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Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot program launches March 1


The City of Burlington’s Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot program launches today (Friday, March 1).

It will only affect the Roseland community for two years, ending in March 2021 when a report with recommendations will be presented to Burlington City Council.  Later this year, the City will start the process of engaging with the public on the possibility of implementing a citywide private tree bylaw.

The pilot project is looking to protect trees on private properties with diameters larger than 30 centimetres, and historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

Local residents and businesses looking to learn more about how the bylaw will protect Burlington’s tree canopy can visit the City’s website at

Two information sessions were held on Jan. 29 and Feb. 26 specifically for Roseland residents.

About the Private Tree Bylaw

The bylaw states that no one can injure, destroy, cause or allow the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30 cm or larger, or of a tree of significance (meaning historic or rare). The full bylaw,  including information on permits, exemptions and fines, is available online on the City’s website.

Examples of exemptions include:

  • Trees with a diameter of less than 30 cm;
  • 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 of Urban Forestry;
  • If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or a designate;
  • If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate; and
  • If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building.For more exemptions, visit

More exemptions can be found at


  • Anyone looking to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm, or a tree of significance, can apply for a permit online by visiting
  • If a tree is removed without a permit, there is a minimum fine of $500 and maximum fine of $100,000.


Healthy and mature trees benefit more than just the property owner, they benefit everyone in the community. From their flood mitigation and wind reduction properties, ability to provide habitat to birds and other creatures, and significant contribution to our clean air, they’re an asset that grows in value with each passing year. For the health and well-being of our city, they deserve our protection. We believe this Private Tree Bylaw will do just that.

I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees and as I mentioned in my inaugural address, protecting Burlington’s tree canopy is one my goals — they’re a valuable resource we need to preserve.

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1 thought on “Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot program launches March 1”

  1. My Take:
    I don’t like the idea. I have a very small property with numerous trees on it. The tree roots wreak havoc on my sewage pipes, which need to be cleared out every year. It’s costing me a lot of money although I am retired on a fixed income. Of course, I am not allowed to cut these city trees. I also am having trouble keeping up with all the new laws and rules that are constantly imposed upon us. Now, our trees are not really our trees even when they’re not city trees. Yikes!
    This lack of personal freedom is NOT what my ancestors gave their lives up for in World War ll.
    Btw, you’re doing a great job Marianne. Keep up the great work!

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