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About this project

Trees are a central part of Burnaby’s identity. Think of your favourite places in our city; chances are, you’re imagining somewhere with many trees nearby. In addition to being beautiful, our urban forest provides us with important social, economic and environmental benefits, while enhancing the city’s resilience in dealing with the effects of climate change.

To ensure Burnaby’s trees are thoughtfully managed, preserved and expanded, the City is developing an Urban Forest Management Strategy. This long-term strategy will provide clear goals and actions to guide the growth, management and protection of Burnaby’s trees and forests.

What is the urban forest?

The urban forest is all trees throughout the city, including in parks and natural areas, city streets and privately-owned lands.

Why do we need an Urban Forest Management Strategy?

Burnaby’s trees are under stress from a growing population and warming climate. Extreme heat and heavy rain events threaten our ecosystems, and rising temperatures also increase the risk of new invasive pests and diseases spreading to Burnaby. The demand for new housing and community amenities and facilities in our growing city also adds pressure on undeveloped areas currently covered by trees. Our Urban Forest Management Strategy will help us navigate these challenges, and help to make sure that in the future, our urban forest is even more healthy, resilient, and beautiful than it is today.

What are the benefits of Burnaby's urban forest?

Trees are the anchors of Burnaby’s ecosystem. Their benefits include storing carbon and improving air quality, absorbing stormwater runoff, providing wildlife habitat to maintain our biodiversity, stabilizing soil and slopes, and cooling urban areas. As of 2022, the urban forest is estimated to provide over 8 million dollars a year worth of benefits in filtering air pollution, preventing flooding, and storing carbon- and that’s not even taking into account the many benefits to our physical and mental health.

The cooling effects of the urban forest are easy to see when looking at a map of paved surfaces compared with ground temperature across the city during the “Heat Dome” of 2021; areas covered by trees can be up to 12 degrees cooler.

Paved surfaces map: Map of Burnaby showing paved surfaces in dark orange Land surface temperature map: Map of Burnaby showing surface temperature with unpaved areas at a lower temperature than paved areas.

More detailed information about all the benefits the urban forest creates is available in our State of the Urban Forest Report.

Our goals

  • Plan by improving research, governance, monitoring and reporting on the urban forest
  • Grow by planting more urban trees, improving planting environments and restoring forests
  • Manage by using the best maintenance practices to sustain safe, healthy and resilient trees and woodlands
  • Protect by bolstering tree protection policy, reducing conflicts with trees and future-proofing the urban forest to climate change
  • Engage with the host Nations on whose unceded territory the City of Burnaby is now located to build positive and meaningful relationships. Work collaboratively with the host Nations, the original stewards of these lands, to advance reconciliation and support a sustainable Urban Forest Management Strategy.