May 27, 2018

What makes Colwood a unique and special place to live? One big reason is the City's natural assets—easy access to the ocean, acres of parks, trails, and open spaces, and lots of trees.

Trees provide services with real value

Trees improve air and water quality, prevent soil erosion and flooding, offer shade to control temperatures and conserve energy, attract wildlife, birds and pollinators, increase property values, and make neighbourhoods healthier, more beautiful, and more enjoyable. These services are costly when they need to be man-made, but trees provide them all free of charge.

The latest on the Interim Urban Forest Bylaw

In November, 2017, Colwood Council took two steps toward protecting trees from unnecessary removal in Colwood:

  1. Adopted an Interim Urban Forest Bylaw that is similar to bylaws in most communities, and
  2. Created a citizen Task Force to review and refine the bylaw to make sure it works for Colwood.

The Urban Forest Task Force met ten times between January and April, 2018 and presented their recommendations to Council on April 9, 2018 (view the April 9th minutes and video).

Council considered the recommendations on May 14, 2018 (view the May 14th minutes and video). They directed staff to draft an updated bylaw that includes these changes from the Task Force:

  • An accepted "Tree Management Plan" overrides the City bylaw (for example, Royal Colwood Golf Course has an extensive Tree Management Plan)
  • No security is deposit required for the removal of between 1 and 5 trees
  • Protected trees include: Arbutus, Garry Oak, Pacific Dogwood and Pacific Yew of 4cm in diameter or greater, and Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Big Leaf Maple, and Western Red Cedar of 30cm in diameter or greater, as well as any tree with a diameter of 60cm or greater
  • Removal of up to 5 trees per calendar year requires a permit, site plan and 1:1 replacement
  • Removal of more than 5 trees per calendar year requires a permit, tree management plan by qualified person, 2:1 replacement, and security deposit
  • Staff will report back to Council on the cost of developing a Forest Management Plan

The updated draft bylaw be brought forward to an upcoming Council meeting.

Read more background at www.colwood.ca/Trees