Ottawa Tree Removal Permit

Ottawa Tree Removal Permit

Do you have a tree in your backyard that is a nuisance, rotting, or has an infestation? You probably want it gone. The City of Ottawa has in the last decade made significant efforts to protect trees both in urban and rural areas from being cut. If you have to cut down a tree, even if it’s on your private property, you need a permit.

When must you apply for a tree removal permit?

If the tree you intend to remove is 50 cm in diameter, you must apply for a Distinctive tree permit to legally proceed with the removal. For any tree that is 10 cm or larger in diameter and sits on a property more prominent than a hectare, you will need to draft a tree conservation report first for approval from the city before tree removal.

After determining the right paperwork for your case, you must then account for ownership of the tree. In instances where a tree trunk, for example, borders on other properties, all the other property owners must agree with the tree removal.

Exceptions to the Ottawa Tree Removal Permit Requirements

Even if the tree you are removing from your Ottawa property is greater than 50 cm in diameter, there are exceptions to the rule. You will not need a City of Ottawa Distinctive Tree Permit if:

  • The tree is on a private courtyard, within a building, rooftop patio, or solarium
  • The property requiring tree removal is in the rural areas, a farm, nursery, or orchard.
  • The tree is in a cemetery or golf course
  • The tree poses immediate danger or risk to people and property
  • Pruning the tree to maintain its overall health

Hire an arborist

Once you determine that you qualify for tree removal and your neighbors are in agreement if they are involved, you need to contact a qualified arborist. The arborist will then prepare an arborist report. A Forestry Inspector will later visit the site to ensure all criteria have been met and issue a permit. The permit must be visibly posted seven days before and after the tree removal to alert the public. The whole process may take up to 22 days, or more so it would be helpful to plan ahead.

Changes in the Ottawa Tree Removal Bylaws

The Ottawa City Council approved a new consolidated tree protection bylaw in January 2020 that is supposed to be effected on May 1st, 2020. However, due to COVID-19, the process was delayed until further notice. Some of the intended changes included:

Phase 1

  • Making official compensation requirements for trees in both private and public properties
  • Improving the requirements for the submission of tree removal for distinctive tree permits.
  • Increase application fees
  • Add a new unique fine to eliminate any possible financial profit from breaking the law.

Phase 2

  • Decreasing the tree diameter limit for removal from 50 cm to 30 cm inside Ottawa’s central urban area
  • Creating a permit that allows people to work around trees to encourage tree protection in development sites

Are there consequences for not obtaining a tree removal permit?

Officers in charge of bylaws have the authority to enter and inspect a property to ensure all laws and regulations are being adhered to. In the event the laws are being ignored or circumvented, a stop-work order will be issued. A fine ranging from $500-$100,000 will be charged.

In a nutshell, you need a tree removal permit before cutting down a tree unless it is in your private courtyard, cemetery, golf course, farm, or a rural area. Failure to obtain a tree removal permit may land you in legal and financial trouble.

Tree King Ottawa can provide a complete solution to this process – contact us for more information.

ottawa tree damaged by beetle

Common Tree Diseases in Ottawa & How to Prevent/Cure them

If you live in or near Ottawa and own property, you probably have trees near your house.

Most homeowners usually know the basics about tree care, such as watering, fertilizing, and pruning.

However, as with all things in life, trees and plants can also become ill. Throughout this article, you will learn how to identify the most common tree diseases in Ottawa and how to treat or respond to them.

6 Common Diseases that Kill Trees in Ottawa 

Like humans, trees are not immune to diseases.

Much of the time, trees do their thing – provide shade, help generate oxygen and make your property and your neighborhood more aesthetically pleasing.

emerald ash border on tree in ottawaBut trees, being living organisms, can get sick.

In this case, prevention is key. Protecting your trees from invasive pests and species will keep them strong and healthy, increasing the value of your estate.

But how can one keep bugs and illnesses at bay? 

The Most Common Threats to Trees in Ottawa

Tree Canada identifies three categories of invasive species: diseases, insects and plants. 

Here are the most common invasive tree killers in Ottawa.

Emerald Ash Borer:

This species, native to China, was first spotted in the country in 2002.

Since then, the emerald ash border has killed more than 260,000 hectares of forests only in Ontario. A report by the Weather Network says that it can kill up 99% of ash trees.

The beetles feature a shiny green body and are around 1,2 inches long. The trees infected by them get yellowing leaves, and the most common way to control this pest is to drench the soil around the tree with diluted insecticide. 

Asian Longhorn Beetle

ottawa tree damaged by beetleThese insects were first found in Toronto in 2003, but experts believe the species was transported from Asia to North America much earlier.

Asian longhorn beetles are 1,4 inches long with black and white antennae, and can be found feeding on leaves and twigs in the summer.

Their favorite trees are maple, sycamore, elm, mountain ash, horse chestnut, and birch. The most effective way to get rid of these insects when they cause infestation is by tree removal in Ottawa or nearby areas

Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle:

First found in Nova Scotia in 1998, these beetles can be 5 inches long, and can be recognized by their dark head and thorax and brown abdomen.

This species generally attacks mature spruce trees. To assure the potency and efficacy of insecticide, talk to your local, trusted arborist. 

Magnolia Scale

maple tree at ottawa houseOne of the largest scale insects found in Canada, this species feeds on magnolia and tulip trees´ sap.

Signs of infestation are the sticky honeydew and the black fungus that grows on them.

To control it successfully, you must spray the right insecticide at a very particular time.

Beech Bark Disease

Caused by scale insect and nectria fungus, this disease usually attacks mature beech trees.

The wingless insects can be 0.5 to 1mm long, and may be present when you notice dark red fruit-like conformations on the bark. 

Professional Tree Service in Ottawa

To the untrained eye, many of the symptoms might be difficult to diagnose.

To prevent further damage or treat / respond to existing tree illness, contact the certified arborists at Tree King in Ottawa. 

ottawa house trees in winter

Ottawa Tree Care Tips for the Winter

Trees are dormant during Ottawa’s winter months, but they certainly experience the raw intensity of our harsh climate in this part of the world.

Extreme conditions can be stressful on trees, especially on young or newly-planted trees, which lack strong defence mechanisms like a thick bark or a solid root system.

Read on to learn how to help your trees survive the tough Ottawa winters.

Taking Care of Your Trees During Ottawa Wintertime

The winter weather in Ottawa is a recipe for disaster, especially if have recently planted your trees, as they will have to adapt to such harsh conditions for the first time.

These winter tree tips will give your trees their best chance at survival for the upcoming cold.

Tree Pruning

ottawa house trees in winterThe cold season provides a great opportunity for examining and pruning the trees in your property.

In winter, tree structures can be easily seen, allowing you to identify any tree health issues or dead branches.

Tree pruning during dormancy also prevents disease spread.

Although there are many DIY jobs homeowners can do well, pruning is not really one of them, so be sure to contact a local tree care professional in Ottawa. Better safe than sorry!

Wrapping Trees for the Winter in Ottawa

When Winter sun warms a tree trunk by day and the cold night air freezes it, trees are sure to suffer.

Sun-scald can rupture tree bark cells, creating cracks in the tree trunk.

In order to protect your trees from the extreme temperatures, wrap them up, starting from the bottom, and leave the wrap until Spring.

Again, this might be an unsafe task to tackle by yourself, so hiring a qualified arborist to get the job done safely might be the best option.

Watering Your Trees

ottawa house trees in winterTrees are not immune to cold, and as we all know, temperatures in Ottawa can be quite brutal.

Therefore, you want to keep trees moisturized during the later autumn weeks and into winter – especially recently planted trees – until the ground starts to freeze.

Afterwards, water every couple of weeks if the temps are cold but there is no snow cover yet.

Benefits of Tree Mulching

Organic mulch is used to retain moisture in the soil, but also helps improve soil structure, drainage, and nutrient-holding capacity as it decomposes.

Add a thin layer of mulch anytime from late autumn to early winter, but do not pile it directly against the trunk.

Also, wait until the tree freezes to prevent mice from making your mulch their winter quarters.

Tree Clearing & Melting

ottawa house trees in winterHeavy ice and now build-ups can break tree branches.

If you see tree branches bending under the heavy weight of ice and snow and it poses a danger to immediate safety of person or property, you can address the lower tree limbs by attempting to remove the snow from the tree branches gently.

Do not try to break ice off junctions.

For the best and safest results, your best option is to hire Ottawa tree care pros.

Also, it’s best to keep rock salt away from your trees, as it interferes with their ability to absorb nutrients, oxygen and water.

Protecting Your Trees in Winter

Rodents, such as rabbits, love to gnaw the bark on young trees, exposing inner wood.

Protect your trees from them by wrapping their trunks with plastic tree covers past the snow line. Alternatively, you can cage the bottom of your trees with chicken wire.

If you have any questions on tree care or to hire Ottawa tree care pros for winter tree removal or tree pruning, contact Tree King today.