Information sessions on what you can and cannot do with the trees on your property: private tree bylaw now in effect

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

February 5th, 2020



Now for the hard part – convincing those seriously opposed to the Private Tree Bylaw that it can work and that the city is going to be both reasonable and understanding.

That is a tough sell at this point. In the past the forestry people h ave not been all that reasonable and not very understanding either.

Sharman folded

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

While Council voted for this bylaw unanimously, Councillor Sharman was very vocal saying that the plan had been rushed and not thoroughly thought through.  He fully expects to see this bylaw back before council at some point.  His comments are linked below.

Part of the agreement when the bylaw was passed was that the city was going to hold a series of public information sessions to help residents and businesses learn about the newly adopted Private Tree Bylaw.

The information sessions will be held in various parts of the City at both afternoon and evening times to better accommodate people’s schedules.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
Appleby Ice Centre, Community Room 1
1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Central Arena, Auditorium
1 to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Freeman and Indian Point Rooms
7 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020

Aldershot Arena, Community Room
7 to 9 p.m.

Registration is not necessary. Presentation and Q&A will begin 15-minutes after start-times.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

The issue is the tree canopy – saving what we have and growing even more.

Interesting to note that there are no presentations for the communities north of the QEW and south of Dundas/407.

The rural communities are exempted from the bylaw until more research is done and a there better understanding of rural needs.

The sessions will cover when a permit is required, when it is not, replacement trees and costs. Participants will also be able to ask questions of Forestry staff.

sharman and AB in huddle

Councillors Paul Sharman and Angelo Bentivegna conferring on an issue.

Councillor Sharman and Bentivegna were opposed to the approach the city was taking.  Bentivegna wanted the city to spend money on planting more trees and not spend money on preventing people from removing trees to improve their property.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
As of Jan. 27, 2020, anyone within the City’s urban boundary will need to apply online for a permit and on-site consultation to remove a tree greater than 20 cm in diameter (8”) measured at 1.4 m from the ground, or if you would like to remove more than five trees between 10 and 20 cm (4-8”) measured at 1.4 m from the ground in a calendar year. Heritage trees and endangered species are also protected.

Permits are also needed for any activity that may injure or damage a tree.

To apply for a permit or to read the full bylaw, including information on permits, protected trees, exemptions and fines, visit

Steve Robinson Forestry Manager

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry is the lead on this. His challenge is to convince people to work with him. If he does that he could grow professionally and get elevated to one of those Executive Director positions the city has created.

Robinson said: “This bylaw is an important piece of legislation. I encourage any homeowner thinking of doing any backyard or home renovation to attend one of these sessions to learn about what requires a permit, what doesn’t, replacement trees, costs and the process.

Contractors, developers, arbourists, pool companies and landscape tradespeople are encouraged to attend as well.”

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5 comments to Information sessions on what you can and cannot do with the trees on your property: private tree bylaw now in effect

  • James

    “Interesting to note that there are no presentations for the communities north of the QEW and south of Dundas/407.”

    This comes as no surprise at all really, the Mayor of Ward 2 hasn’t shown any interest in the rest of the city since election day. Her entire focus has been on her downtown supporters, she and her Councillor puppets haven’t done a thing for those of us living outside the apparent Ward 2 city boundary except make things worse. What the Mayor wants, the Mayor gets, all because the bobbleheads sitting around the horseshoe go along with it, even when they don’t agree with what she’s saying. While she’s busy having slumber parties with her Ward 2 bestie, the others get no attention at all. The Meed Ward Show is focused on a very limited audience, this term of Council has been a major disappointment. This rushed tree by-law is just a prime example of knee-jerk politically correct reactions to fix problems that don’t exist but get her the press she so desperately craves.

    Editor’s note: The Gazette erred on this story: The Appleby Ice centre is north of the QEW.

  • steven Gardner

    So when is the next version of engaged citizens going to appear to get this by-law made reasonable so we are not feeling like Russian citizens but a democracy.

    Edited for decency.