Tree Damage & Snow

Photo Credit: D. Ristimaki

Thank you CTV for covering this important issue.

Video: Residents concerned about tree damage

So much snow and of course challenges come with the snow!

I’ve received multiple calls from residents regarding City boulevard trees. Operators are having to pile snow and ice high on the City boulevards and as a result, trees are being surrounded with snow and ice, trees trunks are being scraped, and some tree branches are being broken. This is concerning and one of the big challenges we have in a winter City. I know operators are doing their best not to damage the trees, but for sure damage does occur in some cases. I want to share an update I’ve received from the Forestry Department.

City Property:

  • If a tree is damaged and it is on City of Winnipeg property, please report it to 311  ( and if possible send photo with your complaint. Broken or damaged tree branches will be removed by the Forestry Department. Trees that have broken at the main trunk will be assessed by Forestry Department and added to the tree replacement list.

Private Property:

  • If a tree is damaged and is on your property  – please make a property damage claim, and it will go through the claim process: Filing a Claim

 From Forestry Department:

  • “If a resident is concerned with the amount of snow being piled around a tree from the snow clearing operations, advise them that this is safe and does reduce the possibility of any type of damage being done to the tree. Most large, healthy trees appear to recover as they close off the wounded area and continue to grow showing little short term effects in the canopy or condition of the tree. For the most part with some damage, there is nothing Forestry can do to remedy the damage i.e. no treatment for the tree to help it close the wound.
  • The depth of the wound matters. Generally if the wound is more superficial, where it is more of a bark wound, the tree’s health is much less impacted. If the wound is into the wood underneath the bark, the tree will close off that wound through a series of chemical reactions internally and physical reactions to try to seal the wound by growing new tissue to cover it. Any wounding particularly into the wood is an entry point for decay.
  • Pruning or wound paint does not help the tree and in some cases can interfere with the tree’s natural processes for closing the wound. How the tree handles the wound and ensuing decay depends on such factors as the tree species, its condition, the size of the tree, and the depth and size of the wound. All of these factors would affect the extent of the decay that develops, how effective the tree is at closing off the wounded area and decay, and essentially the tree will always be managing the wound and decay. Generally most trees will continue to grow and impart their benefits, however the value of the asset is reduced and depending on the extent of damage, the tree’s lifespan may be reduced.”

So – in summary take photos and please report any damage you see. We love our trees!

Photo Credit: S. Slobodan