Trees & Forest Conservation

If you’re looking for information about Trees & Forest Conservation, this is the place to find it.   For any of your tree related needs, please have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab below or contact our Forestry division.

Silver Maple

Forestry Services – Haldimand County Administration Building
53 Thorburn Street South, Cayuga ON N0A 1E0
Phone: (905) 318-5932, Ext. 6512 (Project Manager, Forestry)
Email: forestry@haldimandcounty.on.ca

Trees in a woodland

In 2016, Haldimand County adopted a Forest Strategy and Management Plan (2016 – 2026).

This plan outlines the vision and strategy for managing the County’s urban forests. It explains what actions need to be completed and when they need to be completed so that the County can sustainably manage and protect our urban forests for the social, environment and economical benefits they provide to our community.

To find out more about the Forest Strategy and Management Plan for Haldimand County, please see the links below:

Final Summary Forest Strategy and Management Plan

Haldimand County Forest Strategy

Haldimand County Management Plan

Forestry truck in front of a pile of logs

Background

Haldimand County has a strong history of protecting its natural heritage resources through the use of forest conservation by-laws that have been in effect since 1981.  Our forests on both public and private lands in Haldimand County provide many valuable economic, environmental and social benefits such as wildlife habitat, forest products, recreational activities, watershed protection, preventing soil erosion and mitigating the effects of climate change through carbon sequestration.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020 the Forest Conservation By-law 2204/20 was enacted by Haldimand County Council.  This by-law is aligned with the best management practices of the forestry industry and demonstrates Haldimand County’s ongoing commitment to protecting our natural heritage resources.  The purpose of the by-law is to:

  • Achieve the County’s Official Plan objective to preserve and improve Woodlands through the application of Good Forestry Practices;
  • Encourage the production of wood, wood products and sustaining the local forest economy;
  • Minimize the injury or destruction of trees in Woodlands; and
  • Contribute to ecosystem health, human health, recreation, enjoyment and improving quality of life through the conservation of Woodlands.

Haldimand County recognizes that landowners throughout the County are responsible stewards of the forest resources on their property.  The Forest Conservation By-law is intended to find a balance between the public interested in protecting forests and private landowner’s personal enjoyment and use of trees on their property.

2204-20ForestConservationBylaw

Applicability

 You must have an approved permit before you can cut, injure, harvest, burn or destroy trees within Woodlands.  For a treed area to meet the definition of a Woodlands it must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Size

The treed area must be at least one (1) hectare or more in size.  For the purpose of this by-law, the boundary of a Woodlands is defined by the ecological limit of the Woodlands and not by property boundaries.

The Woodlands boundary shall include the area up to the drip line and the boundary of the Woodlands shall be deemed to cross any corridors, natural features, roads, trails, or paths up to and including twenty (20) meters in width.

  1. Species

The definition of Tree in the by-law means any species of woody perennial plant, including its root system, which has reached or can reach a height of at least 4.5 metres at physiological maturity, provided that where multiple stems grow from the same root system, the number of Trees shall be the number of stems that can be counted at a point of measure 1.37 metres from the ground.

  1. Quantity

The treed area must have a minimum number of trees with at least:

  1. 1000 Trees of any size, per hectare; or
  2. 750 Trees, measuring over five (5) centimetres at DBH, per hectare; or
  3. 500 Trees, measuring over twelve (12) centimetres at DBH, per hectare; or
  4. 250 Trees, measuring over twenty (20) centimetres at DBH, per hectare.

Exemptions

There are several exemptions to the by-law where cutting trees in a Woodlands does not require a permit.

  • Tree cutting undertaken by a municipality or a local board of a municipality;
  • Harvesting trees with a license issued under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act;
  • Trees removed by a person licensed under the Surveyors Act while making a survey;
  • Removing trees as a condition of a site plan, a plan of subdivision or a consent under the Planning Act;
  • Tree cutting by a transmitter or distributor under the Electricity Act, for the purpose of constructing and maintaining hydro systems;
  • Clearing of trees for a pit or quarry issued under the Aggregate Resources Act;
  • The removal of trees for the construction of drains under the Drainage Act.
  • The removal of trees to construct a building, driveway, septic bed and install utilities to the new building with an approved building permit;
  • The cutting of trees undertaken as Normal Farm Practices as part of an agricultural operation. Please see the Normal Farm Practices Guidelines for information on farm activities that are included under this exemption.20201001GuidelinesforNormalFarmPractices
  • Cutting tree species like European Buckthorn that are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) as Noxious Weeds;
  • Cutting up to twenty (20) trees a year by the owner of a Woodlands for personal use; and
  • The removal of trees that have been assessed by a qualified professional as hazardous to human safety or property.

Applicants are encourage to consult with staff prior to cutting any trees in a Woodlands to ensure that their tree cutting is permitted under these exemptions or how they can apply for a permit to cut the trees.

Permits

Good Forestry Practices Permit

This permit is used when a landowner wants to sustainably harvest select trees within a Woodlands and can be approved by staff.

20201019GoodForestryPracticesPermitApplication

A Good Forestry Practices application must include a Silvicultural Prescription prepared by a Qualified Ontario Professional Forestry Association (OPFA) member and the trees to be cut must be marked by a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Certified Tree Marker.

Staff have developed the Good Forestry Practices Guidelines to assist landowners and forestry professionals in the interpretation of Good Forestry Practices and what information is required in the Silvicultural Prescription.

20201015GuidelinesforGoodForestryPractices

A $25.50 application fee (2021 rate) must be paid when the application is submitted to the County.

20201125GoodForestryApplicationOnlinePayment

Staff will review the application and inspect the Woodlands where the harvest is proposed to be conducted.

If the application is in contravention of the by-law, staff will work with the landowner to bring the application into compliance.  If a resolution cannot be found the application will be denied and no permit will be issued.

If the application is in compliance with the by-law a permit will be issued and the landowner can start harvesting trees.

Minor Exception Permit

This permit is used when a landowner wishes to clear-cut an area of Woodlands.

20201019MinorExceptionPermitApplication

A Minor Exception application impacting an area of Woodlands one (1) hectare or greater in size must include an Environmental Impact Study.

Staff have developed the Minor Exception Guidelines to assist landowners and forestry professionals in understanding the types of tree cutting that the County will consider as a Minor Exception and what information must be included in the Environmental Impact Study.

20201001GuidelinesforMinorException

A $368 application fee (2021 rate) must be paid when a Minor Exception application impacting an area of Woodlands less than one (1) hectare is submitted to the County.

A $2102 application fee (2021 rate) must be paid when a Minor Exception application impacting an area of Woodlands equal to or greater than one (1) hectare is submitted to the County.

Staff will review the application and inspect the Woodlands where the clear cutting is proposed to be conducted.

We’re here to help.  For any questions relating to the Forest Conservation By-law, assistance with completing an application or to report the cutting of trees in a Woodlands please contact forestry@haldimandcounty.on.ca

For Haldimand County to effectively manage our urban forest it is important that we know the species of trees, number of trees and what maintenance is required to keep our trees healthy.  A tree inventory is an important tool to provide us with this information.

Haldimand County and its partners have used cutting edge technology to document and map the County-owned trees in Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis, Townsend as well as the hamlets and lakeside nodes found throughout Haldimand County.

County-owned trees are scheduled for maintenance based on recommendations provided by a Certified Arborist after they have completed an inspection of the tree.  If you have any general questions or concerns about a County owned tree please contact forestry@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

If there is an immediate emergency involving a fallen tree or broken branches blocking a roadway please contact:  Haldimand County Roads Operations (905) 318-5932.

Tree Marking

Trees that have been identified for maintenance by Haldimand County will be marked with green paint.

Hydro One uses orange and blue paint to mark trees that are scheduled for maintenance on both public and private trees near hydro lines.

Trees are an important part of our natural and cultural landscape.  Trees provide aesthetic value, reduce airborne pollution, enhance water quality, prevent soil erosion, provide wildlife habitat, provide cooler air temperatures in the summer and sequester carbon.  Haldimand County recognizes these important benefits for our community and encourages planting trees and has four different tree planting programs.

Newly planted tree with stakes and watering bag

Street Tree Planting

You can contact forestry staff to have a tree planted on public property (boulevard) in front or beside your house free of charge.  Forestry staff will arrange a site meeting with you at your property to review the proposed planting location, select the type of tree species to be planted and identify any potential restrictions to tree planting such as conflicts with hydro lines, sewer lines, water lines, sight lines and available planting space.  Suitable street tree species are listed in the Haldimand County Street Tree List.

Spring Planting (April-June)

Applications must be received before the end of December to be eligible to have tree(s) planted for the Spring planting season.  Applications received after the end of December will be added to the next Spring planting season.

There are a limited number of trees are available each year and applicants will be selected based upon the most suitable sites for the species available.  If you have had a tree planted on public property and it has died please contact the Forestry Division to have the old tree removed and a new tree planted.

New Subdivision Tree Planting

In newly constructed subdivisions, the developer or the builder is responsible for street tree planting.  Developers are required to submit a street tree planting plan to Haldimand County for approval.  The selection and placement of the trees in a new subdivision is based on Haldimand County’s specifications for tree planting and there is little room for requests by homeowners for specific trees.

Infill Tree Planting

Haldimand County engages in actively planting new trees on boulevards, in parks and cemeteries throughout the County.  These trees are planted in areas that not managed by any adjacent landowners.

Commemorative Tree Planting

Planting a tree in a public park is a beautiful way to memorialise a loved one or commemorate a significant life event.  Commemorative trees can only be planted in parks and include the installation of a plaque.  Applicants may request a specific park location for their commemorative tree to be reviewed and approved by Haldimand County.

  • Trees are 50mm Wire Basket, 6’-8’ tall, staked, tied, mulched, rodent guard and watering bag included.
  • Plaques are 8” x 6” bronze mounted on light grey granite base. There is space for (3) lines of text a maximum of (22) characters per line.

Applications must be received by the end of December to be eligible to have the tree planted during the Spring planting season.  Applications received after the end of December will be added to the next Spring planting season.

If you or County staff notice that the tree has died, or the plaque has been damaged or vandalized it will be replaced as soon as possible.

The Provincial Cemeteries Act prohibits scattering of ashes outside of a registered cemetery.

Attachment 1:  Haldimand County Street Tree List

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Agrilus planipennis is an emerald green beetle, native to Asia and has been introduced to North America and is causing widespread damage throughout Ontario.   Emerald Ash Borer only attacks true ash trees with White Ash and Green Ash being the most common in Haldimand County.  Mountain-ash and Prickly Ash are not true ash and are unaffected by Emerald Ash Borer.

Signs & Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer

  • Crown Dieback: severely attacked trees may exhibit crown dieback as the branches die from the top down.  Leaves may wilt or turn yellow during the growing season.
  • Bark Cracks: Vertical splits of 7-10cm are often present over larval galleries.  These are often more noticeable on young trees that do not already have splits from growth-related expansion.
  • Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers feed on the larvae under the bark.  Look for increased Woodpecker feedings or sign of their probing under the bark.
  • Exit holes: Once fully mature, the adult beetles emerge through exit holes they chew through the bark.  These holes are distinctly “D” shaped and are 3.5-4mm across.
  • Tunnels: Winding “S” shaped larval tunnels snake under the bark where the larvae bore channels.  Removing the bark exposes larval sawdust filled galleries.
  • Epicormic shoots: Epicormic shoots grow from the base of the tree or along the trunk when the tree is stressed and can be a symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer.

If you have an ash tree on your private property, contact a Certified Arborist to assess your tree’s health as soon as possible.  If your tree is healthy, insecticides are available that can protect it from Emerald Ash Borer.  If your tree is infested, a tree care professional can remove it before it becomes a hazard to your safety or property.  If you have Ash trees in your Woodlot contact the Facilities and Parks Operations, Project Manager, Forestry to determine if an application is necessary before the trees are removed.

Insecticide treatments can only be administered by tree care professionals and are not available to the general public.  The insecticide is injected into the tree using pressurized canisters.  It must be applied at least every two years, and every year when Emerald Ash Borer infestation pressure is high (many trees nearby are infested).  Insecticide treatments work best if trees are treated before they are infested or when the infestation is at an early stage.  Signs or symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer infestation are often not visible until it’s too late to apply insecticide.

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar, is a small brown/gray colour moth that is native to Central/Southern Europe and North Africa.  It was introduced to North America in the mid-1800s with the intention of establishing a commercial silk industry.

The Gypsy Moth larvae (caterpillars) feed on primarily Oak species, however during population booms the larvae will also damage Maple, Alder, Birch, Hawthorn, Beech, Crabapple, Poplar, Cherry, Willow, Basswood and other species.

Gypsy Moth populations follow a boom and bust cycle.  Outbreaks usually last from one to five years and then subside due to starvation, predators and the presence of a naturally occurring soil-borne bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensi (Bt) which infects the larvae.  Populations then remain low from four to twelve years before another outbreak cycle.

During years with low populations the feeding caused by the larvae is barley noticeable and healthy trees that are defoliated are able to grow new leaves and will recover the following year.  Several years of heavy defoliation or defoliation combined with other stressors such as drought, root damage, poor growing conditions can cause too much stress and kill the trees.

Signs & Symptoms of Gypsy Moth

  • Egg Masses: female moths lay egg masses on tree bark, branches or other projected places.  Egg masses are tan coloured and covered in hairs.
  • Defoliation: signs start as small holes in the leaves, but as the larvae continue to grow they will consume the entire leaf.

Control

Haldimand County does not administer an aerial spray program for the control of Gypsy Moth on public or private lands. If you are concerned about Gypsy Moth on your private property, you can contact a Certified Pesticide Exterminator to inspect your trees.

For single trees or small groups tree the installation of sticky bands will catch the caterpillars as they move along the trunk of the trees.  Pheromone traps can also be used to lure and trap male moths, preventing them from mating with female moths are another effective control.

For woodlands or large areas with a significant number of host tree species an aerial spray can be highly effective at reducing Gypsy Moth populations in the local area, but won’t have a significant impact on populations outside of the control area.  The chemical controls for Gypsy Moth are comprised of a bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) already found in the local environment that kills the Gypsy Moth larvae quickly. No control method will ever completely eradicate the entire Gypsy Moth population.

Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt (Bretzeilla fagacearum) is a fungal pathogen that causes infected trees to develop gums which restrict the follow of water and nutrients throughout the trees vascular system.  Oak Wilt has not yet been confirmed in Canada, but it has been found in United States close to the Windsor border and it is only a matter of time before it spreads into Canada.

Oak will can infect and kill all species of Oak.  Trees in the Red Oak group (Red Oak, Black Oak, and Pin Oak) are the most susceptible and can be killed in as little as two to six weeks. Trees in the White Oak group (White Oak and Bur Oak) are more resilient and it usually takes one to two years before the tree dies.

Oak Wilt spreads through root grafts where Oak trees are growing close to each other and through spores that are carried by nitidulid beetles when they feed on an infected tree and then fly to a healthy tree.

Signs and Symptoms of Oak Wilt

  • Leaf Discolouration: Leaves appear lighter in colour, yellow or brown.
  • Wilting Leaves: Wilting or browning of the leaves starting at the top of the tree and branch tips.  Symptoms start to develop beginning in May and over the growing season.
  • Early Leaf Drop: Leaves start falling off the tree in the summer or earlier in the fall.
  • Pressure Pads: Fungal mats develop under the bark which can raise or split the bark.  Fungal mats will develop a “fruity” smell.

Control

There is currently no cure available for Oaks infected with Oak Wilt.  The best approach is to monitor for signs/symptoms of the disease and reduce the risk of trees becoming infected.

  • Do not move firewood or other wood products.
  • Avoid pruning or removing Oak trees from March to September when the fungus is most active.
  • If a pruning or removing an Oak tree when the fungus is active, cover the entire exposed area of the pruning cut or stump with paint to prevent fungus from being able to enter the tree.
  • If you think a tree has Oak Wilt report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

https://www.inspection.gc.ca/plant-health/plant-pests-invasive-species/plant-diseases/oak-wilt/eng/1325624048625/1325624535106

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is an aphid-like insect that live on Hemlock trees and forms white sacs at the base of their needles.  They feed on the tree cells responsible for storing the nutrient and water supply.  Infestations can kill a healthy Hemlock in four to fifteen years.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is established in several states and has been found in southwestern Nova Scotia.  Particularly concerning to Haldimand County, are two small populations of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid detected near Wainfleet and Niagara Falls in 2019.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is most commonly spread by wind, birds, and deer, but it can also be spread through the movement of firewood and wood products.

Signs and Symptons of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

  • White Sacs: Look for small white sacs at the base of the needles.
  • Crown Dieback: Buds and small branches dieback and some may break off the tree.
  • Premature needle loss: Needles may begin to drop early in the season.
  • Foliage discolouration: The needles may turn a greyish green colour rather than healthy shiny, dark green.

Control

  • Monitor Hemlock trees for white sacs on the underside and tips of the branches.
  • Do not hang birds feeders on Hemlock trees or trees in the surrounding area.
  • Do not move firewood or wood products.
  • Hemlock Woolley Adelgid is federally regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which continues to monitor current populations. If you think a tree is infested with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

https://www.inspection.gc.ca/plant-health/plant-pests-invasive-species/insects/hemlock-woolly-adelgid/fact-sheet/eng/1325616708296/1325618964954

Who do I contact for pruning or removal of a public tree in the right-of-way?

Please contact our Forestry division.  A Certified Arborist will inspect the tree and will provide recommendations regarding any required tree maintenance.  Applicants will be notified with the results of the inspection and if any maintenance will be scheduled for the tree.

How do I know if the tree in front of my house is on public property or private property?

Please contact our Forestry division and staff will inspect the tree to determine if your tree is on public or private property.

Can I trim or remove the public tree in front of my house?

No, only Haldimand County staff and Certified Arborists hired by Haldimand County can perform maintenance on public trees.  If you have a concern with a public tree, please contact our Forestry division.

My neighbour has a private tree that is causing problems for us. Can the County do anything about it?

No, this is a civil matter between yourself and neighbouring parties.

The public tree in front of my house has a bee/wasp/hornet nest in it.  Will the County remove it?

Please contact our Forestry division to request an inspection.  As these insects are beneficial to our ecosystem, staff will determine if the nest threatens public safety and arrange for removal if required.

What do the signs/markings on public trees mean?

A public tree that has been scheduled for removal or pruning by Haldimand County will be marked with green paint.

Other companies such as Hydro One may mark public trees for their maintenance operations.  Also public trees may have the signs moved or vandalized or other marks may be added to the tree, so just because a tree is marked, it doesn’t always mean that Haldimand County will be performing maintenance on the tree.  If you have a specific inquiry about a tree, please contact our Forestry division.

Who do I call to get a public tree inspected?

Please contact our Forestry division.  A Certified Arborist will inspect the tree and will provide recommendations for required tree maintenance.  You will be contacted with the inspection results including any maintenance to be scheduled for the tree.

Do I need a permit to cut trees in my woodland?  Who do I call if I have a concern or question about woodlands being cleared on private property?

Woodlands are regulated by the Forest Conservation By-law.  You must submit either a Good Forestry Practices application or Minor Exception application and receive a permit from Haldimand County prior to the removal or clearing of trees.  Please contact our Forestry division for more information or if you see any clearing of  woodlands.

When will the public tree on my boulevard be pruned or removed?

To date, Haldimand County has documented over 18,000 public trees along Haldimand County roads, in parks and cemeteries.  It takes time to complete all of the work required for such a large population of trees.  To ensure that the tree maintenance in Haldimand County is completed efficiently, once a tree has been recommended for maintenance by a Certified Arborist, a work order is generated and the tree maintenance is done on a priority basis that is evaluated based on the condition, location and risk the tree presents to public health and safety.

A public tree was cut down in the boulevard, when will the stump be removed?

Generally, the stump is cleaned up shortly after the tree has been removed.  However, tree removals that are done during the winter season may have the stump removal completed in the early spring once the snow has melted and the ground has thawed.

Why won’t the County cut down the tree in the boulevard?

Trees provide many important benefits for the community.  To maintain these community benefits, only public trees that have been inspected and approved by a Certified Arborist will be removed.

Can I get a tree planted in the boulevard?

Yes!  Haldimand County will plant a tree on the publicly owned boulevard in front or beside your house as long as there is suitable space based on Haldimand County planting standards.

What types of trees will Haldimand County plant on the boulevard and do I get to choose which species of tree will be planted?

Haldimand County has a list of approved street tree species suitable for the challenging growing conditions found in boulevards.  Forestry staff will meet with you at your property to assess the conditions and make recommendations on the best tree for the boulevard.  Tree species that are not suitable will not be planted.  Please contact our Forestry division to request a tree.

Can I plant my own tree on the boulevard?

No, only Haldimand County staff and contractors hired by Haldimand County can plant trees on public boulevards.  You can plant your own tree in front of your house as long as it is planted on your private property.

What if there isn’t space to plant a tree, can I still have one planted on my property?

Haldimand County will only plant trees on public property based on our planting standards.  These standards ensure that the growth of the tree will not affect public safety or other infrastructure.  If there isn’t enough space on the boulevard in front of your house, the tree will be planted at another suitable location on public property.

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