Tree tally leads to new rules

Saanich’s updated tree protection bylaw came into effect July 1.

Before taking down that pesky tree behind the house, be sure to skim Saanich’s updated tree protection bylaw, which came into effect July 1.

The amendments come a year after Habitat Acquisition Trust released a report that showed Saanich lost 378 hectares of tree cover between 2005 and 2011, leading the region.

“The tree loss reported was equal to nine Beckwith Parks, which is dramatic,” said Coun. Dean Murdock.

Additional changes to the bylaw include two species, Big Leaf Maple and Grand Fir, to the list of protected trees.

The qualifying size of protected trees is also likely to be reduced from five metres to two metres in height. with reductions in diameter size being considered as well. Any tree in Saanich with a diameter of 60 cm or greater is currently subject to the bylaw, which affects tree replacements, permits and pruning.

See the full bylaw online  at saanich.ca/treebylaw.

reporter@saanichnews.com