By Meagan Hanna, MA. ISA Board Certified Master Arborist – Quebec Representative, CUFN National Steering Committee

With Earth Day not far behind, this May, Quebec citizens and local professionals have more than one reason to contemplate the essential roles that trees play in the province’s communities. Over the last two months particularly, colossal efforts have been made to complete the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees across the province (see article on Urban forestry events in Quebec: Spring 2017). Several organizations and municipalities have shown that by working together, people can collectively achieve goals that are nothing short of remarkable.

But what comes next? Once the trees are in the ground what can we, as an industry, do to keep the spotlight on the necessity and sustainability of our urban forests? How can we keep up this momentum of collaboration as we go from planting to growing the urban forest? How can we pool our experience, knowledge and resources together to not only create the most optimal conditions for tree growth and longevity, but to enhance our ability to resolve urban forestry problems quickly and effectively? This is the case for network building.

The following update is only a sample of urban forestry-related initiatives and issues unfolding in Quebec, but with each case it is more apparent that our region would benefit from an active network. What could a functioning network of local professionals do for urban forestry in Quebec? For starters, it could facilitate the exchange of information on timely issues such as the progression of forest pests and pathogens, new methods for the control of invasive species or advanced technology to make optimize our work. With this steady of flow of reliable information, professionals would have the tools to intervene quicker and more effectively. A network could also give us a platform to share our success stories and develop regional best practices rather than leaving each community to reinvent the wheel over and over again, for example. Moreover, a network has the potential to cultivate strength in numbers. With more professionals rallying together towards a common goal, such as securing funding or passing better legislation, our wish list items for more resilient urban forests will be closer to a reality.

With these goals in mind, 2017 will be a year of network building. Throughout the course of the year efforts will be made to reach out to urban forestry professionals across the province. If you have time to share information, identify priorities for urban forestry in Quebec or help resolve industry issues constructively, please contact Meagan Hanna, your CUFN Steering Committee Representative for the Quebec region: Meagan.hanna@ville.montreal.qc.ca.

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