Trees Please Hamilton

Green Solutions to Air Pollution

Tree Tuesday! City of Hamilton’s by-law on trees on public property

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Trees Please recently received an email from a concerned resident about the removal of a fairly young, healthy maple tree that was located on City road allowance. 
That prompted us to ask the City’s Forestry Section about their By-Law (No. 15-125) to remove trees on or affecting public property.
Here is what we were able to find out.
Only the City of Hamilton or a contractor hired by the City to work on trees are permitted to trim or remove trees on public property, this includes the road allowance at the front of a residential property.
A person can apply to the City of Hamilton for a permit to perform work on, in or around a public tree, including removing any part of the tree.  After a permit application is submitted to the City, an Urban Forest Health Technician will assess the tree(s) for potential permit issuance.  There are fees imposed for the issuance of the permit, these are based on a number of factors, but not limited to: tree species, size, overall health, if it impacts utilities.  The  fees associated with the permit are used to replace the removed tree canopy by planting a new tree elsewhere. 
Sometimes the City or a contractor will remove a tree because it is in poor health. The City has the right and obligation to do this to protect public safety.

So what happens if someone notices a city owned tree being taken down by someone other than the City or City Contractors?

1) Contact the City f Hamilton’s by-law office:                                                                             The online complaint form
By phone: 905-546-2782, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
By email:
For after hours, urgent complaints that are an immediate health and safety concern call 905-546-2489.   
2) Contact the forestry department to let them know that a City tree has been removed.
Forestry’s goal is to increase Hamilton’s overall canopy cover which is why there is a by-law in place to protect against unlawful tree injury or removal.  
3) Take photos, if there is a company vehicle, take photos of the company name and contact info.
A big thanks to Forestry and their staff for this useful information.
Other information: 

Author: treespleasehamilton

A project of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Environment Hamilton. Funding by Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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