Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 - bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 – bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

The City of Burlington’s second public drop-in information session on the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw pilot is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Arena’s auditorium.

The first drop in session took place at LaSalle Park, about as far away as one could get from where the impact of the bylaw is going to be felt.

The Private Tree Bylaw will come into effect on March 1, 2019, only within the Roseland community area, for two years. Later this year the city will begin the process of public engagement on the possibility of implementing a citywide private tree bylaw.

Appleby Village - trees on Pineland

These trees in the east end of the city are at the edge of land that a developer wants to put two apartment towers on – the trees would be cut down and replaced.

The pilot project aims to protect private trees with diameters larger than 30 cm, historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend to learn more about how the bylaw will protect Burlington’s tree canopy and how it will impact their homes and businesses.

Businesses such as landscapers, pool companies, homebuilders, general contractors and tree companies are also encouraged to come and learn about the bylaw.

The first information session was held earlier in the month specifically for Roseland residents. Approximately 25 people attended the session.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

Private property – private tree. This type of thing would not be possible under a private tree bylaw – without something in the way of consequences.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).

To read the full bylaw, including information on permits, exemptions and fines, visit Burlington.ca/PrivateTree.

Examples of exemptions include:

• Trees with a diameter of less than 30cm
• For the purpose of pruning in accordance with Good Arboricultural Practices
• For emergency work
• If the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager
• If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building
• For more exemptions, visit Burlington.ca/privatetree

Willow tree wood

This will tree was taken down in |Spencer Smith Park because it was thought to be diseased and in danger of falling down. No permit was needed.

Permits
A person wanting to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting Burlington.ca/privatetree.

Fines
Minimum fine is $500. Maximum fine is $100,000.

Public Information Session
Residents and businesses are invited to attend an information session on the Private Tree Bylaw pilot on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Central Arena (auditorium), 519 Drury Lane, Burlington.
The session will allow residents and businesses to learn about the Private Tree Bylaw and how it will impact their homes, business and neighbourhood by speaking with city staff including members of the Forestry Department.

For those who are unable to attend, more information can be found at burlington.ca/privatetree.

In comments from the Office of the Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees. Their benefit extends far beyond the beauty they provide. Their ability to mitigate flooding and absorb pollution is tremendous. They are a critical part of Burlington’s green infrastructure; we need to protect them and that’s what we believe this Private Tree Bylaw will accomplish.”

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains that: “Every tree matters. Our trees are under constant threat from climate change, weather-related storm events, invasive insects and diseases, as well as people. The benefits trees provide to all of us are critical such as air quality, shade, and carbon sequestration. We are working hard to protect trees, including encouraging preservation and replanting to restore lost canopy. It takes decades for the lost benefits of one mature tree to be replaced. Together, we can keep Burlington green and healthy which benefits us all.”

GreenUp 2017 tree plant

When large numbers of new trees have to be planted scores of volunteers show up.

There are those that are having problems accepting that the city can tell them what they can do with trees on their property. Understanding that a tree is not a person’s property but a piece of nature that they have become stewards of while they are owners of the property. As a steward their role is to do everything they can to ensure the tree is cared for and allowed to grow to its full maturity and serve the environmental needs of the wider community.

One can no longer cut down a tree just because one no longer wants to rake the leaves up in the fall.

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4 comments to Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 – bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

  • Jim Feilders

    Albert, you and I agree on most things or can agree to disagree. As you point out, it is not the small infill projects that are the problem, it is the replanting aspect. This pilot bylaw will not do enough to increase the overall canopy as discussed in my previous article. To your issue about where to place basement excavated soil, I say don’t put in a basement. It also helps with flood protection. But permit higher homes without resorting to flat roof structures that don’t fit with the streetscape. Do people realize how much their heating/cooling bill goes up with ten foot high ceilings?

    Regarding leaves, why not plant more conifers?

    The statement saying “One can no longer cut down a tree just because one no longer wants to rake the leaves up in the fall.” is misleading. Any tree can be cut down under one foot diameter and any other tree as long as the fine is paid and neighbours agree.This bylaw has to change immediately to what our Site Plan Guidelines and other municipalities do for replacement. The one-to one City tree replacement policy reveals the replacement of Ash trees is falling behind. This bylaw should be changed as well.

  • Steve G

    The trees we have now, are here without a bylaw. Shows how much it is really needed.

    Note to self. Cut down trees before they get very large. Don’t plant trees as they are too regulated.

    Is this some artifact from the last administration? About as popular as “road diets.”

  • Alfred

    Yes there are those that are having problems accepting that the City can tell them what they can do with trees on their property. Why is this responsibility only that of property owners with trees? Will we be forcing people to plant trees on their properties that have none, To share in the environmental needs of the community? How about the community and City employees pitching in to cover the job of collecting leaves and paying for the maintenance of these trees. As my dad always said ” it’s easy to spend other peoples money” People with no trees get to enjoy the very rare sunlight we get in this area. How many sunny days have we had this winter. This lunacy has a small but loud voice. They probably think people in Roseland with their large warm comfortable homes should take in homeless people and feed them in the winter months. It would serve the well being of the wider community. You see it’s always a great idea when it’s someone else house. Why not? We appear to want to order people into forced labour against their will. To pick up and clean leaves and the expense of maintaining trees.While their neighbours with no trees across the street or in a condo. Laugh at them poor fools for planting a tree.It appears that this council found a solution where there is no problem. A staff report found that approx: 1,800 trees were cut down by tree care companies a year. Before one worries. Understand that 78% of these trees were dead or dying. 17% were removed because of damage to property or poor planting locations. Only 5% were cut down for home improvements or 90 trees since some of these trees would still be legal to cut down. A tree by-law could cost an applicant in the range of $10,000 to a $1,000,000 dollars. It could further delay someones application for a renovation or new construction by to 4 months if you are lucky. A home that could be built in the summer will now be pushed into the dead of winter. Making the jobsites more dangerous and the quality of work less predictable. A quick example would be, say we have a tree that is protected in the rear of a new house. Normally we would excavate the dirt pile in up in the back of the house. Then refill the new foundation. If a single tree has to be protected and fenced in. All the 50 truckloads or more of fill has to be taken from the rear of the house with a 2 or 3 ton machine, It would have to make more than 300 trips back and forth between the front and back and load this on to the trucks have to come and remove the fill. These homes might only be 10 feet part. Does anyone want this heavy machinery running next to their house imagine the damage to block basements or the roads. What alternative do you have take away fill by helicopter. Then we have to repeat this process bringing the fill back. All this to save 50 trees in a City that staff says has over 3,000,000.00 Yes 3 million. To be cont……

  • Dave

    Bingo!!! … “Understanding that a tree is not a person’s property but a piece of nature that they have become stewards of while they are owners of the property.”

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