by Annabel Krupp

As the North End sees an increase in visitors to its beautiful lake side trails and parks, and awaits further development starting this year, the speed of local traffic is on many people’s minds. 30km/h speed signs have popped up on neighbour’s lawns and the North End Traffic Management Plan has implemented many safety features like sidewalk bump outs and converting MacNab to a two-way street.

Another way we can help slow traffic is to plant some trees. Urban street trees narrow the appearance of a road and provide a defined edge. This leads to reductions in run-off-the-road crashes and can reduce speed by 5-25 km/h.  Street trees also increase security, result in improved businesses, lower urban temperatures and pollutants, and provide habitat for birds and other small mammals.

And the City of Hamilton will plant a tree on your property for free; all you have to do is ask.  It is called the Street Tree Planting Program. The city will provide and plant free trees to homeowners. Trees are planted in the city owned road allowance of your property. Standard lots can have one free tree, corner lots up to three. There are approximately 40 types of trees to choose from and a Forestry Investigator will help choose a species that works for your site.  Trees are planted each spring and fall and it is as simple as filling out a one page form online. But do it soon. This is a popular program and has the old adage goes “the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best time is now.” The City’s Street Planting Program can be found at