With summer in full swing, some Steinbach residents have noticed an interesting variety of trees being planted on boulevards throughout the city.
Chris Freund is the Arborist or Tree Doctor for the City of Steinbach. He and his crews have been busy planting trees now that the weather is more cooperative.
These days Freund notes they try to plant a few different species to minimize the effects of any potential pest outbreak.
"With some of these pests out there, they do pose some challenges. We do still plant elm, we have shied away from ash a little bit, we have been planting more oak trees, some maples now and just hoping to find something that works out for us."
Outside of diversity, Freund says they look for hearty trees with the appropriate size and shape for any given area.
So, why plant elm trees if Dutch Elm Disease continues to be an issue?
Freund explains "Dutch Elm Disease is something we consider to be a managed disease and so through some of the practices we have, we feel that if we keep planting them, we will have a mature elm canopy in the future."
Some people may also be surprised that the city is planting slow-growing oak trees but Freund says "You have to start somewhere, right? I always look to K.R. Barkman Park by the fire hall. Those are elm there which are not quite as slow-growing but someone had the vision to plant those trees years and years ago and we're all reaping the benefit now and so you have to take a long-term approach to it."
On urban boulevards like the one on Main Street, Freund says they have taken out a number of Ash trees recently which were showing signs of stress and replaced them with American Elm which are very hearty and resilient to road pollution such as salt.
Outside of planting, Freund says this has been a busy year.
"We have been dealing with a fair bit of storm damage. Clean-up is always ongoing. Then, we have a few big projects like the Southeast Event Centre, there is a bit of work going on there too, so we are keeping busy."