Town to strengthen private tree protection by-law

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

New guidelines address need for canopy conservation in Oakville

Oakville’s tree canopy received a significant boost on October 17, 2016, as Council voted to amend the town’s private tree protection by-law in an effort to curb the unnecessary removal of healthy trees. The changes mean that property owners who wish to remove a private tree will require a permit and may also be required to plant a new tree on their property.

“Oakville’s tree canopy is a community asset, and Council is committed to protecting and enhancing it wherever possible,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Thanks to considerable public input, improvements to the by-law will ensure we continue towards our 40 per cent canopy coverage goal and create an even cleaner, greener Oakville.”

Under the revised by-law, any tree 15 centimetres diameter at breast height (dbh) and above to be removed from private property is required to have a permit and payment of the applicable fee. In addition, any healthy tree above 15 centimetres dbh removed from private property must be replaced.

The Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 was adopted by Council in 2008 to support a greener community and a healthier environment as set out in the Livable Oakville Plan. It allowed property owners to remove a limited number of trees between 20 centimetres dbh and 76 centimetres dbh through a notification process and without permit.

“While the town’s tree canopy is threatened by invasive pests such as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and extreme weather, a significant amount of healthy trees are being removed through the current notification process and it does not encourage replanting to compensate for the loss,” said Chris Mark, director, Parks and Open Space. “The new permit process will respect homeowners’ desire to make home and landscaping improvements, but will encourage them to do so in an environmentally responsible manner,”

Pending Budget Committee approval in December, staff will present the revised private tree protection by-law to Council for final approval in early 2017.

For more information, visit  the private tree protection page.