Why Tree Removal?

How do you decide that Ottawa tree removal is the only cure for a dying tree on your property? After you have seen your tree grow from a fragile little plant to a huge strong tree, you may find it difficult deciding to remove it even if you notice that it’s dying. Besides the emotional attachment, it could be giving you fruits or maybe the spot you love to spend your evenings relaxing as you unwind.

Nevertheless, a dying tree, sadly, may need to be removed, or it may pose a danger to your family and your property. Also, if you want to sell your home, getting rid of such safety hazards is one way of increasing your Ottawa property value and chances of finding a buyer faster. But, how can you fully determine that your tree’s only option is removal?

Below are a few things to look out for in a dying Ottawa tree.

Fungal Growth Near the Base of the Tree

A fungal growth near the base of your tree is an indication that the tree has begun to decay. One sign of decaying you are likely to see is the growth of mushrooms—the fungus creates a good environment for mushrooms to flourish. When tree roots or trunks begin to decay, their structure is seriously compromised and, as such, needs quick removal. Unfortunately, there is no hope of reversing the situation, and if the tree is left, it may unexpectedly fall, causing serious damages.

Unhealthy Roots

It’s the tree’s roots that anchor it to the ground giving it strong support to continue growing upright. As such, any attack on the roots that causes them to weaken is an attack on the whole tree. One way to know if the roots of your tree are unhealthy is to check their color. Most roots have a deep brown color, and graying or flaking, could mean the roots are decaying, and you need to plan for its removal.

The Bark Has Fallen Off

A tree’s bark helps transport food from the leaves to the roots, water and minerals from roots to other parts of the tree. If your tree has lost most of its bark, it means little to no food is reaching the roots, and as such, the tree’s chances of dying are very high. To be on the safe side, you need to remove it before it suddenly collapses on your property.

A Sudden (Or Gradual) Lean

Sometimes trees assume odd growth patterns, and that does not necessarily mean they are dying. One common one is leaning from a vertical position which is usually caused by strong winds or root damage. However, when large trees lean from their vertical position at an angle that is more than 15 degrees, their chances of surviving are very low. Therefore, you need to quickly remove them as they will eventually die.

Storm Damaged Tree

Storms can cause serious damages to trees. If strong winds caused root failure, crown twist, stem failure, among other considerable damages, removing the tree may be the only option you have. With such damages, leaving the tree any longer is risking your property as its chances of healing are close to zero.

The signs of a sick tree are quite similar to those of a dying tree. If you are not sure whether your tree is in the process of dying or not, consult an arborist. Besides helping you identify dying trees on your property, an Ottawa arborist will help you remove them safely and smoothly.

Contact your Ottawa Tree King for more information. 

When you need stump grinding

After handling the tedious work of removing or cutting down a tree and its branches using a chain saw, what is usually left is a deep-rooted and sturdy tree stump. Unfortunately, that leaves homeowners with several questions that get them confused. For example, should I leave it protruding from the ground or remove the entire tree (including the roots) using a tree excavator? You can choose to grind the stump, but the primary challenge is how to get the job done.

When to Consider Stump Grinding Services in Ottawa

One of the major concerns of leaving a stump after tree removal is safety. At first, you might not see the problem of having a stump in your property, but you’ll realize that it becomes a nuisance as time goes by. Tree stumps make landscaping difficult because they get on the way when you mow the lawn. Besides, they become safety hazards because your kids may trip and get injured while playing in the yard.

With the tree trunk removed, the stump also dies and begins to rot and decay. Such a place attracts unwanted pests, such as carpenter ants and termites that soon encroach your home, damaging any wooden fixture in it.

If you have a tree stump in your home and you’re concerned about these issues, then grinding the stump down is the best way to alleviate trip hazards within your compound and preventing the invasion of damaging pests and bugs.

When Is the Best Time to Grind an Existing Tree Stump?

There is no rule of thumb as to when you need to consider tree removal or stump grinding. However, professional arborists recommend grinding tree stumps in winter. Below is the reason why winter is the ideal time for stump grinding.

In winter, snowfall can cover the ground to about a foot high. Continued precipitation leads to more accumulation of snow powder around and above the stump, exerting too much weight on the stump. That causes them to weaken and decompose at a higher rate, and as such would be best to consider stump grinding and removal.

Due to the decaying organic matter from dead tree stumps, fresh foliage, shrubs, and trees may start growing around the stump. These usually grow without proper arrangement or planning. It would be best if you ground the tree stump to prepare the area for planned landscaping. Grinding the tree stump levels it with the ground in preparation for spring shrub growth.

Benefits of Ottawa Stump Grinding

Fast and Straightforward

Unlike stump and tree removal, grinding is quick and less tedious. Professional arborists use special equipment to grind the stump into chunks and pieces of woodchips during the grinding process. It is a more effective process than removing the stump. Some fell trees are huge, leaving large stumps that release huge piles of chips. The upside to that is that you can use the chips for mulching during landscaping projects.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

A landscape with a tree stump looks neglected and untidy. While a stump might not pose serious safety concerns, it lowers the visual appeal of the landscape. To improve the look of your yard, hire stump grinding services to level it up for an enhanced visual impression.


If you have kids or Fidos in your home, a tree stump in the yard can cause trips during play, leading to serious physical injuries and trauma. Moreover, it can damage a lawnmower. You can avoid that by grinding the stump to make the entire space evenly leveled.

Contact Tree King for any Ottawa Stump Grinding questions.

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.