Haldimand County Asking Residents To Abide By Forest Conservation By-Law Following Increase In Tree Cutting Complaints

As property owners start to get their land ready for spring there has been an increase in the number of tree cutting complaints in Haldimand County. The Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division is reminding residents of the Forest Conservation By-law 2204/20 and asking for everyone’s cooperation to ensure that trees within woodlands are not cut without a permit.

Regulation

No person shall cause, permit, allow or perform Injury or Destruction to any Tree located in a Woodlands, unless:

  1. a) exempted under the provisions of the Forest Conservation By-law; or
  2. b) they are in possession of a valid Permit issued pursuant to the provisions of the Forest Conservation By-law

Definitions

Woodlands means land one (1) hectare or more in area 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.

The definition of Woodlands does not include a Cultivated Fruit or Nut Orchard or a Plantation established for the purpose of producing Christmas trees.

Tree 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.

Penalties

If a person is found guilty of cutting trees in a Woodlands without an exemption or permit they will be charged and may be liable:

  1. on a first conviction, to a maximum fine of $10,000 or $1,000 per Tree, whichever is greater; and
  2. on any subsequent convictions, to a maximum fine of $25,000 or $2,500 per Tree, whichever is greater.

If a corporation is found guilty of cutting trees in a Woodlands without an exemption or permit they will be charged and may be liable:

  1. on a first conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 or $5,000 per Tree, whichever is greater; and
  2. on any subsequent convictions, to a maximum fine of $100,000 or $10,000 per Tree, whichever is greater.

It takes time and training to accurately identify tree species and make the correct measurements in order to determine if a treed area is regulated under the Forest Conservation By-law. Forestry staff strongly recommend that property owners and contractors contact the Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division to verify if their work falls under an exemption or if a treed area meets the definition of Woodlands before any trees are cut.

There is no cost to have Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division staff inspect a treed area prior to cutting. Cooperation from the public will assist the County in preserving woodlands and the health of the local ecosystem.

For more information, visit the Trees and Conservation page on the County website.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

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