Urban Forest Survey

Our team has conducted thorough site assessments and pinpointed several promising areas for Urban Forest Development. Your insights are crucial in ensuring we make the best decisions for our community's green spaces. The survey period is from July 5th to August 19th, 2024.

Tree Removal

Can you provide more information on the wildlife nest sweeps?

Prior to the clearing of the trees and shrubs, nest sweeps were conducted as required under the Alberta Wildlife Act and the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. With increasing daylight hours in the spring, birds become active and start preparing for the breeding season. In the Drumheller area, some species can be active as early as mid-February (e.g. Great Horned Owls). By mid-March, migratory Canada Geese have returned and start looking for a nesting site immediately after arrival. In addition, cavity nesting non-migratory species such as chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers start to excavate. In addition, smaller owls such as Northern Saw-whet Owls may also start to court and prepare for the breeding season. So yes, the increase in bird activity can be very noticeable. However, at this time of year, active nests are very rare. Some owls and perhaps very early nesting geese may have nests at this time. There are very few species that reuse nests that they built the previous year. If a nest was successful the prior year, there is a good chance that birds from that nest may return to the general region, but the return to a specific tree, let alone the nest, is not common. Most birds do not even pair up with the same mates as the previous year. The process of building a nest is part of the courtship behaviour of most species. Nests typically do not get reused as that would mean skipping of the important rituals of choosing a nest site, attracting a mate, and then building the nest. The reuse of nests is usually limited to larger species such as eagles and large owls, which require very large nests. 


The nest sweeps for this clearing project were to be conducted within 7 days prior to the mobilization to the sites. At this time of year, a week is standard as the risk of new nests being constructed and becoming active remains very low. During May through July, the nest sweep window shortens to three days as that is the peak of the breeding season. No active nests were found during the nest sweeps for the clearing.

Why are the trees being removed now when construction is not until late summer?

Trees are being removed now, in advance of the migratory bird nesting season, as removing them later in the summer would cause impacts to nesting birds.

What is being done with trees and shrubs with black knot?

The tree clearing contractor is required to prepare a plan to manage any black knot infested trees and shrubs to mitigate against spread of the disease. Management techniques include measures such as keeping infested tree and shrub material separate from other felled trees, and burning of infected materials to prevent the spread of spores.

How do I find out more about the carvings and artwork being done with the trees?

You can contact the Community Advisory Committee for more information on the tree carving artwork – floodcommittee@drumheller.ca.

What about trees with Dutch Elm Disease?

Any elm trees to be removed will be felled prior to the end of March and brought to the landfill for burying.  This will mitigate the spread of Dutch Elm Disease by moving these trees before the elm bark beetles are active for the year.

When will the work be done?

The tree removal work will be completed between early March and mid-April, with site clean up continuing to the end of April.  The contractor’s working hours each day will comply with the Town of Drumheller’s Community Standards Bylaw 16-10 for noise.