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Tree Protection (By-law No. 2020-340)

Disclaimer

By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614
e-mail: archives@ottawa.ca

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room
613-580-2940

Tree Protection (By-law No. 2020-340)

A by-law of the City of Ottawa respecting the protection of municipal trees and municipal natural areas in the City of Ottawa and trees on private property in the urban area of the City of Ottawa, and to repeal By-laws 2009-200 and 2006-279.

WHEREAS the Council of the City of Ottawa has approved a strategic Urban Forest Management Plan with a goal to maintain and grow Ottawa’s urban forest;

AND WHEREAS the protection of trees is key to realizing the objectives and principles of Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan and Ottawa’s tree canopy cover goals and tree policies outlined in the City’s Official Plan;

AND WHEREAS 135 of the Municipal Act provides that a municipality may prohibit or regulate the destruction or injury of trees;

THEREFORE, the Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Part I - General

Section 1 - Definitions, interpretation and general

In this by-law:  

“adjacent tree” means a tree, of which the trunk is growing on a property sharing a boundary with the subject site;

“agricultural operation” means an agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural or silvicultural operation that is carried out with the expectation of gain or reward;  

“applicant” means the person who submits an application to the City for a tree permit or a distinctive tree permit, as applicable;  

“arborist” means an expert in the care and maintenance of trees and includes an arborist qualified by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, a consulting arborist registered with the American Society of Consulting Arborists, a Registered Professional Forester or a person with other similar qualifications as approved by the General Manager;  

boundary tree” means a tree, of which any part of the trunk is growing across one or more property lines;

“building permit” means a building permit issued pursuant to the Building Code Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended;  

caliper” means the above ground diameter or a distinct part of a nursery stock stem;

camp” means to stay overnight and erect a structure, hut or tent for the purpose of providing shelter;

cash value” means the monetary value of a replacement tree as determined by the General Manager;

“City” means the municipal corporation of the City of Ottawa or the geographic area of the City of Ottawa as the context requires;  

compensation value” means the monetary value, plus all applicable taxes, of the tree determined to be injured or destroyed or to be replaced, and to be calculated by the City in accordance with the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA) Plant Appraisal Guide, or at a value determined by the General Manager and in effect at the time the injury took place, based on the tree as it existed prior to being injured or destroyed, further to Schedule “B”;

“condominium” means a corporation created upon registration of a declaration and description under the provisions of the Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19;  (2011-418)  

Consent to Enter Permit” means written approval through which the General Manager gives permission for use of a municipal natural area;

critical root zone” means the area of land within a radius of ten (10) cm from the trunk of a tree for every one (1) cm of trunk diameter;

“DBH” or “diameter at breast height” means the measurement of a trunk of a tree at a height of one hundred and thirty (130) cm from the ground;   

destroy” means to remove, cut down or in any other way damage a tree to such an extent that the tree cannot recover and it is deemed necessary to remove or cut down the tree, and “destruction” has a corresponding meaning;

“distinctive tree” means any tree located on private property with a DBH of 30 cm or greater, within the inner urban area (urban lands within the greenbelt), and with a DBH of 50 cm or greater, within the suburban area (urban lands between the greenbelt and the urban boundary), as identified in Schedule “F”;

distinctive tree permit” means a permit issued by the General Manager authorizing the injury or destruction of a distinctive tree in accordance with this by-law;

“farming business” means a farming business within the meaning of the federal Income Tax Act, RSC 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp);

forest access road” means a permanent road that provides access for service, emergency, and other vehicles through municipal conservation forests;

"General Manager" means the General Manager of the Public Works & Environmental Services Department or the General Manager of the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department of the City of Ottawa, or their designate, except as otherwise specified in this by-law;

“good arboricultural practice” means the proper planting and care of trees in accordance with the standards set by the International Society of Arboriculture;

“good forestry practices” means the proper implementation of harvest, renewal and maintenance activities known to be appropriate for the forest and environmental conditions under which they are being applied and that minimize detriments to forest values including significant ecosystems, important fish and wildlife habitat, soil and water quality and quantity, forest productivity and health and aesthetics and recreational opportunities of the landscape;

highway” means a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct, or trestle, any part of which is intended for, or used by, the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof;

infill development” means low rise residential development that is not subject to site plan control, plan of subdivision, or plan of condominium;

“injure” means to do any act that will harm a tree’s health in any manner, including failure to protect in accordance with standards set by the General Manager, and “injury” has a corresponding meaning;

License of Occupation Agreement” means a written agreement through which the Director of Corporate Real Estate Office, on behalf of the City of Ottawa gives permission to a person for use of municipal property;

motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8;

motorized snow vehicle” means a motorized snow vehicle as defined in the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.44;

“Municipal Act” means the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, as amended;

“multi-residential development” means land used for residential purposes that has seven or more self-contained units under a single ownership;

“municipal conservation forest” means a large City-owned landscape of contiguous forest in the rural area;

“municipal law enforcement officer” means a person appointed by Council to enforce the provisions of this by-law and who may be referred to as an Inspector or Officer;

municipal natural area” means municipal property designated as a natural environment area, urban natural feature, rural natural feature, significant wetland or major open space in the City of Ottawa Official Plan and includes a municipal conservation forest, municipal greenspace and community woodland;

municipal property” means any City-owned land and includes, but is not limited to, lands designated as municipal natural areas, parks and highways;

“municipal tree” means any tree, including a boundary tree, that is located completely or partially on municipal property;

“normal farm practice” means a practice that,

  1. is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and acceptable customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances, or
  2. makes use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices;

off-road vehicle” means an off-road vehicle as defined in the Off-Road Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.4;

“owner” means the registered owner on title of the land or the agent of the registered owner duly authorized by the registered owner in writing;

park” means a playground, playing field, ball diamond, sports field, beach, recreation centre, community building, facility, square, garden, water, pedestrian walkway or any other area owned, leased or used by the City and devoted to active or passive recreation and includes any lane or walkway or public parking area leading thereto;

“person” means any individual, association, firm, partnership, corporation, agent or trustee and the heirs, executors or other legal representatives of a person to whom the context can apply according to law;

“Planning Act” means the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, as amended;

plant” means any specimen, whether living or dead, of any species of flower, shrub or tree and includes any seed, spore, pollen or tissue culture of any such flower, shrub or tree;

“plant nursery” means the use of lands, buildings or structures, or portions thereof, where plants are grown for the purpose of retail or wholesale trade and which may include the accessory sale of soil, planting materials, fertilizers, garden equipment, ornaments and similar material;

“protect” means to prevent the injury or destruction of a tree;

protected tree” means any tree indicated in this by-law as requiring an approval, a tree permit or a distinctive tree permit for its injury or destruction, and includes a retained tree;

replacement tree” means the nursery stock used to replace a tree, being deciduous nursery stock with a minimum caliper of fifty (50) mm measured no less than fifteen (15) cm above ground level, or coniferous nursery stock no less than two hundred (200) cm in height as measured from ground level to midway between the tip of the leader and the uppermost whorl, or as otherwise approved by the General Manager;

“retained tree” means a tree that has been identified for retention and protection in an approved Tree Conservation Report or Tree Information Report and includes a tree for which an approval, a tree permit, or a distinctive tree permit has not been requested;

“rural area” means the lands shown on Schedule “A”, Rural Policy Plan, of the City’s Official Plan, as amended, or any successor schedule thereto;

“Stop Work Order” means an order issued pursuant to this by-law to stop the injury or destruction of trees;

trail” means hiking trails, walking paths, snowshoeing paths, cross country ski trails and bicycle trails;

tree” means any species of woody perennial plant, including its root system, which has reached or can reach a minimum height of four hundred and fifty (450) cm at physiological maturity;

“tree conservation report” means a report prepared by an arborist that contains information as required by Schedule “E”;

tree information report” means a report prepared by an arborist that contains information as required by Schedule “C”;

tree paint” means a specialized paint that is applied to a cut surface of a tree after pruning or that is used to mark trees for removal;

tree permit” means a permit issued by the General Manager authorizing the injury or destruction of a tree in accordance with this by-law;

“urban area” means the lands shown on Schedule “B”, Urban Policy Plan, of the City’s Official Plan, as amended, or any successor schedule thereto and those lands within the hatched areas as shown on Schedule “A” inclusive to this by-law;

waste” means paper, bottles, broken glass, cans, rags, garbage, any plant matter, animal carcass, rubbish, debris, or refuse.

Section 2 - Interpretation

  1. This by-law includes Schedules “A” to “O” inclusive annexed hereto, and the Schedules are hereby declared to form part of this by-law.
  2. Reference to items in the plural include the singular, as applicable, unless used with a number modifying the term.
  3. In this by-law, the word “centimetre” shall be represented by the abbreviation “cm”, the word “millimetre” shall be represented by the abbreviation “mm”, and the word “hectare” shall be represented by the abbreviation “ha”.
  4. If any section, subsection, paragraph, or part thereof is declared by any Court to be bad, illegal or ultra vires, such section, subsection, paragraph or part thereof shall be deemed to be severable and all parts of this by-law are declared to be separate and independent and enacted as such.

Section 3 - General

  1. Unless otherwise specified, this by-law applies to all lands within the geographical limits of the City of Ottawa
  2. Any permit issued under this by-law is non-transferable.
  3. The holder of any permit issued under this by-law shall comply with all applicable federal and provincial legislation and regulations and all applicable municipal by-laws.
  4. Where a boundary tree straddles City property and private property, the tree shall be considered a municipal tree and the provisions of Part II of this by-law shall

Part II - Trees on municipal property

Section 7 and 8 - Scope

Section 7

The provisions of this Part shall apply to municipal trees.

Section 8

For the purposes of this Part, “General Manager” means the General Manager of Public Works and Environmental Services.

Section 9 and 10 - Tree planting

Section 9

No person shall plant a tree or install associated infrastructure on municipal property without the written approval of the General Manager.

Section 10

The General Manager may approve the planting of a tree on municipal property subject to conditions as determined by the General Manager.

Section 11 to 16 - Tree protection

Section 11

Unless authorized by the General Manager, no person shall:

  1. injure or destroy the trunk, branches or roots of a municipal tree;
  2. affix a poster, notice or sign to a municipal tree;
  3. affix any guy line or other fastening or fixture to a municipal tree;
  4. apply tree paint to a municipal tree;
  5. remove branches, trim or alter any municipal tree; or
  6. perform any operation or activity within the critical root zone of a municipal tree that may result in injury or destruction of a tree.

Section 12

No person shall carry out work within the critical root zone of a municipal tree that may result in injury or destruction to a municipal tree, including, but not limited to, grade changes and soil compaction.

Section 13

Despite Section 12, work within the critical root zone of a municipal tree is permitted where the General Manager has issued written approval for such work.

Section 14

An applicant for approval pursuant to Section 13 shall provide the following information to the General Manager:

  1. the nature of the work to be carried out;
  2. the location of the work;
  3. the name of the person(s) undertaking the work;
  4. the proposed method of carrying out the work; and
  5. any additional information as requested by the General Manager.

Section 15

The General Manager may require the person who has requested written approval pursuant to Section 13 to agree in writing to the following conditions prior to the commencement of the work:

  1. in the event of injury to any municipal tree as determined by the General Manager, to reimburse the City for the cost of treatment for the municipal tree or to cause the tree to be repaired by a qualified arborist and bear the cost of repairs and labour;
  2. in the event that the municipal tree is irreparably injured as determined by the General Manager, to reimburse the City for the cost of removal and replacement of the municipal tree and pay the City the compensation value of the injured municipal tree and the cash value of a replacement tree pursuant to Schedule “B” of this by-law, or other provisions deemed appropriate by the General Manager;
  3. to implement the tree protection measures outlined in Part VI of this by-law where applicable;
  4. where excavation is requested within the critical root zone of a municipal tree, to utilize tunneling or boring or other excavation methods, as approved by the General Manager; and
  5. such other conditions deemed appropriate by the General Manager to protect the municipal tree.

Section 16

No person shall fail to comply with the conditions of an approval issued by the General Manager pursuant to Section 15.

Section 17 - Tree removal by City

The General Manager may approve the removal from municipal property by the City of,

  1. a dead tree;
  2. a tree that poses an immediate threat to public health and safety;
  3. a diseased, dying, decayed or broken tree;
  4. a tree that is causing, or likely to cause in the future, serious damage to private property where other mitigation measures are unlikely to prevent future damage; or
  5. a tree that, in the opinion of the General Manager, requires removal.

Section 18 to 26 - Tree removal by other persons

Section 18

No person shall destroy a municipal tree.

Section 19

Despite Section 18, the destruction of a municipal tree is permitted where the General Manager has issued a tree permit allowing for such destruction.

Section 20

An applicant for a tree permit pursuant to Section 19 shall provide the following information in an application to the General Manager:

  1. the name, address and contact information of the applicant;
  2. the name, address and contact information of the arborist hired by the applicant to complete the tree information report;
  3. the name, address and contact information of the contractor undertaking the work as set out in the approved tree information report, if known;
  4. the municipal address of the private property adjacent to the location upon which the municipal tree is proposed to be destroyed;
  5. the purpose for which the permit is required;
  6. a tree information report consistent with the City’s guidelines as prescribed in Schedule “C”;
  7. tree protection measures identified for retained trees, if any, as per Part VI of this by-law;
  8. a schedule for the proposed works, including the start and end dates and the construction period;
  9. the fee prescribed in Schedule “D”; and
  10. such other information as deemed necessary by the General Manager.

Section 21

The General Manager shall review the complete tree permit application and may,

  1. issue a tree permit;
  2. issue a tree permit with conditions; or
  3. refuse to issue a tree permit.

Section 22

The General Manager may impose conditions on a tree permit including but not limited to the following conditions:

  1. any condition in accordance with good arboricultural practice;
  2. any condition recommended by an arborist;
  3. to implement the tree protection measures for all municipal trees in proximity to the work area, where applicable, as outlined in Part VI of this by-law, or as approved by the General Manager;
  4. destruction to be carried out by or under the supervision of an arborist;
  5. the manner and timing of the destruction; or
  6. a requirement to plant replacement trees and pay the compensation value for the destroyed tree in accordance with Schedule “B”.

Section 23

The General Manager may approve the removal of a tree from municipal property for the purpose of construction at the expense of the applicant, provided that the applicant:

  1. obtains all required permits for construction;
  2. confirms that the applicant has minimum liability insurance pursuant to Part VII, Section 79;
  3. agrees to implement the tree protection measures pursuant to Part VI of this By-law for all municipal trees to be retained in proximity to the work area or as approved by the General Manager;
  4. agrees in writing to bear the cost of the removal of the municipal tree determined to be injured; and
  5. agrees in writing to pay the City the compensation value of the municipal tree that was removed and the cash value of the replacement tree pursuant to Schedule “B” of this by-law, or other provisions deemed appropriate by the General Manager.

Section 24

The General Manager may approve the removal of a municipal tree from a highway where the municipal tree by its very existence denies an owner of a property abutting a highway access to such owner’s property provided that the owner of the property abutting the highway has requested the removal of the municipal tree and has provided evidence to the General Manager that no practical or economical option for access is possible, and has agreed to pay the City the compensation value of the municipal tree to be removed and the cash value of a replacement tree.

Section 25

No permit holder shall fail to post the tree permit on the private property adjacent to the location of the tree to be removed:

  1. in a prominent location so as to be clearly visible to the public;
  2. for a period of not less than seven (7) days prior to any action being undertaken in accordance with the tree permit on the site; and
  3. for a period of not less than seven (7) days following any action taken in accordance with the tree permit.

Section 26

Any tree planted or growing on municipal property contrary to the provisions hereof or contrary to access rights provided by any other municipal by-law may be removed by the General Manager without notice or recompense.

Part III - Protection of municipal natural areas

Section 27 - Scope

The provisions of this Part shall apply to municipal natural areas in the City.

Section 28 - Asset protection

No person shall, in a municipal natural area, unless approved by the General Manager:

  1. injure or destroy any plant;
  2. leave or deposit any waste, except in a receptacle provided for that purpose;
  3. discharge, dump or leave any construction material, earth, dirt, rock, snow, stone, or other material;
  4. wash, clean, polish, service, maintain or, with the exception of any emergency, repair any motorized vehicle;
  5. enter onto a municipal natural area where it is signed to prohibit or restrict admission to the public, motor vehicles or off-road vehicles;
  6. plant any plant, hedge, tree, shrub or garden;
  7. construct or place any fence, building, retaining wall or other structure of any kind;
  8. keep any composting receptacle or compost pile;
  9. place any string, wire, chain, rope or similar material; or
  10. do anything that may harm or damage the municipal natural area, or the plants or trees within it.

Section 29 and 30 - Consent to enter permits

Section 29

No person shall, without a valid consent to enter permit, in a municipal natural area:

  1. camp or erect any tent or other structure;
  2. set or maintain any open air fire as provided for in the Open Air Fire By-law;
  3. conduct scientific research;
  4. conduct any organized game, sport, training or activity, with the exception of lawful hunting or fishing activities;
  5. operate a motor vehicle or off-road vehicle anywhere within a municipal natural area, with the exception of forest access roads; or
  6. undertake any maintenance activities or alter existing grounds or facilities.

Section 30

No person shall operate a motorized snow vehicle in a municipal natural area unless that person is a current member of a club with a valid License of Occupation agreement.

Section 31 and 32 - Application for a consent to enter permit

Section 31

A written application for a consent to enter permit shall be made to the General Manager at least fifteen (15) days prior to the intended date of entry.

Section 32

The consent to enter permit application shall include:

  1. the name, address, and contact information of the applicant;
  2. the purpose of entry onto a municipal natural area;
  3. the lot and concession of the location of the activity;
  4. the time frame, including the commencement date and end date; and
  5. such other information as may be required by the General Manager.

Section 33 to 38 - Conditions for issuance of a consent to enter permit

Section 33

Upon receipt of an application for a consent to enter permit, the General Manager may issue a consent to enter permit provided that the person,

  1. is eighteen years of age or older;
  2. agrees to use the natural area only for the activity specified on the consent to enter permit;
  3. agrees to follow the incident reporting procedures outlined in the consent to enter permit in the event of an incident, including contacting City staff and police, paramedic or fire services, as appropriate; and
  4. agrees to comply with any other conditions of the consent to enter permit issued by the General Manager pursuant to Section 35.

Section 34

Where a License of Occupation Agreement applies to an activity, a consent to enter permit is not required.

Section 35

The General Manager may attach such additional conditions to the consent to enter permit as deemed necessary to ensure public safety, to protect City property or to maintain the enjoyment of the municipal natural area for the public.

Section 36

A consent to enter permit issued by the General Manager is valid only on the date or dates and for the specified activity shown on the consent to enter permit.

Section 37

No holder of a consent to enter permit shall fail to comply with all applicable federal and provincial legislation and regulations and all applicable municipal by-laws.

Section 38

No holder of a consent to enter permit shall fail to comply with the conditions of issuance of the consent to enter permit.

Part IV - Trees on private property greater than one hectare in area

Section 39 to 41 - Scope

Section 39

The provisions of this Part shall apply to trees with a DBH of 10 cm or greater, on privately-owned property that is within the urban area of the City, or within the lands identified in Schedules “G” to “O” inclusive annexed hereto as additional lands, and that is:

  1. greater than one hectare in area; or
  2. equal to or less than one (1) hectare in area and subject to one of the following applications:
    1. a site plan control application pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act;
    2. a plan of subdivision application pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act; or
    3. a plan of condominium application pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act.

Section 40

Despite Section 39, the provisions of this Part shall not apply to trees on properties greater than one hectare with existing condominiums or multi-residential developments.

Section 41

For the purposes of this Part, General Manager means the General Manager of Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development.

Section 42 to 44 - Prohibition

Section 42

No person shall injure or destroy or permit the injury or destruction of a tree.

Section 43

Despite Section 42, the injury or destruction of a tree is permitted where the General Manager has issued a tree permit allowing for such injury or destruction, and where the injury or destruction is conducted in accordance with the conditions of the tree permit.

Section 44

No person shall fail to protect a tree:

  1. in accordance with the protection measures identified in Part VI of this by-law; or
  2. in the case of a tree that has been identified for protection in a tree permit, in accordance with the conditions of that permit and the protection measures identified in Part VI of this by-law.

Section 45 to 48 - Application for tree permit

Section 45

Any person who intends to injure or destroy a tree under this Part shall submit to the General Manager an application for a tree permit.

Section 46

An applicant for a tree permit pursuant to Section 45 shall provide the following information in an application to the General Manager:

  1. the name, address and contact information of the owner;
  2. the name, address and contact information of the applicant, if different from the owner and the owner’s written consent to the application;
  3. the name, address and contact information of the arborist hired by the owner or applicant to complete the tree conservation report;
  4. the name, address and contact information of the contractor undertaking the proposed tree work;
  5. the municipal address and legal description of the land, upon which the trees are proposed to be injured or destroyed;
  6. the purpose for which the permit is required;
  7. a tree conservation report in hard copy and digital copy consistent with the City’s Guidelines as prescribed in Schedule “E”;
  8. tree protection measures identified for retained trees as per Part VI of this by-law;
  9. a schedule for the proposed works, including the start and end dates and the construction period;
  10. confirmation of any other applications affecting the land, upon which the trees are to be injured or destroyed;
  11. confirmation of minimum liability insurance pursuant to Part VII;
  12. the fee prescribed in Schedule “D”; and
  13. such other information as the General Manager deems necessary.

Section 47

For a boundary tree, in addition to the requirements of Section 46, the applicant shall provide to the General Manager the written consent of the other property owner or owners to the application.

Section 48

Despite Section 46, the General Manager may waive any of the requirements listed in Section 46 where the General Manager determines that the requirements do not apply.

Section 49 - Permit issuance

The General Manager shall review the tree permit application and may,

  1. issue a tree permit;
  2. issue a tree permit with conditions; or
  3. refuse to issue a tree permit.

Section 50 to 52 - Issuance of approvals

Section 50

The General Manager may issue a tree permit to injure or destroy trees where the tree conservation report demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the General Manager that,

  1. it is necessary to remove dead, diseased or severely injured trees or branches for safety reasons;
  2. the trees are causing or are likely to cause structural damage to loadbearing structures or roof structures;
  3. the injury or destruction is required in order to remediate contaminated soil;
  4. the trees are to be relocated and the trees will be sufficiently prepared for relocation;
  5. the injury or destruction is required for trees specifically identified on plans approved by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal, City Council or a final and binding decision of the Committee of Adjustment;
  6. the injury or destruction is necessary to install, provide or maintain utilities, water or sanitary wastewater infrastructure required for the construction or use of a building or structure;
  7. there is no reasonable alternative to the injury or destruction;
  8. the injury or destruction is consistent with good forestry practices;
  9. other circumstances deemed appropriate by the General Manager exist.

Section 51

The General Manager may impose conditions on a tree permit including but not limited to the following conditions:

  1. any condition in accordance with good arboricultural practice;
  2. any condition recommended by an arborist;
  3. measures to be implemented to protect the retained trees during construction, where applicable, as per Part VI of this by-law;
  4. a requirement that destruction be carried out by or under the supervision of an arborist;
  5. specifications relating to the manner and timing of the injury or destruction of the tree or trees; or
  6. a requirement to plant replacement trees in accordance with Section 52.

Section 52

Where a tree permit requires, as a condition, the planting of a replacement tree, the General Manager may impose the following requirements with respect to the replacement tree:

  1. the number of replacement trees which shall be the greater of the number of replacement trees specified in the permit or the number of trees to be planted in accordance with the subdivision, condominium or site plan approval;
  2. the species, size and location of the replacement tree(s);
  3. the timing for the planting of the replacement tree(s);
  4. the maintenance and care of the replacement tree(s) including the deposit of security in the form of a letter of credit, cash or certified cheque in an amount to be determined by the General Manager to guarantee, for a specified period of time, the cost of maintaining or replacing the replacement tree(s);
  5. an equivalent fee to be paid in lieu of planting a replacement tree as shown in Schedule “B” of this by-law; and
  6. other provisions deemed appropriate by the General Manager.

Section 53 and 54 - Revocation of a tree permit

Section 53

The General Manager may revoke a tree permit if,

  1. the tree permit was issued on mistaken, misleading, false or incorrect information;
  2. the tree permit was issued in error;
  3. the owner or permit holder requests, in writing, that it be revoked;
  4. the owner or permit holder fails to comply with the conditions under which the approval was issued; or
  5. the owner or permit holder fails to comply with any provision of the approved tree conservation report or this by-law.

Section 54

No person shall knowingly furnish false information for the purposes of obtaining a tree permit.

Part V - Distinctive trees on private properties one hectare or less in area

Section 55 and 56 - Scope

Section 55

The provisions of this Part shall apply to distinctive trees on the following properties within the urban area of the City:

  1. a property that is one hectare or less in area; or
  2. a property greater than one hectare with an existing condominium or multi-residential development.

Section 56

Despite Section 55, the provisions of this Part shall not apply to properties subject to one of the following applications:

  1. a site plan control application pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act;
  2. a plan of subdivision application pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act; or
  3. a plan of condominium application pursuant to Section 51 of the Planning Act.

Section 57 to 59 - Prohibition

Section 57

No person shall injure or destroy or permit the injury or destruction of a distinctive tree.

Section 58

Despite Section 57, the injury or destruction of a distinctive tree is permitted where the General Manager has issued a distinctive tree permit allowing for such injury or destruction, and where the injury or destruction is carried out in accordance with the conditions of the distinctive tree permit.

Section 59

No person shall fail to protect a distinctive tree:

  1. in accordance with the protection measures identified in Part VI of this by-law; or
  2. in the case of a distinctive tree that has been identified for protection in a distinctive tree permit, in accordance with the conditions of that permit and the protection measures identified in Part VI of this by-law.

Section 60 to 64 - Application for distinctive tree permit

Section 60

Any person who intends to injure or destroy a distinctive tree shall submit to the General Manager an application for a distinctive tree permit.

Section 61

An applicant for a distinctive tree permit pursuant to Section 60 shall provide the following information in the application to the General Manager:

  1. the name, address and contact information of the owner;
  2. the name, address and contact information of the applicant, if different from the owner and the owner’s written consent to the application;
  3. the name, address and contact information of the arborist hired by the owner or applicant to complete the tree information report;
  4. the name, address and contact information of the contractor undertaking the proposed tree work;
  5. the municipal address and legal description of the land, upon which the distinctive tree or trees are to be injured or destroyed;
  6. confirmation by the arborist of the location of the distinctive tree(s) on the property;
  7. the purpose for which the distinctive tree permit is required;
  8. a tree information report consistent with the guidelines prescribed in Schedule “C” that supports the application for injury or destruction;
  9. tree protection measures identified for retained trees as per Part VI of this by-law;
  10. a schedule for the proposed works, including the start and end dates and the construction period;
  11. confirmation of any other applications affecting the land, upon which the trees are to be injured or destroyed;
  12. confirmation of minimum liability insurance pursuant to Part VII;
  13. the fee prescribed in Schedule “D”; and
  14. such other information as the General Manager deems necessary.

Section 62

Where a building permit application for infill development or a Committee of Adjustment application is made within the urban area, the owner or applicant shall submit a Tree Information Report with the required tree information shown on the grading plan and the plan for the site, as prescribed in Schedule “C”, in addition to the information contained in Section 61.

Section 63

For a boundary tree, in addition to the requirements of Section 61, the applicant for any permit or approval under this by-law must provide the written consent of the other property owner or owners to the application.

Section 64

Despite Section 61, the General Manager may waive any of the requirements listed in Section 61 where the General Manager determines that the requirements do not apply.

Section 65 - Approval of a distinctive tree permit

The General Manager shall review the application for a distinctive tree permit and may,

  1. issue a distinctive tree permit;
  2. issue a distinctive tree permit with conditions; or
  3. refuse to issue a distinctive tree permit.

Section 66 - Issuance of a distinctive tree permit

The General Manager may approve the issuance of a distinctive tree permit where the application demonstrates to the satisfaction the General Manager that,

  1. it is necessary to remove a dead, diseased or severely injured distinctive tree or branches for safety reasons;
  2. the distinctive tree is causing or is likely to cause structural damage to existing load-bearing structures or roof structures;
  3. the injury or destruction of the distinctive tree is required in order to remediate contaminated soil;
  4. the injury or destruction of the distinctive tree is specifically identified on plans approved by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal, Council or a final and binding decision of the Committee of Adjustment;
  5. the applicant has undertaken to implement satisfactory landscaping, replanting of trees or tree preservation;
  6. there is no reasonable alternative to the injury or destruction; or
  7. other circumstances deemed appropriate by the General Manager exist.

Section 67 - Conditions

The General Manager may impose conditions on a distinctive tree permit including but not limited to the following conditions:

  1. any condition in accordance with good arboricultural practice;
  2. any condition recommended by an arborist;
  3. measures to be implemented to protect the retained trees during construction, where applicable, as per Part VI of this by-law;
  4. a requirement that the injury or destruction be carried out by or under the supervision of an arborist;
  5. specifications relating to the manner and timing of the injury or destruction of the tree or trees; or
  6. a requirement to plant replacement trees in accordance with Section 68

Section 68 - Compensation

Where a distinctive tree permit requires as a condition the planting of a replacement tree, the General Manager may impose the following conditions with respect to the replacement tree:

  1. the number, species, size and location of replacement trees;
  2. the timing for the planting of the replacement tree(s);
  3. specify an equivalent fee to be paid in lieu of planting replacement trees pursuant to Schedule “B” of this by-law; and
  4. other provisions deemed appropriate by the General Manager.

Section 69 - Notice

No permit holder shall fail to post the distinctive tree permit on the subject property,

  1. in a prominent location so as to be clearly visible to the public; and
  2. for a period of not less than seven (7) days prior to any action being undertaken in accordance with the distinctive tree permit on the site; and
  3. for a period of not less than seven (7) days following any action taken in accordance with the distinctive tree permit.

Section 70 and 71 - Revocation of a distinctive tree permit

Section 70

The General Manager may revoke a distinctive tree permit where,

  1. the permit was issued on mistaken, misleading, false or incorrect information;
  2. the permit was issued in error;
  3. the owner or permit holder requests, in writing, that it be revoked; or
  4. the owner or permit holder fails to comply with any condition of the distinctive tree permit or this by-law.

Section 71

No person shall knowingly furnish false information for the purposes of obtaining a distinctive tree permit.

Part VI - Tree protection

Section 72 to 77 - Scope

Section 72

The provisions of this Part shall apply to all protected trees.

Section 73

No person shall fail to protect a protected tree unless an approval, a tree permit or a distinctive tree permit has been issued by the General Manager in accordance with this by-law.

Section 74

Where a tree is a protected tree, no person shall fail to implement the following tree protection measures, unless otherwise authorized by the General Manager:

    1. prior to any work activity, tree protection fencing must be installed around the outer edge of the critical root zone, or as per the approved Tree Conservation Report or Tree Information Report, as applicable, and remain in place until the work is complete;
    2. tree protection fencing shall be at least 1.2 metres in height and installed in such a way that the fence cannot be altered; and
    3. such other measures as required by the General Manager to protect the tree.

Section 75

Despite Subsection 74(1), if the General Manager determines the fenced tree protection area must be reduced to facilitate construction, mitigation measures shall be prescribed by an arborist and may include, but are not limited to;

    1. the placement of plywood, wood chips or steel plating over the roots;
    2. the proper pruning and care for roots where they are encountered; and
    3. the use of tunneling or boring when excavating.

Section 76

Within the critical root zone of a protected tree, unless otherwise approved by the General Manager, no person shall:

  1. place any material or equipment, including outhouses;
  2. raise or lower the existing grade; or
  3. extend any hard surface or significantly change landscaping.

Section 77

Unless otherwise approved by the General Manager, no person shall:

    1. attach any signs, notices or posters to a tree, except as required by this by-law;
    2. damage the root system, trunk or branches of a tree; or
    3. direct exhaust fumes from equipment toward a tree canopy.

Part VII - Indemnification and insurance

Section 78

An applicant for a permit or other approval under this by-law shall agree to indemnify and save harmless the City from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, losses, costs or damages that the City may suffer, incur or be liable for resulting from the issuance of a permit or approval under this by-law or from the performance or non-performance of the applicant under this by-law, whether with or without negligence on the part of the applicant, or the applicant’s employees, directors, contractors and agents.

Section 79

If the applicant for a permit is a contractor or commercial developer, minimum liability insurance is,

    1. commercial general liability insurance subject to a limit of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death, or damage to property, including loss of use thereof, or negligent acts or omissions by the contractor; and
    2. such insurance shall name the City of Ottawa as an additional insured and shall include an endorsement to provide the City of Ottawa with thirty (30) days’ notice of cancellation.

Section 80

If the applicant for a permit is not a contractor or commercial developer, minimum liability insurance is liability insurance subject to a limit of not less than $1,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death, or damage to property, including loss of use thereof.

Part VIII - By-law Exemptions

Section 81 - Statutory exemptions

This by-law shall not apply in the following circumstances:

  1. activities or matters are undertaken by the City or a local board of the City;
  2. activities or matters are undertaken by a license issued under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, S.O. 1994, c. 25, as amended;
  3. trees are injured or destroyed by a person licensed under the Surveyors Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.29, as amended, to engage in the practice of cadastral surveying, or his or her agent while making a survey;
  4. the injury or destruction of trees is imposed after December 31, 2002 as a condition of approval of a site plan, a plan of subdivision, or a consent, under Sections 41, 51 or 53 respectively, of the Planning Act or as a requirement of an agreement of a site plan agreement or subdivision agreement entered into under those sections;
  5. the injuring or destruction of trees is imposed after December 31, 2002 as a condition to a development permit authorized by regulation made under Section 70.2 of the Planning Act or as a requirement of an agreement entered into under the regulation;
  6. trees are injured or destroyed by a transmitter or distributor, as those terms are defined in Section 2 of the Electricity Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 15, Sch. A., as amended, for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a transmission system or a distribution system, as defined in that Act;
  7. the injury or destruction of trees is undertaken on land described in a license for a pit or quarry or a permit for a wayside pit or a wayside quarry issued under the Aggregate Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.8, as amended; or
  8. the injury or destruction of trees is undertaken on land in order to lawfully establish and operate or enlarge any pit or quarry on land:
    1. that has not been designated under the Aggregate Resources Act or a predecessor of that Act; and
    2. on which a pit or quarry is a permitted land use under a by-law passed under Section 34 of the Planning Act.

Section 82 - General exemptions for private trees, parts iv and v of this by-law

A tree permit or a distinctive tree permit is not required in the following circumstances where,

  1. pruning is necessary to maintain the health and condition of the tree and is carried out in accordance with good arboricultural practices;
  2. the tree is dead as confirmed by an arborist;
  3. the tree is located within a building, a solarium, a rooftop garden or an interior courtyard;
  4. the tree to be destroyed is located within an actively managed, cultivated orchard, tree farm or plant nursery and is harvested for the purposes for which the tree was planted;
  5. the injury or destruction is required as part of the regular operation of an existing cemetery or golf course;
  6. the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety; or
  7. the injury or destruction is a normal farm practice carried out as part of an agricultural operation by a farming business.

Part IX - Enforcement

Section 83 to 89 - Enforcement by municipal law enforcement officer

Section 83

This by-law shall be enforced by a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer.

Section 84

A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may, at any reasonable time, enter and inspect any land to determine if this by-law or an order issued under this by-law has been complied with provided that the power of entry does not allow the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer to enter into any building on the land.

Section 85

A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may, in carrying out an inspection pursuant to Section 84, be accompanied by the General Manager, or designate, and any other person possessing expert or special knowledge necessary to assist the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer with their enforcement activities and may make examinations or take tests or samples necessary for the purposes of inspection.

Section 86

A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may require the production for inspection of the Tree Conservation Report or the Tree Information Report, as applicable, or other documents or things relevant to the inspection, and inspect and remove such reports, documents or things for the purpose of making copies or extracts.

Section 87

A receipt shall be provided for any report, document or thing removed under Section 86 and the report, document or thing shall be promptly returned after the copies or extracts are made.

Section 88

A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer may take photographs necessary for the purpose of the inspection.

Section 89

No person or permit holder shall hinder or obstruct or attempt to hinder or obstruct the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer in the discharge of duties under this by-law.

Section 90 to 96 - Stop work orders

Section 90

Where the General Manager is satisfied that a contravention of this by-law has occurred, the General Manager may issue a stop work order requiring the person who contravened the by-law or that caused or permitted a contravention of the bylaw to cease the contravening activity.

Section 91

The stop work order shall set out reasonable particulars of the contravention adequate to identify the contravention, the location of the contravention and the date by which there must be compliance with the stop work order.

Section 92

No person or permit holder shall fail to comply with a stop work order issued by the General Manger pursuant to Section 90.

Section 93

A stop work order issued under Section 90 may be served personally by the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, may be sent by email, may be posted in a conspicuous place on the property where the contravention occurred or may be sent by registered mail to the person contravening the by-law.

Section 94

Where a stop work order under this by-law is served personally by the Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, it shall be deemed to have been served on the date of delivery to the person or persons named.

Section 95

The posting of the stop work order on the affected lands shall be deemed to be sufficient service of the stop work order on the person or corporation to whom the stop work order is directed on the date it is posted.

Section 96

Where a stop work order issued under this by-law is sent by registered mail, it shall be sent to the last known address of,

  1. the applicant;
  2. the owner; or
  3. the person or company retained to undertake the injury or destruction of the tree,

and shall be deemed to have been served on the fifth day after the stop work order is mailed.

Section 97 to 101 - Offences and penalties

Section 97

Every person who contravenes any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence.

Section 98

Any person who hinders or obstructs a person lawfully carrying out the enforcement of this by-law is guilty of an offence.

Section 99

A person who is convicted of an offence under this by-law is liable to:

  1. a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000 as provided for in subsection 429(3) paragraph 1 of the Municipal Act; and
  2. a special fine that may exceed $100,000, as provided for in subsection 429(3), paragraph 1 of the Municipal Act.

Section 100

Despite Section 97, every person who contravenes a stop work order that is issued pursuant to Section 90 of this by-law is guilty of a continuing offence as provided for in subsection 429(2), paragraph (a) of the Municipal Act, and is liable, for each day or part of a day that the offence continues, to a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $10,000, and the total of all daily fines for the offence is not limited to $100,000 as provided for in subsection 429(3), paragraph 2 of the Municipal Act.

Section 101

When a person has been convicted of an offence under this by-law, the Ontario Court of Justice and any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter may, in addition to any penalty imposed on the person convicted, issue an order,

  1. prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence by the person convicted; and
  2. requiring the person convicted to correct the contravention in the manner and within the period that the court considers appropriate.

Part X - Administration

Section 102 - Former by-laws repealed

The Urban Tree Conservation By-law 2009-200, as amended, and the Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law 2006-279, as amended are hereby repealed.

Section 103 - Transition

The repeal of the by-laws pursuant to Section 102 shall not affect any offence committed against the provisions of the repealed by-laws or any penalty incurred in respect thereof or any investigative procedure, including but not limited to any prosecution thereunder.

Section 104 - By-law in force

This by-law shall come into force and take effect on January 1, 2021.

Section 105 - Short Title

This by-law shall be known as the “Tree Protection By-law”.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 25th day of November, 2020.

DEPUTY CITY CLERK/ MAYOR

Schedule B – Tree Compensation Requirements

Municipal Trees

For municipally owned trees, City wide, regardless of the reason for removal:

  • Pay the compensation value of the tree and plant a replacement tree in the Right of Way
  • The compensation value of the tree is determined by CTLA Trunk Formula method or a replacement ratio, whichever is greater
  • If a replacement tree cannot be planted then, in addition to the compensation value of the tree, the applicant must pay the cash value of a replacement tree, which is $400
  • Note that a minimum compensation value of $400 per tree will be charged
  • For unique scenarios, the valuation method may be determined by the General Manager
  • Compensation amounts may be adjusted where trees are proposed on a landscape plan

For wooded natural areas, or where there is a substantial number of trees to be removed, a different valuation method may be considered.

Private Trees

For private property in the urban area, 1 hectare or less in size.

Application for removal not associated with a Planning Act application or infill development:

  • 1:1 – Plant a tree for each distinctive tree removed, to be planted on the same private property, implemented by putting it as a condition of the Distinctive Tree permit.

Application for removal associated with infill development:

  • 2:1 or 3:1, based on distinctive tree size for the subject area:
    • 2:1 for each distinctive tree measuring 30-49 cm DBH in the inner urban area only
    • 3:1 for each distinctive tree measuring 50 cm or greater DBH in the inner urban and suburban areas
  • Plant the required number of replacement trees for each distinctive tree removed, as required. If all planting cannot be accommodated, must pay the cash value for the number of trees not planted. A replacement tree is valued at $400. For example; if the distinctive tree removed is 54 cm in diameter, 3 replacement trees are required to be planted, if only 1 tree was planted, then the owner owes the City 2 x $400 = $800 for the remaining owed trees.
    • Trees planted in compensation must be non-invasive species
    • When planted, the replacement tree must be a minimum of 50 mm measured no less than 15 cm above ground level for deciduous trees, and no less than 200 cm in height as measured from ground level to midway between the tip of the leader and the uppermost whorl, or as otherwise approved by the General Manager.
    • It is preferable to plant tree species that will attain the largest size at maturity, given the site-specific context.
  • If the tree cannot be planted on the same private property, it can then be planted on another private property in reasonably close proximity to the removed tree, subject to the property owner’s approval and to the satisfaction of the General Manager.

For private property in the urban area, over 1 hectare in size.

Application for removal not associated with a Planning Act application or infill development:

  • 1:1 – Plant a tree for each protected tree removed, to be planted on the same private property, implemented by putting it as a condition of the tree permit.

For private property in the urban area, of any size, subject to a Planning Act application (Site Plan, Plan of Subdivision):

  • To be determined through development review process.

For private property in the urban area, of any size, where the tree removed is dead, hazardous, or an ash tree:

  • 1:1 replacement planting

Schedule C - Tree Information Report Guidelines

The objective for these guidelines is to provide clear guidance on the tree information required, based on the type of application, or tree removal situation, when applying for permission to remove a tree. These guidelines will assist consulting arborists, tree care specialists, registered professional foresters, etc., in the preparation of the Tree Information Report for required tree removals, and to confirm the adequate protection of trees to be retained.

The City’s Tree Protection By-law lays out when a Tree Information Report (TIR) or a Tree Conservation Report (TCR) is required. Generally, a TIR is required for the proposed removal of municipal trees city-wide, or of distinctive trees on properties one hectare or less in size within the City’s urban area. A TIR is also required for all Committee of Adjustment applications and Building Permit applications for infill development[1] within the City’s urban area.

The type of application, or the tree removal reason for a given site dictates if a TIR or a TCR is required. Figure 1, on the last page, will help determine which type of report is required.

Table 1 outlines the information required to be included within Tree Information Reports. For all Planning Act applications2, a Tree Conservation Report is required. Please refer to the TCR Guidelines in Schedule E of the Tree Protection By-law. Following the table, detailed information for each element is described.

Details required for tree removal by application type

No development1
Tree Information Report (TIR) - Short

  • Owner contact information
  • Arborist contact information
  • Contractor information
  • Location of tree(s) to be removed
  • Species
  • Size
  • Ownership
  • Condition of tree(s)
  • Client's reason for removal
  • Arborist recommendations
  • *Additional information may be requested
  • Self-declaration statement

Infill development
Tree Information Report (TIR) - Full

  • Owner contact information
  • Arborist contact information
  • Contractor information
  • Location of tree(s) to be removed
  • Species
  • Size
  • Ownership
  • Condition of tree(s)
  • Client's reason for removal
  • Arborist recommendations
  • Plans showing tree locations (grading plan, site plan, etc.)
  • Tree protection and mitigation measures
  • Boundary tree confirmation and consent
  • Tree replacement information
  • Additional information
  • Federal and Provincial regulations
  • Self-declaration statement
1 “Infill development” means low rise residential development that is not subject to Site Plan Control, Plan of Subdivision, or Plan of Condominium.
2 A Planning Act application is a development application under the Planning Act for Site Plan Control, Plan of Subdivision, or Plan of Condominium.
3 “No development” includes construction projects not related to infill development. For example, widening a driveway or installing a service, a pool, or a deck, etc.

Tree Information Report Submission

The submission of a Tree Information Report shall occur at the earliest application for any proposed tree removals or works that may impact trees in any way. A TIR is to be submitted as a part of the full application package for infill development. The TIR application form shall be completed, and all other required information must be attached.

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to request further information due to the complexity of the work to be performed and/or deny the application if the submitted Tree Information Report is deemed unsatisfactory by the General Manager. Where the Tree Information Report submission is related to infill development or other construction projects requiring approvals, tree permits will be issued in conjunction with the development approval (eg. building permit, demolition permit, pool enclosure, etc.). However, these other approvals do not in themselves convey permission to remove trees.

For Building Permits for infill development: Where there are no trees on the site or neighbouring properties which could be impacted by the proposed work, a statement on the grading plan or site plan that there are no trees on the site must be included.

Exemptions: Where trees are an immediate threat to public health and safety or qualify for other exemptions listed in Part VI of the Tree Protection By-law, no report is required.

Required information:

For both the TIR-short and TIR-full, complete the Tree Information Report form with the following information:

Contact Information for the Owner, Arborist, and Contractor:

Please provide name, address, telephone number and email address for the property owner, the arborist, and, if known at the time of application, the contractor.

Tree Information:

Specific information about the tree(s) on site is required and shall be provided in a table format (see below). The tree # must correlate to the map provided with the report.

Tree information
Tree # Species Size (DBH4) Ownership Condition of tree Client’s reason for removal Arborist recommendation
             
“DBH” or “diameter at breast height” means the measurement of the width of a trunk of a tree at a height of one hundred and thirty (130) cm from the ground. Refer to “how to measure the diameter of a tree” for details.

Species: Identify the tree(s) impacted by common English name and botanical name.

Size: For each tree, the diameter at breast height (DBH) must be provided in centimetres. Measurements must be accurate.

Location of trees to be removed:

TIR-Short – List/Describe the location of tree(s) in relation to existing and any proposed structures, lot boundaries, or relative proximity to other tree(s). For example, Southeast corner of rear lot, between fence and shed.

TIR-Full – All trees on site must be listed/described, including boundary and adjacent trees with Critical Root Zones extending into the site. The tree locations must be plotted on the grading and site plan, as applicable, by a surveyor or GPS.

Ownership: The ownership for each tree must be listed within the report (e.g. private, City, boundary5, adjacent6). If ownership is unknown, a survey may be required. For trees on a shared property line, list the address it is shared with.

5boundary tree” means a tree, of which any part of the trunk is growing across one or more property lines.
6 “adjacent tree” means a tree whose trunk is growing on a property sharing a boundary with the subject site.

Condition: Provide detailed information about the condition of the tree(s). Applications for tree removal based on the condition must provide greater detail on the conditions noted and may require additional documentation such as tree risk assessments (from a reputable source) to support the arborist’s recommendation. The determination of the condition will be based on some of the following factors, and should also consider the level of risk associated with the condition and whether any mitigation options are available:

  • Structural Integrity (Have there been recent limb failures? List evidence of structural weaknesses, noticeable stress cracks, frost cracks, weak unions, and included bark unions)
  • Deadwood (%)
  • Vigour (Is the tree healthy and in leaf, or in decline and struggling?)
  • Are there any insects infesting? (list type and extent of infestation)
  • Are there any pathological concerns? (list type and extent of infection)
  • Are fungal fruiting bodies evident? (list type and extent of decay)
  • Is decay evident at unions, base, or elsewhere? A bore test, ultrasound or resistograph may be required to determine extent of decay.
  • Is the tree causing damage to structures? List type and location of damage. May require additional reports and/or proof of remedial work completed. Requests to remove a City tree for this reason must follow the 4-phase assessment process for trees and foundation damage.
  • Does the tree have a significant lean? Are there signs of potential uprooting with a pull test?
  • Or other factors deemed acceptable by the General Manager

Client’s Reason for Removal: Provide client’s reason for requesting tree removal. Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • For construction purposes, eg., new house, addition, landscaping, etc.
  • Safety (Is the tree hazardous? If yes, identify the concern)
  • Damage to a structure or private property (an engineer’s report may be required).
  • The tree is in decline and is no longer viable to maintain.

Arborist’s Recommendation: Provide arborist’s recommendation for the tree(s), as well as any protection and/or mitigation measures to be implemented for retained trees.

TIR – Short – The arborist must provide recommendation for the course of action for the tree(s).

TIR-Full – The arborist must identify and recommend which tree(s) will be removed and which will be retained/protected, based on their assessment of the work proposed on site and the distance between the tree(s) and excavation. Recommendations should also include changes to the proposed work that would allow for tree retention. For retained/protected trees, mitigation measures must be illustrated and noted on the grading plan and site plan, as appropriate.

For trees that are to be retained and protected, the tree protection measures outlined in Part VI of the Tree Protection By-law must be implemented. Please also refer to the City’s Tree Protection Specification. If the full CRZ cannot be protected, mitigation measures must be described in the report, shown on the plan and implemented accordingly.

Photographs: Provide photographs of each tree to be removed, showing the condition of the tree and reason for removal, as applicable.

Plans:

TIR-Short – A plan may be required depending on the level of complexity of the work to be performed.

TIR-Full – Tree removal and tree protection information must include:

  • A plan showing the locations of all trees (including boundary and adjacent trees) and their critical root zones7.
  • The location of tree protection fencing.
  • All proposed excavation limits8 (including for buildings, projections, services, retaining walls, driveways, etc.).
  • Measurements from the nearest edge of the trunk to adjacent excavation limits.
  • All trees protected under the City’s Tree Protection By-law must be shown on the map. The map must use symbols or colours to differentiate between private trees and municipal trees, and whether the trees are proposed for retention or removal. Retained trees require protection measures to be shown and details on required mitigation practices also.

All this information must be overlaid on the grading plan and site plan, and the plan must be updated with any changes made through the associated review process. Full TIRs without plans will not be accepted.

7The critical root zone (CRZ) is established as being 10 centimetres from the trunk of a tree for every 10 centimetre of trunk DBH measured in a radius around the tree. The CRZ is calculated as DBH x 10 cm.
8 “excavation limits” means the full extent of excavation for the proposed work, including any required sloping or shoring.

Tree Retention and Protection (TIR-Full):

Where trees are to be retained and protected, tree protection measures must be provided in the report and illustrated on the plan (accounting for physical constraints), mitigation strategies to be implemented prior to construction and maintained for the full duration of construction. Please refer Part VI of the City of Ottawa’s Tree Protection By-law for the required tree protection measures.

Boundary tree confirmation (TIR-Full):

Where trees that are jointly owned are impacted, consent from the other property owner must be obtained. The signature of the other property owner must be included on the application form to confirm consent. Where an agreement cannot be reached, adjustments to the proposed plan may be required. A Tree Removal Permit will not be issued without each owner’s consent.

Tree Replacement Information (TIR-Full): Any replacement planting must take place after the completion of work to be done or following construction project completion. For each replacement tree, provide:

  • tree size
  • species
  • quantity
  • location on property (shown on the site plan or on a landscape plan9)
9Proposed planting locations may be shown on the site plan or separated into a Landscape Plan. Any separate Landscape Plan submitted must show any retained trees in addition to trees proposed to be planted.

The planting of large shade trees using a variety of species is encouraged to fulfill the objective of a diverse, sustainable urban forest.

Please refer to Schedule B of the City’s Tree Protection By-law for tree compensation requirements.

When planted, the replacement tree must be a minimum of 50 mm measured no less than 15 cm above ground level for deciduous trees, and no less than 200 cm in height as measured from ground level to midway between the tip of the leader and the uppermost whorl, or as otherwise approved by the General Manager.

Additional information:

Depending on the complexity of the work to be performed, other reports may be required. For example, a Tree Risk Assessment from a viable source (ISA, Arboriculture Canada, etc.) could be necessary to justify a tree removal, a Landscape Plan should be included to show any replacement/new planting, and a Butternut Health Assessment could be required if Butternut trees are on site.

Federal and Provincial Regulations:

The arborist is responsible to abide by all Federal and Provincial Regulations such as the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, etc. when evaluating and recommending best course of action for any site. If any Federal and Provincial Regulations apply to the specific site application, related permits or mitigation needs must be noted.

Self-Declaration Statement:

For both TIR-short and TIR-full, the application form must be signed by the property owner, arborist and contractor (if known at time of application), which confirms that all parties agree with the information provided and will respect the proposed work and mitigation measures. By signing the application, you are also acknowledging and understanding that an inspector may enter the property at a reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out an inspection. You also acknowledge and understand that through failure to abide by the recommendations of the approved Tree Information Report, damaging or destructing trees identified for protection, you will be responsible to bear fully the cost of compensation, removal, and replacement.

It is the owner/applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all protection and mitigation measures described in the TIR are followed, and where necessary are done so under the supervision of an arborist.

Figure 1: Flow chart to determine what kind of tree report is required for a permit to remove a tree

Schedule D – Application Fees

Municipal Trees

For municipally owned trees, City wide:

  • Applications associated with Planning Act applications (Site Plan, Plan of Subdivision, Plan of Condominium) – included in development application fees
  • Applications associated with infill development – $500 per tree, to a maximum of $2500
  • Applications for removal not associated with a Planning Act application or infill development – $150 per tree to a maximum of $750

Private Trees

For private property in the urban area, regardless of property size:

  • Applications associated with Planning Act applications (Site Plan, Plan of Subdivision, Plan of Condominium) – included in development application fees
  • Applications associated with infill development – $500 per tree, to a maximum of $2500
  • Applications for removal not associated with a Planning Act application or infill development – $150 per tree to a maximum of $750
  • Removal of dead, hazardous or ash trees does not require a permit application, follow exemption process

Schedule E - Tree Conservation Report Guidelines

Introduction

The importance of protecting vegetation cover on sites subject to development is outlined in the Official Plan (Section 4.7.2). The Tree Conservation Report (TCR) provides essential information that must be integrated with all plans for a site, including the grading, servicing and landscape plans, to ensure that trees are retained in development scenarios, where feasible, and that new trees will be accommodated and planted to contribute to the City’s forest cover target and to address a site’s tree loss.

The purpose of the Tree Conservation Report is to demonstrate how tree cover will be retained on the site, including mature trees, stands of trees, and hedgerows, using a design with nature approach to planning and engineering. A design with nature approach incorporates the natural features of a site into the design and engineering of a proposed development. This includes, but is not limited to, measures such as retention of vegetation, consideration of wildlife habitats, and respect for natural drainage patterns.

The report will consider natural features not only on the study site, but on the surrounding landscape as well. This will provide context for the site and show natural area representation surrounding the given site.

The report will identify and describe the vegetative cover on the site prior to development. It will provide a professional opinion on the priority of treed areas to be conserved. It will show how the priority features have been incorporated into the proposed development and how they will be adequately protected for the long-term.

The Tree Conservation Report Guidelines are meant to be applied in coordination with other City of Ottawa guidelines including the ‘Significant Woodlands Guidelines for Identification, Evaluation and Impact Assessment’ and the ‘Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines’.

Process

  • The Tree Conservation Report is required for all Plans of Subdivision, Site Plan Control Applications, Common Elements Condominium Applications, and Vacant Land Condominium Applications where there is a tree10 of 10 centimetres in diameter or greater on the site and/or if there is a tree on an adjacent site that has a Critical Root Zone (CRZ)11 extending onto the development site.
  • The report will be prepared by an individual with proven expertise and/or professional qualifications in forestry, ecology, biology, arboriculture, or landscape architecture in accordance with the definition of “arborist” in Section 1 of the Tree Protection By-law.
  • The TCR must be submitted prior to any activities occurring on-site that might impact the trees. It may be submitted at the time of pre-consultation, prior to an application being made, or with the application. In some cases, a preliminary Tree Conservation Report may be required to support on-site investigations (e.g., boreholes).
  • Amendments to the TCR shall be submitted for approval if changes are required as a result of investigative site works, infrastructure and engineering approvals, or other plan changes. Tree removal, and any activities that could injure trees, must not occur until the amendment has been approved.
  • At the discretion of the General Manager, the TCR may be combined with the Landscape Plan or the Environmental Impact Statement.
  • The removal of trees on the site cannot occur until written approval of the Tree Conservation Report has been granted through a tree permit (as per the Tree Protection By-law). The approval of the TCR will come in the form of a letter (the tree permit) from the General Manager, or designate, with conditions specific to the site, tree retention and associated tree protection, and tree removal.
  • The approved TCR is a requirement for the approval of the development applications listed above.
  • A copy of the report must be available on-site during tree removal, grading, construction, or any other site alteration activities, and for the duration of construction on the site.
  • The grading, servicing, and landscape plans as well as all other approved plans will be consistent with and follow the recommendations made and approved in the Tree Conservation Report.
  • Elements outlined in the Tree Conservation Report will be incorporated into conditions of draft plan approval and shown on the other approved plans (i.e., Landscape Plan, Grading Plan and/or Site Plan) where relevant.
  • The General Manager reserves the right to refuse or reject a submission and to ask for additional information by other qualified persons.
  • The General Manager may require that the report be prepared and stamped by a Registered Professional Forester (RPF).
10“Tree” is defined as any species of woody perennial plant, including its root system, which has reached or can reach a minimum height of at least 450 cm at physiological maturity.
11The critical root zone (CRZ) is established as being 10 centimetres from the trunk of a tree for every centimetre of trunk DBH measured in a radius around the tree. The CRZ is calculated as DBH x 10 cm.

Elements

The Tree Conservation Report will include the following elements:

  1. An inventory of the trees currently on site, including species composition (where applicable), diameter at breast height, age, and condition and health of the trees.
  2. Where appropriate, groups of trees may be combined into stands for inventory purposes. Stand information must include; percent species composition, average diameter at breast height, general health, and a general stand description.
  3. When present, the following natural elements must be identified:
    1. Surface water features, including vernal pools, wetlands and watercourses;
    2. Steep slopes, including valleys and escarpments;
    3. Valued woodlots designated as Urban Natural Features or Natural Environment Areas, areas evaluated in the Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study (UNAEES), or other areas that meet the criteria used in the UNAEES;
    4. Significant woodlands;
    5. High quality, specimen trees;
    6. Hazardous trees;
    7. The presence of riparian woodlots, rare communities or other unique ecological features; and
    8. Species at Risk and their habitat.
  4. Map #1 Current Vegetation - A current aerial photograph of the site (available through the City’s geoOttawa tool) showing the current vegetation mapped as an overlay. This map must be at the same scale as the draft plan of subdivision or site plan. The following elements must be included:
    1. The property line;
    2. The vegetation communities;
    3. Single trees and small clumps of trees;
    4. Trees on adjacent sites with a CRZ extending onto the development site;
    5. Ownership of all trees – City, private, shared ownership (boundary trees), as well as trees on adjacent sites if they have a CRZ extending onto the development area.
    6. Existing buildings and impervious surfaces (e.g. driveways and parking lots);
    7. Locations of any natural elements listed under 3 above and/or other important features identified in EIS and other environmental studies;
    8. Names of surrounding roads; and
    9. Standard mapping elements such as a north arrow, scale, date, and legend.
  5. Map #2 Proposed Development and Conserved Vegetation – The same aerial photograph of the site as in Map #1 showing the proposed development or the proposed plan of undertaking12 as an overlay. This must be at the same scale as the draft plan of subdivision or site plan. The following elements must be included:
    1. Proposed development (including; roads, infrastructure, stormwater management, lot lines, etc. and the limits of the construction area) or the proposed plan of undertaking;
    2. The property line;
    3. Any relevant setback lines, for example for; watercourses, zoning, geotechnical, or anything identified in an EIS for an environmental feature.
    4. Existing buildings and impervious surfaces (e.g. driveways and parking lots);
    5. Treed areas identified for protection and the associated tree protection measures;
    6. Trees and/or treed areas identified for removal;
    7. Identified natural elements and/or other important features as per Map#1;
    8. Names of surrounding roads; and
    9. Standard mapping elements such as a north arrow, scale, date, and legend.
  6. Identify the vegetation that will be retained and why it has been chosen for retention. If there are several vegetated areas on site or a large area, it should be identified how the areas are prioritized for retention.
  7. An indication of how park and school locations, road locations, infrastructure, stormwater management facilities, creative lot layouts, and design approaches can help to conserve vegetated areas, where feasible.
  8. The impact of the development on the conserved portions of vegetation should be examined and outlined, including and not limited to the impacts of grade change, changes to drainage patterns, effects of impervious surfaces and new buildings, and changes in the water table.
  9. Describe mitigation measures that will be used to promote the long-term survival of retained trees and woodlands (e.g. buffers for protection, fencing, single loaded roads along forest stands, edge preparation, or any other measures as required given the site conditions).
  10. Describe the protection measures required to prevent impacts to retained trees and woodlands during construction. Include protection measures for any trees on adjacent property that may be impacted by the construction. The tree protection measures must be consistent with the City of Ottawa’s Tree Protection Specification in Part VI of the Tree Protection By-law or as approved by the General Manager or designate.
  11. Where there is substantial alteration of the tree cover on the site, consider the impact on fauna or rare species during and after construction and propose mitigation measures, using the City’s Protocol for Wildlife Protection during Construction. Indicate how this adheres to existing legislation on species protection.
  12. Include tree planting recommendations for the site which will help offset the vegetation loss on the site and will also be used to direct the development of the Landscape Plan, including the following:
    1. The species to be used for the given site conditions;
    2. The use of native, non-invasive tree species. In applicable areas, the most current Guidelines for Tree Planting in Sensitive Marine Clay Soils must be followed; and
    3. Where tree planting is required to provide protection for watercourses and steep slopes.
12A plan of undertaking could include a plan for investigative site works or a plan for sustainable forest management on the site.

Other required information

Information to be included with Tree Conservation Report:

  1. The name, address (municipal/email) and telephone number of the owner.
  2. The name, address (municipal/email) and telephone number of the applicant, if different from the owner, and the owner’s written consent to the application.
  3. The name, address (municipal/email), telephone number and qualifications of the professional hired by the owner or applicant to complete the report.
  4. The name, address and telephone number of the contractor implementing the TCR, if applicable.
  5. The municipal address and legal description of the land upon which trees are proposed to be protected, injured or destroyed.
  6. A schedule of the proposed works, including the start and end dates of construction.
  7. Confirmation of any other applications affecting the land upon which trees are to be protected, injured or destroyed.

Schedules G to O

Schedules G to O [ PDF 3.171 MB ]

  • Schedule G - South March
  • Schedule H - Stittsville
  • Schedule I - Barrhaven North
  • Schedule J - Barrhaven South
  • Schedule K - Riverside South
  • Schedule L - Leitrim West
  • Schedule M - Tewin
  • Schedule N - Orleans South
  • Schedule O - Orleans North