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Second drop-in information session for Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot

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The City of Burlington is hosting its second public drop-in information session for the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw pilot before the program takes effect on March 1.

The info session is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Central Areana’s auditorium, from 7-9 p.m. It will give residents and businesses the chance to learn about the bylaw and speak with city staff, including members of the City’s Forestry Department. If you can’t attend, more information is available online on the City’s website: burlington.ca/privatetree.

The Private Tree Bylaw will only affect the Roseland community for two years — 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 and how it will impact their homes and businesses should make plans to attend the drop-in info session. 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 with approximately 25 people attending the session.

“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.” – Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry

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 Burlington.ca/PrivateTree

More exemptions can be found at Burlington.ca/PrivateTree.

Permits/Fines

  • 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 Burlington.ca/PrivateTree.
  • If a tree is removed without a permit, there is a minimum fine of $500 and maximum fine of $100,000.

MY TAKE:

I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees. Their benefits go far beyond the beauty they provide. Their ability to mitigate flooding and absorb pollution is tremendous. Our trees are a critical part of Burlington’s infrastructure; we need to protect them and that’s what we believe this Private Tree Bylaw will do. As I mentioned in my inaugural address, protecting Burlington’s tree canopy is one my goals — they’re a valuable resource we need to protect.

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annemarie.cumber@burlington.ca
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