Clear cutting in rural Burlington destroys parts of an Eco-system.

By Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2021



It was a tough tough weekend for Hope Woodcock and her family.

They live in the rural part of Burlington on Bell School Line. On Thursday morning of last week she heard a lot of noise coming from the property next to her and was mortified when she saw a huge backhoe ripping trees out of the ground and cutting others.

The view before the clear cutting started.

They call the Regional Forestry department just after the noon hour when they realized the backhoe operator wasn’t going to stop cutting after just a few trees.

It became clear he was going to do some serious clearing.

Woodcock was told by the Regional people that there wasn’t a forester on staff; that the Region had a contract with a company to handle tree cutting issues.

The best they were going to be able to do was get someone out on the 18th.

Backhoe ripping trees out of the ground – included cutting a 100 year old oak that didn’t appear to have any problems.

When a 100 year old Oak that looked to be in fine shape was being taken down Woodcock called the Region again and got in touch with the ward councillor.

Woodcock called the city forestry department and was told that everything above the 407 was handled by the Region.

Meanwhile the trees kept coming down.

On Friday Woodcock’s husband went to the Regional office and was told “they’d send someone over” No help. Destruction continued.

The Woodcocks fear that with the trees gone they will experience some flooding because the trees are no longer there to absorb the water. “A whole ecosystem has been destroyed.”

The land is owned by an absentee landlord who was denied a permit to build a house on the property some time ago.

The new view from the Woodcock back yard

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13 comments to Clear cutting in rural Burlington destroys parts of an Eco-system.

  • Alfred

    David and Bruce.

    The City had the authority to enact a by-law for all of Burlington. They chose not to enact it in North Burlington as the Mayor was afraid she would lose votes there among the rural land owners who lobbied against it, Heck she was able to convince most of the people it was City wide. Now you know what a tricky Mayor we have.

    • Bruce Leigh

      I believe the City cannot extend the bylaw north of the 407 because it is under the Region’s and Conservation Authority’s jurisdiction

  • Alfred

    Tree by-law does not apply to North Burlington,

  • Denise W.

    Might be handled by the region, but I would think Burlington bylaws still apply?

  • Mozelle Cole

    I cannot believe the City and Region did not know what was going on. If interested in our eco system (as portrayed), someone would have been dispatched immediately. Consequences. Fines will not put the trees back OOPS! I have lived below an absentee owner for 20 years. Eight leaks, two floods and no consequences.
    Good luck to the Woodcock family.

  • Ireland

    Where are our officials …are our councillors that inept? Who represents the people ? it is evident the people of Burlington are insignificant citizens getting in the way of the political agend and those who feel it’s OK to ignore citizens.

  • Judith Murray

    This kind of careless and stupid destruction of a viable functioning eco system is UNACCEPTABLE! WAKE UP HALTON! WAKE UP BURLINGTON! The number of transgressions in this shameful, shocking tree clearance is intolerable. There has to be 24 hour a day seven day a week rapid response contact for citizens when they see what is clearly an unlawful clearing of a woodland. There is a Burlington bylaw that governs the cutting of trees on properties that are designated residential. Urgent action was needed for clarification and it was missing in action..

  • Phil Waggett

    And today I noted another of the fine oak trees that line the east side of Pine Cove Road being taken down–this is at least the third one of these giants to be removed in the past two years. I wonder how Burlington’s vaunted “tree by-law” is doing at protecting the urban forest–at least on Pine Cove, not so much.

    • Dave Turner

      Have you checked with the City’s Forestry Department to ask why the trees were taken down. It was probably diseased or rotten. Unfortunately nothing lives forever. Though personally I’m hoping that is incorrect LOL.

      • Philip Waggett

        Based on the healthy trunk system of the oak tree, it had nothing to do with “diseased or rotten”.
        Every section of the trunk that was cut showed a healthy tree; possibly (although unlikely) there was a problem with some of the upper canopy but that wouldn’t justify the cutting of the tree.

    • Bruce Leigh

      Denise W, Ireland, & Mozelle Cole

      Having reviewed the location against a Google Map and the City of Burlington’s Private Tree Bylaw it appears as though the location is not covered by the CoB’s bylaw. The bylaw applies to the “urban” area south of the 407. So it looks as though all responsibility lies with the Region of Halton. Criticize the Region.

      Having said that, it certainly is a lesson to be learned by the City – enforcement needs to be readily available 24/7/365. Transgressors do not live by 9 to 5