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Common Tree Myths for Condos in Toronto

Condos downtown at night in Toronto with CN Tower in background condo trees

With an ever-increasing number of Toronto residents living in condos, tree care for condos is a growing sector. Everyone from developers to residents to board members can have questions about what to do with condo trees.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest myths surrounding condo trees in the city.

  1. Trees Only Benefit the Lowest Levels

It’s easy to think that only residents on the first couple floors of a condo benefit from trees, especially if you have a high-rise building and young trees. But that’s just not the case! Condos do need trees.

Nobody wants to live in “heat islands”, where there are no trees and plants to provide a cooling effect. High-rise neighbourhoods can create an environment of wind tunnels and concrete. Trees help mitigate these effects and make a neighbourhood more liveable. Residents on the 12th floor still go outside, and they’ll enjoy it more with green space around. This is especially the case if you have shared patios, party rooms, pools or other features on lower levels for all residents to use.

Trees also help cool your building and can grow tall over time, providing more of a view and privacy to residents on higher levels. The benefits to shade, air quality, and green coverage benefit both your condo’s residents and all other residents of the city.

  1. Our Gardener Will Take Care of Trees

Some gardeners know more about trees than others, but their expertise is in garden plants, not trees. For tree work, you need an arborist who understands how to maintain trees. Your plumber may know a little about electrical features, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be hiring them as an electrician.

For both major condo tree maintenance and routine jobs like pruning or fertilizing, consult an arborist who will advise you on the best care and treatments. This is doubly the case when it comes to planting. Urban arborists have training in tree care and health and can recommend the best tree species for the space you have. With the specific needs of condo buildings, it’s important to choose trees that can thrive long term, given limitations on space, shadows and concrete that condos can have.

Construction hoarding around tree protection zone during construction on University of Toronto campus

  1. Tree Maintenance Needs to Be Approved By Boards

Routine tree maintenance falls into the same category as any other routine maintenance of your building. Trees are a common element and ensuring they are healthy and excessive debris and leaves don’t clog your drains or eaves is part of building maintenance.

If owners are asking to have an overgrown or dying branch pruned, consult an arborist for the work. Under section 90 of the Condo Act, condo corporations are responsible for maintaining common elements (including parking, gardens, hallways, elevators, amenities.).

  1. Residents Have a Right to a View

One of the most heated condo-related tree debates is over views. Owners object to existing trees, because they block a view. Owners object to removing trees, because they like the view with the trees. Owners object to planting new trees, because they may block a view.

Unfortunately, condo owners own their condo, not their view. Boards need to consider what’s best for the building and all residents before making decisions about trees, and consult a tree care professional with condo experience to ensure they’re making the best choice for the tree’s health.

  1. If Our Trees Look Healthy, They’re Fine

Trees need regular care too! Especially in the urban environment of condos, smaller spaces for roots to grow, road salt and car exhaust can take a toll on tree health. Fertilizing your trees each year can help mitigate these effects. This is a popular service for many condo corporations and property management companies.

Trees also need regular pruning to ensure healthy branch growth and to make sure broken or damaged limbs don’t cause a risk to people or property. Regular tree maintenance is far more cost-effective for your condominium than dealing with damage when it happens. An arborist’s trained eye can help notice early signs of disease, pests or discoloration that indicates a larger problem.

Keep Your Condo Trees Healthy

It’s not a myth that taking care of your trees pays off! Certified Toronto arborists can help solve your condo tree problems, from pruning to removals to getting those trees planted in the first place. Vista Tree Management is experienced in working with condos, property management companies, and co-ops. Contact us today for a quote for your condominium tree care needs.

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