Trees in your Yard

Remember that a forest is created tree by tree; if you have trees in your yard, you have a role to play in keeping Red Deer’s urban forest healthy and vibrant. Understanding what your tree needs is the first step to enjoying your trees for years to come.



Timing is critical, and you should avoid pruning in the spring when your tree is budding and developing leaves, as this can stress your tree. Typically, the best times to prune are in the winter months when trees are fully dormant or in the midsummer months when trees are in full leaf. Pay attention to what type of tree you're pruning, as birch and maple should be pruned in July and August, when they are in full leaf. Always use proper pruning practices to maintain healthy trees, and don't prune away more than 1/4 of the live parts of the tree per year. 

Smaller or dwarf varieties of trees provide access to fruit and require little pruning. Many times trees don't require pruning to maintain their natural appearance.

Trees or shrubs growing on private property and next to City boulevards, sidewalks, curbs or lanes must be properly trimmed. The following height restrictions allow for safe and adequate sight lines as per Traffic Bylaw 3701/2023 (effective October 16, 2023) (pdf).

  • Branches projecting over a sidewalk must be at least 225 cm (7.5 ft) high
  • Branches projecting over a roadway or lane must be at least 412 cm (13.5 ft) high

If a street sign is located next to your property, you are responsible for trimming all hedges and trees so they do not interfere with the visibility of the sign. This includes trees and hedges on your property and/or bordering boulevard (between your property line and the back of the sidewalk). 


Residents on corner sites must not assemble, place or allow any building, fence, hedge, tree or vegetation to grow higher than 90 cm (3 ft) within a set area. Please refer to section Land Use Bylaw 3357/2006 - Part 3 - General Regulations Applicable to all Districts (pdf) for the specific requirements based on your corner site.

Follow these simple tips when planting a tree:

  • Choose a location, taking into consideration sightlines, sun requirements and powerlines
  • Call Alberta One-Call before you dig
  • Dig a hole twice as big as the root ball
  • The depth should allow the tree flare to be slightly above the ground
  • Fill in the hole with good soil
  • Top with mulch, being sure not to crowd around the base of the trunk 

Newly planted trees should be watered from early spring until the leaves drop in the fall. Weekly watering is typically adequate, but remember not to over-water, as tree roots need breathing time. Older, well-established trees should be watered in the outer half of the area under the canopy; water deeply rather than frequently to fully benefit the roots.

Monitoring for insects and diseases

Get to know your tree species so that you can learn what insects and/or diseases may impact it. This will go a long way to preventing major problems. 

Do you have an elm tree in your yard? If so, make sure to follow all federal and provincial regulations such as the pruning ban and material disposal. 


When you undertake any renovation or construction project in your yard, don't forget about the impact you may have on your tree's roots. The installation or removal of sidewalks, pavers, patios or foundations can interfere with tree roots, so keep your trees in mind and remove roots only when necessary. 

Whether you're doing yard maintenance or a major construction project, remember to be kind to your trees. Accidental lawnmower, weed eater or shovel wounds can damage your tree's health and lead to disease. For more information on preventing damage during construction, review the Tree Protection Fence (pdf)  information sheet. 


If you are unsure of the ownership of a tree in your front yard (whether it is in the City setback or not) please contact Parks & Public Works at 403-342-8238 or email


Do you have trees in your yard near powerlines? Contact the City of Red Deer Utilities Department if you have any questions. 

For more information please contact Parks & Public Works at 403-342-8238 or