St. Andrews Tree Committee

Why plant trees? 

As Arbour Day (May 15th) approaches, the Town of St. Andrews Tree Committee encourages residents to consider planting one or more trees on their property. 

Trees serve many functions:

  • Deciduous trees planted on the south, west and east perimeter of a lot will provide shade in the summer while allowing sunlight through in the winter when the leaves have fallen;
  • Conifers such as cedar, pine and spruce can serve as windbreaks, thus lowering home heating costs in the winter;
  • Trees provide habitat for birds, small mammals and other wildlife;
  • Of increasing importance, trees can help provide flood control. With climate change bringing extreme weather events such as heavier rains and more flooding, trees can help slow storm water runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. Trees can also take up large amounts of water and when properly sited, they improve drainage;
  • Trees can improve soil that is badly compacted, helping to loosen the soil and increasing its ability to absorb rainfall and runoff;
  • By retaining water, trees retard and control soil erosion, reducing the amount of topsoil that runs off into sewers, streams and the ocean;
  • A tree is beautiful and soothing.

2014 Memorial Tree Order Form:  


Saint Andrews values & encourages the planting of trees in its parks and roadsides, not only as memorial trees to honour veterans and other loved ones, but also through donations of trees to shade and beautify our Town, to provide habitat for wildlife, and to reduce flooding and erosion.  The St. Andrews Tree Committee reviews each tree situation and provides advice on what action should be taken for specific tree issues.  The Committee intends to plant trees every year on an ongoing basis. 

No tree shall be cut down, removed or planted from or on Town of Saint Andrews property by a resident without prior written approval from the Town Office. To find out more about the Tree Committee or guidelines of planting or removing trees, contact the Town Office at 529-5120 and any requests will be forwarded to the Tree Committee for review and comment.

Residential Tree Planting

Before undertaking any tree planting, contact Town hall at 529-5120 to ensure that the area you are considering is free of underground lines, utilities or obstructions, that no Public Works is being considered in the near future and that there are no overhead wires at the desired site.

In Saint Andrews, "ledge", a layer of glacial rock, is sometimes near the surface and the ground may be too shallow for trees to thrive. You will need to imagine your tree as a fully mature tree and determine that it has enough room to grow in width and both above and below ground.

Trees should be "hardy" to our region and if possible, native: conifers such as white spruce which is salt tolerant, native cedars (somewhat resistant to deer), oaks, and sugar and silver maples. Consider planting your selected tree(s) in the late fall after the leaves have fallen or early in spring before the buds come out.

Steps to planting once you have your tree:

a) Determine the "flare", that part of the trunk of the tree which is the wider part above the roots. The flare needs to be above the soil level.

b) Dig a shallow wide planting hole about three times wider than the root ball but no deeper than the root ball. Pack the soil where the tree is to sit. Use your spade to create cuts into the edges of the hole to give the roots room to grow. Water the hole.

c) Remove any burlap or materials used to transport the tree so the roots are free and straighten the roots if necessary.

d) Lift the tree by the root ball and place into the well packed soil. Set the tree so that it is straight from all directions and pack the soil firmly around the root ball making sure that there are no air pockets. Water during this process. Ensure that the trunk flare is visible above ground.

e) Mulch around the base of the tree with organic matter such as composted leaves or composted wood chips, in a circle which is wide, 2 to 3 feet from the trunk of the tree out towards where the furthest branches reach, and thinly spread (2 to 4 inches deep).  Be sure to leave a space of a few inches away from the trunk of the tree so the base of the tree doesn't rot. Replenish as needed.

f) Water weekly if there isn't any rain and especially during hot and windy weather.

Contact the St. Andrews Tree Committee through Town Hall if you have any questions. 529-5120

Refer to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for further information:

 Tree Reporting Form    


The Black Knot Cherry:

Black Knot of Cherry is a fungus that causes irregular black swelling on cherry stems, branches and twigs. In Alberta, choke cherry and pin cherry trees are the main hosts of the disease. Infected branches are deformed and tree growth is often stunted.

How to Spot Black Knot of Cherry:

Look for a white fungus growing over the swellings. In time, the swellings will blacken and infections occur during the spring.

What Can You Do?

Prune the infected branches at least 10 cm below the knots. Remember: disinfect your pruning equipment after every cut and dispose of the infected branches in a plastic bag.

To learn more about Black Knot Cherry, one good source of information is from Alberta's Department of Agriculture$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/faq7622 

Japanese Knotweed: 

Is an invasive plant that has been identified in and around Charlotte County's towns, parks, countryside, along roads and highways. Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive perennial plant which crowds out other vegetation including trees, can damage foundations, penetrate asphalt and has no natural control outside Asia.

It is not easy to eradicate this plant, and attempts to do so may create a stronger plant with deeper roots. Gardeners, public works departments, town governments and concerned citizens are sharing information about this plant in order to learn how to deal with it in an effective way.