Urban canopy: Montreal has only planted 24 % of the trees planned

Montreal, Thursday 20 April 2017 – Just a few months away from the end of Phase I of its Canopy Plan, the City of Montreal is far from reaching its objective of 65,000 new trees planted. According to data obtained by Projet Montréal, only 15,778 trees have been added on the city’s territory between 2012 and 2016, or 24 % of the objective for the end of 2017. “The Coderre administration seriously underestimated the number of trees that needed to be cut due to the spread of the emerald ash borer. Since 2012, the City just barely planted more trees than it cut down. The mayor’s lack of vision and interest in environmental issues will have important consequences on Montrealers’ quality of life”, said Valérie Plante, Leader of the Official Opposition.

The objective of the City of Montreal’s Canopy Plan is to increase the plant cover from 20 to 25 % between now and 2021. In order to achieve that objective, the City has committed to planting 65,000 new trees between 2012 and 2017, and to add 33,000 more between 2018 and 2021. “The City has never even come close to its objective of planting 10,800 trees per year. This lack of preparation has a real impact on many of Montreal’s streets, where residents are still waiting for the ashes to be replaced, on heat islands and on pollution. By reacting belatedly to the emerald ash borer epidemic, the Coderre administration has jeopardized Montreal’s canopy. It will take years to catch up”, added Sylvain Ouellet, Official Opposition spokesperson for environmental matters.

Evolution of Montreal’s Plant Cover:

Year

Trees planted

Trees cut

Net gain

2012

8 132

3 312

4 820

2013

7 322

3 965

3 357

2014

7 535

6 623

912

2015

11 159

10 186

973

2016

13 441

7725

5 716

Total

47 589

31 811

15 778


As early as 2014, Projet Montréal asked the Coderre administration to create an emergency fund to fight against the emerald ash borer and to massively plant trees in our streets and parks. The consequences of the mayor’s refusal are visible today. The Official Opposition believes we now have no choice but to provide additional funds to catch up and to ensure we plant the remaining 50,000 trees that were planned before year’s end. « We can’t put this off anymore. The trees that are planted to replace the mature trees that were cut down will take years to reach their breadth. We need to act now », concluded Valérie Plante.

 

For information:

Marc-André Viau, attaché de presse, Opposition officielle à la Ville de Montréal 514 872-1108 / 514 245-6838 marc-andre.viau@ville.montreal.qc.ca

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