Taking Care of Our Trees

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The Town is working on an Urban Forest Management Plan and we want your feedback on how we can protect and plant more trees in Innisfil. Do you think your neighbours should be allowed to freely cut down trees on their property? Would you be supportive of the Town planting fruit trees in town? Do you feel like there are fewer trees in your area? What are your thoughts on a tree by-law being implemented? We want to know all of your thoughts before we make any decisions.

How can you participate?

Take our survey today to help us better understand your perspective.

Drop a pin on our mapping tool to tell us where your favourite trees are in town and which deserve special consideration.

Want to stay in the know? Click "Subscribe" on the right-hand side of this page and we will keep you in the loop every step of the way!


Background Information:

Innisfil’s “Urban Forest” includes all trees within neighbourhoods, including privately owned trees, street trees, park trees, and protected forests. The purpose of this management plan is to provide a long-term strategic plan for overseeing all urban forests moving forward.

The UFMP will be composed of three elements:

  • a strategic vision that maximizes the long-term benefits of trees, enhances Our Place (the Town’s Official Plan) urban forestry policies, and align the actions of municipal staff;
  • a plan made up of actions to establish targets and implement policies; and,
  • a by-law to regulate the removal of public and private trees within neighbourhoods.

The Town is working on an Urban Forest Management Plan and we want your feedback on how we can protect and plant more trees in Innisfil. Do you think your neighbours should be allowed to freely cut down trees on their property? Would you be supportive of the Town planting fruit trees in town? Do you feel like there are fewer trees in your area? What are your thoughts on a tree by-law being implemented? We want to know all of your thoughts before we make any decisions.

How can you participate?

Take our survey today to help us better understand your perspective.

Drop a pin on our mapping tool to tell us where your favourite trees are in town and which deserve special consideration.

Want to stay in the know? Click "Subscribe" on the right-hand side of this page and we will keep you in the loop every step of the way!


Background Information:

Innisfil’s “Urban Forest” includes all trees within neighbourhoods, including privately owned trees, street trees, park trees, and protected forests. The purpose of this management plan is to provide a long-term strategic plan for overseeing all urban forests moving forward.

The UFMP will be composed of three elements:

  • a strategic vision that maximizes the long-term benefits of trees, enhances Our Place (the Town’s Official Plan) urban forestry policies, and align the actions of municipal staff;
  • a plan made up of actions to establish targets and implement policies; and,
  • a by-law to regulate the removal of public and private trees within neighbourhoods.
  • UFMP Information Bulletin #1: Introduction to Urban Forests

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    16 Feb 2021

    As part of the UFMP initiative, Staff will be providing periodic updates containing information around issues facing the urban forest. The first of this series is "Introduction to Urban Forests," containing an overview of key information on the topic of our settlement area trees and forest areas.

    What is an urban forest?

    An urban forest is the area within a settlement with trees and understorey plants, and includes the soils that sustain them. Urban forests include both private and publicly owned trees, including trees in our yards, streets, parks, infrastructure and natural areas of protected forest.

    What are the benefits of urban forests?

    Urban forests provide numerous ecological, economic, public health, cultural, and social benefits. Many residents are aware of some benefits like improved air quality, providing shade and cooling, and aesthetic value. Other benefits of urban forests are more surprising, such as:

    • providing opportunities for children to learn about ecological systems within our stormwater facilities and parks;
    • the mental health benefits observed in people visiting forested areas;
    • the economic benefits associated with improved stormwater management facilities - found to be millions of dollars per year in saved costs in some municipalities; and,
    • the importance of street trees in making public spaces and sidewalks safer and more comfortable for our most vulnerable, specifically children and seniors.

    Stay tuned in upcoming news updates and engagement opportunities for more information on the benefits of urban forests.

    How does the Town currently support the urban forest?

    The Town supports our urban forests at three main touchpoints:

    1. Development: The application of Town by-laws, standards, and policies ensure that development proposals avoid removing trees where possible, replace trees, and plant and maintain to ensure survival of new stock.
    2. Operations and Maintenance: Our Operations staff both proactively maintain and replace injured trees and respond to resident complaints about Town-owned trees. Currently, the replacement of dying ash trees is a major focus.
    3. Capital Projects: New civic projects including infrastructure and parks contain new trees. Our designers recognize the importance of trees in public spaces and seek out new opportunities to expand the urban forest in every project.

    What responsibilities do residents currently have to take care of their trees?

    Regulations for tree removal vary across the Township, depending on location, reasons for removal, and characteristics of the property.

    Property owners of land greater than 1 Ha are responsible for reaching out to the County of Simcoe for permission under their County Forest Conservation By-law. Most trees in the urban forest are not found on lots of more than 1 Ha.

    Development applicants may be subject to tree protection or replacement provisions. Applicants seeking Site Plan Control, Shoreline Permits, or major development approvals are required to avoid tree removal where possible and replace trees according to Town standards.

    The Town will also use external works agreements, agreements allowing disruption to Town owned lands by private land owners, to accommodate changes to infrastructure like driveways, sewer and stormwater connections, and grading. When those disruptions result in the loss of street trees, the Town requires compensatory replacement.

    What should we be looking forward to next?

    Staff will be going to Town Council on XXX XX, 2021 to present the study and engagement strategy as well some survey results and early study findings. With their direction, Staff will be proceeding with additional study and resident engagement.

    Stay tuned for the next UFMP Information Bulletin, where we will be sharing information on how our urban forests continue to be threatened.