Fruit Tree Replacement Program

Jasper National Park

Discouraging bears from entering the Jasper townsite requires a community-wide approach. Removing bear attractants keeps people safe and gives bears the best chance of survival. In the spring of 2024, Parks Canada launched a Fruit Tree Replacement Program for Jasper residents and businesses. This new initiative will provide leaseholders who remove a non-native fruit tree with a replacement non-fruit-bearing tree.

Parks Canada’s human-wildlife coexistence team responded to over 400 bear-related incidents in the Jasper townsite in 2023. Mother bears are teaching their cubs that the town is a good place to find food, and the bears are becoming increasingly habituated. Once bears feed on fruit, they will repeatedly come back for more and keeping these bears out of town is not possible while fruit remains accessible as a food source. While these animals are not demonstrating any aggression towards people at this point, bears in residential areas pose a risk to public safety. Incidents include bears feeding in trees near schools, daycares and playgrounds; unexpectedly encountering residents; bluff-charging dogs and people; and searching for food in buildings and backyards from sources such as bird feeders, coolers and compost bins.

Program highlights

Eligibility

  • Jasper residents and businesses who removed non-native fruit trees from their properties between 2019 and 2023 will be given priority for replacement trees.
  • Residents and businesses who remove fruit trees in 2024.

Tree types and availability

  • A total of 270 trees are available for the spring 2024 launch, with plans to expand the program in 2025.
    • 170 trees have been claimed with 100 still looking for a home.
  • Five tree species will be available: native trembling aspen, paper birch, non-fruit-bearing columnar aspen, spring snow flowering crabapple or silver maple.
  • Replacement trees will be approximately 6 feet tall and 1–1.5 inches in diameter, ensuring a strong start for growth.
  • Delivery of trees is scheduled for late May or early June 2024. Recipients are encouraged to plant their trees within two weeks of delivery to ensure optimal establishment.

How to participate

  • Contact Parks Canada by email jasperwildlife-jasperfaune@pc.gc.ca or call 780-820-0191.

  • Parks Canada staff may be able to assist with the removal of existing fruit trees and the planting of new ones, to be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on tree size, complexity and staff availability.

Together, we can promote a harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

If you spot a bear in the Jasper townsite, please report it immediately to Jasper Dispatch at 780-852-6155. Swift responses to bear issues in the park will help ensure public safety and deter continued bear incursions into the townsite. If you see bears being moved by Parks Canada staff, please move calmly out of the way.

Learn more about sharing habitat with bears.

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