Stricter rules about removing trees for Oakville homeowners

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Published March 27, 2024 at 4:39 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

In an effort to preserve as many trees as possible in Oakville, Town councillors tightened the regulations regarding their removal.

The additional measures, passed at this week’s meeting, include new procedures under the by-law to detail the key steps for assessing applications for private tree removal.

This procedure aims to reinforce the guidelines for conserving trees on private property, reduce unwarranted removal of healthy trees and enhance the overall tree canopy of the town.

“The town’s urban forest plays a critical role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and contributing to overall health and well-being of the community,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

“Monitoring data reveals we are on track toward meeting our canopy cover goal of 40 per cent by 2057, the year of our bicentennial. Taking additional steps for the protection and growth of the town’s tree canopy is crucial to ensure a thriving and vibrant town for our residents.”

The new procedure incorporates many of the suggestions put forth in a study carried out by a team of consultants from the University of Toronto and the Ontario Woodlot Association.

Among the recommendations are:

  • Removing cedar from the list of suitable replacement trees when permits are issued to remove any other coniferous or deciduous tree protected under the by-law. Cedar trees are slow growing and cannot compensate for the loss of canopy cover of the removed trees.
  • Limiting the practice of accepting cash in-lieu of tree replacement with replacement trees planted on municipal property as a condition of tree removal permits when there is room to replant trees on the same property.
  • Avoid issuing permits for the removal of all by-law protected trees from private properties slated for development, if reasonable opportunities exists to keep healthy trees.
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