When it comes to what you can, can’t, and must do with your yard as a Calgarian, the city has quite a bit to say. From fines for weeds or long grass (over 15 cm / 6 inches) to fines for pruning or spraying the wrong tree, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the many bylaws concerning how Calgarians can use their yard.
Trees & Shrubs.
Many neighbourhoods in Calgary have streets that are lined with trees. Depending on the location and shape of your property, it can be more than a little confusing to know where your private property ends and public property begins. If you aren’t certain of your exact property line, you should find out. Trees that are on public land are the property of the city. Pruning, spraying, or (worst of all) cutting down one of these trees can lead to fines up to $500.
Similarly, any trees or shrubs that are planted within your private property are your responsibility. If they begin to overhang the sidewalk, road, or other public areas, you’ll need to have them maintained. Finally, Calgarians who have purchased a new home (congrats!) are required to plant trees. Remember to use a premium soil blend to give your new trees the best start possible. You may also want to mulch, which will help protect your tree’s roots from Calgary’s yo-yoing weather and also control weeds.
Fire pits and other fire features are becoming increasingly popular in contemporary landscaping. This is no surprise. Beautiful and welcoming, fire features are natural extensions of outdoor living spaces that naturally draw people together. However, a fire feature that doesn’t meet Calgary bylaws could leave you viable for fines up to $5000 — here’s what you need to know when planning a landscaping design that includes a fire feature.
- The fire pit must be in the backyard, and they should be a maximum of 1 metre high and wide.
- Fire pits must be a minimum of two metres from your property line and from any structures (including sheds, fences, etc). They cannot be located beneath trees (including overhanging branches), and they need to be built into the ground, on an inflammable surface (stone/brick), or in a fire-proof container. Portable fire pits may not be placed directly on a wood.
As we go into spring, it’s feeling impossible to know what’s going to happen next. Coronavirus has seemingly changed everything, but remember that many of the best things in life are still available. Calgarians can still garden, soak up the sun in their backyard, enjoy a barbeque, or drink a beer and roast marshmallows with their family around a firepit. If your backyard isn’t a place you want to spend time in, this is the perfect summer to change that! Plant some yardsmart perennials for beauty, raise tomatoes or strawberries for a perfect summer treat, and install some favourite landscaping features, like a fire pit, so your backyard becomes a place you and your family want to spend time!
At Soil Kings, you can order all the top quality soil, mulch, and aggregates you need online, and we’ll deliver them to your house — contact free. So dream big, and get started on your landscaping project! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with a surplus of free time and the right landscaping supplies.