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What makes an urban tree canopy?

It’s the leaves, branches, and stems of a tree that provide ground coverage when viewed from above. It’s the total shade canopy over a city. 

Why is our urban tree canopy important? 

Because trees deliver critical services to our city, so much so that they are considered natural assets and managed through our Asset Management Program just like roads and pipes are. 

We’ve become known nationally for our efforts in sustainability and climate action and part of that is due to our forward-thinking policies, strategies and our community strategic plan that guide us in our continued successes. 

Check out the countless benefits and urban tree canopy can have below:

Benefits of Urban Trees
infographic of the benefits of trees
Selkirk's Tree Inventory

Selkirk’s tree inventory flows out of our corporate Strategic Plan and award winning Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

We track the inventory through our Asset Management Program  because trees are natural assets that deliver services, and as a city we need to protect these assets.

Selkirk currently has 7479 trees logged; 5463 are on public property and 2016 are in Parks (not incl. forested areas).

Selkirk currently has 121 varieties of trees.

people cataloguing trees
Street Tree Policy

Selkirk’s Street Tree Policy, passed in June of 2021 has five objectives:

  • Proactively manage and sustain the city’s Street Trees in a arboriculturally sound and cost-effective manner that provides the greatest environmental, economic and social benefit to residents.
  • Protect our road infrastructure from heat and ultraviolet rays.
  • Relieve pressure from our storm drainage network by using Street Trees to better manage stormwater. 
  • Improve air quality.
  • Through carbon sequestration, reduce the net CO2 emissions of our community.

Staff planting trees on a Manitoba Ave. East boulevard. There's someone driving machinery and someone placing the tree into the hole.

Selkirk's Urban Forestry and Naturalization Coordinator

Selkirk hired Urban Forestry and Naturalization Coordinator, Mihali Schindle early in 2022. 

Schindle is a Red Seal Horticulturist who’s also studied landscape design, started as the UF&N Coordinator with the city in May of this year and his job has him analyzing and improving current green infrastructure through sustainable methods with the goal of reducing the city’s environmental footprint and operational costs.


Read more on how Mihali is helping Selkirk below. 

Selkirk's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

As part of the our participation in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Climate and Asset Management Network, the City of Selkirk agreed to develop a climate change adaptation strategy.

Whereas climate change mitigation includes work to reduce the production of the greenhouse gases that cause global heating, climate change adaptation is a term used for the work done to prepare for the negative consequences of a warmer, more chaotic climate.

The City of Selkirk partnered with Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) within the University of Winnipeg to undertake this work. The PCC is a national leader in the interpretation, communication and activation of climate change data.  PCC and city staff researched and prepared a collaborative process to bring the best available climate data and local knowledge together. PCC’s experts educated city staff on what climate change will mean for Selkirk from a seasonal perspective. This allowed staff from all levels and all departments to think about the potential impacts and identify the consequence they believed the city would deal with throughout all of our service lines, season by season.

City of Selkirk's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy - Cover

Selkirk's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy provides a comprehensive, practical and cost-effective plan for the city to begin working towards addressing the impacts of climate change on our municipal services and our citizens. By integrating this work into it’s capital asset management program, the city is using leading practices to quantify, plan, budget and actually undertake the work required to adapt over the next 50 years.

Selkirk’s Asset Management Strategy Featured on CBC’s The National

We’re sad to see it go, but just so you know…

Trees that have reached the end of their life, but we’re grateful for all that they provided throughout their lifespan:

  • Shade
  • Improved air quality
  • Stormwater management
  • Improved air quality
  • Mitigated climate change
  • Increased property values
  • Provided habitat
  • Calmed traffic speeds
  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Cooled the air


Just as our roads and sewer lines need replacing from time to time, so do our trees. Our street tree policy calls for the removal of trees only for just cause or when public safety is at risk. 

aerial image of Selkirk's urban canopy