On December 14, 2020 the Town of Sidney Council adopted an amendment to the Town’s Tree Preservation Bylaw No. 2138. Many of the changes included in the bylaw amendment were based on recommendations from the Town’s Urban Forest Strategy, which was completed in 2019.
One of the high priority, short-term actions that is identified in the Urban Forest Strategy, is to improve the Tree Preservation Bylaw to better mitigate the impact of development on the urban forest. As a result, several native tree species have been added to the bylaw as protected species. These include Bigleaf Maple, Grand Fir, Western Redcedar, Western Yew, Shore Pine, Cascara, and Seaside Juniper.
Additionally, the minimum size of a tree to be considered protected under the Bylaw has been reduced in order to protect a greater number of trees and promote natural forest regeneration, rather than relying on Town-planted trees. The minimum size for smaller and harder to establish protected species has been reduced from a 15 cm diameter to a 3 cm diameter, the minimum size for larger protected species has changed from a 30 cm diameter to 1.2 metres in height, and the minimum diameter of all other tree species to be protected under the Bylaw has been reduced from 75 cm to 60 cm.
Updates to the bylaw also include a new replacement ratio for the removal of trees. For example, a Bigleaf Maple standing 12m tall would require the person removing the tree to plant 3 replacement trees at their own expense.
Overall, the updates to the bylaw improve the Town’s ability to protect and enhance Sidney’s urban forest. To review the bylaw in its entirety, see the Town's Tree Preservation Bylaw page.