Almost all municipalities now have tree protection bylaws to provide preservation of the tree canopy in urban environments. Most people don’t consider how trees are such an integral part of our lives, these bylaws control arbitrary cutting of trees and promote their importance within our communities. Trees are a valuable asset to homeowners and the community as a whole. They add natural beauty to urban surroundings and play a key role in our social, economic and environmental surroundings.
Trees on municipal property are protected. Trees have a financial benefit to a city; they absorb carbon dioxide and contribute to the public health of a community. Interestingly enough, it takes a tree roughly twenty to twenty-five years to mature to the point of providing more financial and environmental benefits to a community than are invested in initial planting and maintenance costs. This highlights the need to protect our existing healthy canopy long into maturity.
Trees over a certain size on private property are now protected by many municipalities. The by-laws vary between municipalities but generally a set number of trees can be removed in a calendar year. If you want to remove additional trees or trees over the size threshold a permit application will be required. Prior to commencing with any construction activity on your property it is important that you consult with a tree care professional to become aware of the tree protection by-laws that could impact your proposal. Including trees in the initial stages of construction planning may mean the difference between preserving a healthy tree or having to remove it.
Maintaining and enhancing our urban forest for future generations should be a goal for everyone. Preserving and protecting healthy trees is one objective towards achieving this goal. Each year one mature 9m (30′) tree gives a family of four enough oxygen for an entire day. That’s a cool fact, but let’s zoom out a little. That means that every family of four needs 365 trees in order to have enough oxygen for the year!
We all need to do our part to have as many big healthy trees in our communities as we can.