with ISA-Certified arborists to provide all the information homeowners need to know about planting and caring for their new trees. Tree packages feature a variety of tree species to promote greater species diversity.

Matt Vinet, Director of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Prairie Chapter says, “ISA is very pleased to again be a part of the ReLeaf Tree Planting Program in 2017. The success of the program last year proved that citizens in Winnipeg are proud of their urban forest, are interested in being a part of its preservation by planting and nurturing new trees on their property.”

Registration for the Winnipeg ReLeaf program is now open and homeowners can download the list of current tree packages and the registration form at www.savetheelms.mb.ca/projects/reLeaf.php. The tree planting workshops and tree distribution will take place at the end of May; the deadline to register for the program is May 15, 2017.

About Trees Winnipeg: Trees Winnipeg (formerly known as The Coalition to Save the Elms) was founded in 1992, and is a non-profit charitable organization. We were originally formed in response to the heightened threat to Winnipeg’s extraordinary American elm population by Dutch elm disease. In recent years, new threats have placed our urban forest at risk. Trees Winnipeg now works to not only preserve our elm canopy, but also to promote tree species diversity, urban forest research, tree planting, and to raise awareness of the role trees play in our communities.

For more information please visit http://www.savetheelms.mb.ca/projects/reLeaf.php