The city’s vaunted tree bylaw was supposed to protect our disappearing canopy of mature trees, all trees 30 centimetres wide or bigger. But loopholes are cutting off the forestry department’s ability to stem the destruction of our grandest giants. Sometimes the city itself is too quick with the chainsaw.
Just what’s considered hazardous varies from inspector to inspector. Three perfectly healthy towering Norways on Teddington are destined for the wood chipper.
The city acknowledges there’s little it can do after the fact to stop illegal cutting. Two large maples were felled in this parking lot on Orchard View despite the fact that development isn’t slated for the site any time soon.
Trying to save trees is a costly option for the city. Easier to just replace them. Several large city-owned Norway maples were removed on this now sorry stretch of green off Yonge and Eg and replaced with spindly-ass trees that are now dying.
Trees that become a potential legal liability are routinely chopped. The metre-wide Norway maple that once stood on this side street off Greenwood was removed after several limbs were broken by storms over the years.
The bylaw doesn’t apply to trees in ravines. Neither, for that matter, does the pesticide ban. In Blythewood Ravine the hardiest of all growers, Norway and Manitoba maples, get the axe cuz they’re considered invasive.
Building and demolition permits cannot be withheld for the sake of saving a few trees. In fact, any trees on private property deemed a “nuisance” like here can be removed. Bring in the dozers.
Healthy trees that should be protected under the tree bylaw can be removed at the pleasure of councillors. Half a dozen silver maples were chopped to make room for underground condo parking at North Toronto Secondary.