Tree By-Law Update

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The City is looking for your input on the Tree Preservation By-law Update. Please come to the Open House on May 30, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Great Hall, at the Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard or submit your comments online below. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Please register now

The City of Markham Tree Preservation By-law was implemented in 2008. The By-law has had minor updates over time and now a comprehensive review is underway and we need your input.

Please see the presentation below and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.



The City is looking for your input on the Tree Preservation By-law Update. Please come to the Open House on May 30, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Great Hall, at the Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard or submit your comments online below. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Please register now

The City of Markham Tree Preservation By-law was implemented in 2008. The By-law has had minor updates over time and now a comprehensive review is underway and we need your input.

Please see the presentation below and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.



Questions or Comments

Residents are encouraged to provide their input.

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    Markham residents must regularly maintain their own trees so that they do not overcrowd into neighbor's property. This is particularly true for very invasive tree species like silver maple and boxelder maple which are soft wood, self-seeding and spread their suckers prolifically. Maple keys cause more work for neighbors as they have to be manually dug up to keep their growth at bay.

    Mary A asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. 

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    Why can you not be permitted to cut down a big messy old ugly tree that takes up your whole front yard and is hanging over your house when you are willing to replace it with a big beautiful tree. When builders are allowed to take up a bigger and bigger % of lots for houses, which means cutting down more trees? Paying fines and money doesn't replace trees. Lets make our City Beautiful!!

    Tree lover. asked 9 months ago

    As trees age their environmental impact grows it is important to maintain our older trees. Please see the link to the CBC article discussing a German study from 2017. CBC Article

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    Should a shed be categorized as a building? Furthermore, when determining the distance, is it measured from the outermost edge (typically the eavestrough edge) to the center of the DBH?

    Richie asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your input. It is a good point that any building as defined by the Building Code could be considered a building for the 1.5m removal policy. Your feedback will be taken under advisement. Trees within the 1.5m policy will still require a permit application and review by City staff and may be subject to conditional planting or cash-in-lieu of planting. The measurement is taken from the main building edge rather than the eavestrough edge. 

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    Removing the building footprint exemption during a housing crisis is tone-deaf. Housing needs to be build faster and cheaper. Removing the exemption would increase the costs of housing and delay occupancy. Cutting ones nose to spite ones face.

    GK20 asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Why is the selection of trees limited to large trees The species are too large for residential lots If you want people to replace trees that are taken down due to renovations the tree replaced should be ones that will not become too large. I suggest columnar beech trees be included as they were about 8 years ago

    Donna Wilson asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. There are several examples of small trees on the list, such as Redbud and Cucumber Magnolia. 

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    Do developers pay the same penalty as home owners for cutting healthy trees. A recent example was many large healthy trees destroyed on the north west corner of hwy 7 and Don cousins parkway. I asked Jack heath and frank scarpittl this question. Their answer was it is included in the cost of development! My stance is I bought and planted a tree on my property which I pay taxes. I should be allowed to remove it if I replace it with another tree. Home owner cost of developing a more appealing city scape.

    Donald asked 9 months ago

    Yes, development applicants are required to go through a due process for tree removal and replacement. Trees on development sites are compensated for through cash-in-lieu or on site tree planting consistent with residential tree removal permits.

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    Why are developers allowed to clear cut so many trees without penalty Whereas a home owner is put through the wringer to cut down one tree that is diseased and dying or deaf.

    John Low asked 9 months ago

    Development applicants are required to go through a due process for tree removal and replacement. Trees on development sites are compensated for through cash-in-lieu or on site tree planting consistent with residential tree removal permits.

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    Pollarding and coppicing should be allowed for certain trees such as willows, poplars, etc, ashes, even calipers of these trees are over the limit.

    Richie asked 9 months ago

    Please see the earlier response regarding pollarding. 

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    The practice of cash-in-lieu of planting appears unfair as it solely focuses on the trees that are being considered for permits. It would be more equitable if city inspectors assessed all the trees present on the entire property. In cases where the property already has a substantial number of trees, the cash-in-lieu of planting should be reduced or even waived altogether in certain circumstances. By implementing this approach, fairness can be ensured for properties with tree canopies that significantly exceed the average ratio. Moreover, it would serve as an incentive for property owners to proactively plant additional trees on their premises.

    Richie asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your input we appreciate your feedback. 

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    Clearly, there is a notable distinction between removing a healthy red oak and a Manitoba maple. The average lifespan of a red oak is around 300 years, whereas weed maples typically live for only about 60 years. Hence, when determining the fees associated with tree removal, this crucial factor should be taken into account.

    Richie asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your input. The City protects all trees 20cm or greater. 

Page last updated: 23 May 2023, 04:14 PM