Lend a limb to the trees in your neighbourhood

June 11, 2021

News release

If you have a City tree living on your street, lend it a helping hand with some water this summer.

Due to the recent dry weather, trees are struggling to get enough water. To thrive, young trees need a bucket of water per week for at least the first three years after they’re planted.

“We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented drought and not all of our trees are irrigated,” said Andrew Hunsberger, Urban Forestry Supervisor. “We’re asking homeowners to help us care for the young trees planted on streets and boulevards near their homes. By working together to keep these trees healthy, we can all do our part to grow and nurture our urban tree canopy in Kelowna.”

While residents are asked to conserve water during the dry summer months, young trees will not survive without proper watering. “Water is a precious resource and we need to think carefully about how and when we use it,” said Hunsberger. “However, Kelowna’s tree canopy is also an incredibly important part of our city and will pay us back with shade that will reduce water use in the future.”

Urban trees improve air quality and the average Canadian tree is estimated to remove approximately 200 kilograms of carbon from the environment over an 80-year lifespan. The City is committed to growing our urban canopy through planting initiatives like NeighbourWoods as well as planting drought-resistant trees whenever possible.

Follow these tips for watering street trees: 

  • Slowly release water at the base of the tree for at least 15 minutes one to two times per week. 
  • Water slowly to soak deep into the ground and encourage a healthy root system.
  • Water during cooler times of the day as trees will soak up more water when it's cooler.
  • Remember to water even if it rains. Kelowna does not typically get enough rain to keep our trees hydrated. 

Residents are asked to assist with watering trees only, and not to prune or cut any City trees.

For more information about urban trees, visit kelowna.ca.