Manitoba Sustainable Development has partnered with the Manitoba Forestry Association (MFA) and Trees Winnipeg to announce the first provincial Heritage Tree Program in Canada. The program was launched in 2015 and is legislated under the Forest Health Protection Act.
The aim of this program is to increase public recognition that trees are an important feature of the Manitoba landscape. Some of our trees have major historical significance, are exceptional in size, rare or notable for other reasons.
Trees which are:
… could be considered Heritage Trees!
Anyone may nominate a tree for Heritage Tree designation. Each nomination will be assessed based on established criteria to determine heritage status. Trees which are selected for heritage designation can be a vital asset in Manitoba’s tourism industry as communities may choose to highlight those trees as attractions or as part of public events. All nominated trees will be added to the publicly accessible Manitoba Tree Register and individuals will have the satisfaction of knowing that their unique trees will be a part of our province’s collective history.
How do I nominate a Heritage Tree?
Anyone can nominate a tree on Crown, municipal or private property.
To nominate a tree, please visit our partners’ websites to access the online “Manitoba Tree Register” or to download a nomination form.
Manitoba Forestry Association
Each nomination will then be reviewed by Trees Winnipeg or Manitoba Forestry Association for completeness and accuracy. Once complete, nominations will be reviewed by the Manitoba Heritage Tree Review Committee. Based on an established set of criteria, this committee will choose a select number of nominated trees for recommendation to the Minister for final Heritage Tree designation. While not every tree that is nominated will receive designation under the Heritage Tree Program, those trees that are not designated as Heritage Trees will still remain a part of the Manitoba Tree Register.
There has been much excitement around this program and there could be an influx of nominations in the first few years. Nominated trees may remain on the Manitoba Tree Register while information is verified or while the committee processes all nominations for Heritage Tree Designation.
How are Heritage Trees protected?
The Forest Health Protection Act provides protection for designated heritage trees located on Provincial Crown land to prevent their removal for reasons other than forest health, public safety, or necessary infrastructure work (and only with approval of the Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister). The legislation also encourages municipalities to enact by-laws to protect designated heritage trees located on municipal lands. Protection of trees on all other properties will be encouraged through voluntary measures with the landowner.