On January 1, 2021 the new Tree Protection By-law No. 2020-340 came into effect. This By-law replaces the City’s previous Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law No. 2006-279 and the Urban Tree Conservation By-law No. 2009-200. It is the result of the Tree By-law Review project, recommended as part of the Council-approved Urban Forest and Management Plan (UFMP).
Two new processes that Forestry Services will implement as a result of the new Tree Protection By-law.
- The first is a public notice of tree removal that will be posted on select City trees at the time the trees are marked for removal by Forestry Services.
- The second is a standardized notification process that informs Councillors of select City trees and permitted private trees identified for removal within their ward.
Tree Removal Permits and Public Notices
Tree Removal Permits must be obtained, through an online application process, before City-owned trees or protected privately owned trees are removed. The Tree Protection By-law requires permit holders to post the tree removal permit on their premises seven days before and seven days after the tree is removed. This requirement is unchanged from the previous by-law and applies to sites that are not subject to Site Plan or Subdivision applications. Under the new Tree Protection By-law, permit holders must also post a public notice of tree removal on the tree itself seven days before the tree is removed.
Public Notices: Tree Removal of City Owned Trees
In order to be consistent with the posting requirements for tree permit holders, Forestry Services will be implementing a process whereby a public notice of tree removal will be posted on select City trees or groups of trees to be removed by Forestry operations. This public notice will be placed on the tree at the time it is marked for removal and includes the reason for the removal. The Tree Removal Public Notice and Forestry Services’ guidelines for posting are available here for your reference.
Email Notification of Tree Removal
Forestry Services has also established a standardized process for notifying Councillors of select trees or groups of trees identified for removal in their ward. Where a tree is identified for removal, Forestry Services has inspected the tree, has considered alternatives to removal where appropriate, and made an informed decision that the removal is warranted.
Effective April 5, 2021, as trees are marked for removal or as tree removal permits are issued, the ward Councillor will receive an email with details of the trees or group of trees that have been approved to be removed. The guidelines for Councillor email notifications as well as a sample email are attached for reference.
There will be some instances where Councillors will not receive a notification of tree removal and where a public notice will be posted. For example, if a tree removal permit is not required under the by-law or for the urgent removal of a hazardous tree. There will be other circumstances where trees are scheduled to be removed and the notice of tree removals to Councillors may come through other channels (i.e. infrastructure projects, site plans, plans of subdivisions, utility work, etc.).
For additional information regarding the by-law, please visit the City’s Tree Protection By-law webpage.
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