Tree Pruning

Town of Olds Traffic Bylaw 04.15 states: No owner or occupant of private property shall allow any vegetation overhanging a sidewalk, boulevard, roadway or alley to reach a height less than four (4) metres above the said sidewalk, boulevard, roadway or alley.

Sightlines & Obstructions

All vegetation and obstructions must be cut back or removed to ensure visibility at all intersections, including alleyways. Vegetation must be trimmed to allow safe passage for pedestrians, vehicles and heavy equipment.
No owner or occupant of a property may park a vehicle, or build, place, erect or fence, wall, dirt pile, snow pile, or other object within 6 metres of an intersection.

Check Your Trees for Disease

Black Knot Disease

A proliferation outbreak of Black Knot Disease on trees has been observed in Olds. This dreaded fungal disease affects Apricots, Plums and Cherries in the Prunus genus. This is most prevalent in Schubert Chokecherry and Mayday trees here in Alberta although other cherry trees and plums can certainly be affected.
How to Identify Black Knot
It starts as olive green gall or swelling and over two to three years will grow into a bulky, black, tar like growth on the affected branch.  If  it is not dealt with it will spread to other parts of the tree internally and externally. When the gall is mature it releases huge amounts of spores in the spring that are airborne infecting other trees in your neighbourhood. Eventually the branch above the infection will die back. The tree will not die immediately but suffer a long slow death when not controlled and if the infection becomes extreme.
How to Control Black Knot
It is best to prune in late autumn after the leaves have fallen and right through the winter into early spring before you see any new buds starting to swell. It must be cut out of the tree at least 12 inches below the infected area.  Make  a proper pruning cut, do not leave  a stub. Make sure that the infected branch is disposed of properly, best to burn immediately, do not put it into the compost bin.
Please ensure all pruning equipment is sterilized following each cut, as the disease transfers easily.
If you must remove your tree, do not plant another Prunus species in the same spot. Make sure your trees are healthy so they are less likely to be infected by the spores floating through the air in spring. Consider hiring a certified arborist if you are not sure your tree is infected or not sure what to do.

Dutch Elm Disease

Symptoms can first be seen in June and early July. Leaves will wilt and curl, turning yellow and brown in summer. Branches begin to die back. Brown staining can be seen on the side of the tree when the bark is peeled back.
Elms should be well watered from April to mid August. 
Dead branches and trees that provide beetle habitat should be removed. Since elm bark beetles are attracted to fresh tree wounds, pruning should be done between October 1 to March 31 when the beetles are not in their active stage.
Dispose of all elm wood you have by taking it to your local landfill or by burning, burying or chipping it. 

Birch Leaf Miner

The following tips will help you maintain a healthy birch tree:
Roots of birch trees need a cool, moist, shady location. Proper site selection is crucial for a long, healthy existence.
Fertilizing is best done in early spring at the onset of the growing season. Lawn fertilizer applications around the tree may be sufficient.
Prune any dead wood and remove the smaller of any branches that rub one another. Birch tree pruning is best done after the leaves are fully developed (June to July).
During the growing season, provide water during prolonged drought conditions. Thoroughly soak the area under and around thetree at least once a week if no rainfall.

Download the Tree Pruning Brochure