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Aug. 7, 2020 | Friday
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Ash trees removed from the list of preferred trees for replanting 
NOTL council voted to remove ash trees from the list of preferred trees for replanting. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors don't want ash trees to be on the list of preferred trees for replanting.

At the council meeting Monday night, town council discussed an amendment to the tree bylaw regulating the destruction or injuring of trees on private property in urban areas of the town.

The amendment included a list of preferred trees for replanting and the required number of trees to be replaced based on the tree trunk's size.

The list of preferred trees for replanting initially included 48 trees native to the southwest region of Ontario.

Coun. Norm Arsenault made a motion to remove ash trees from the list saying it wasn’t appropriate to recommend planting such trees knowing “all the issues we’ve been having with ash trees in this town.”

The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle native to Asia, can damage and kill healthy ash trees. One of the ways NOTL addresses the problem is by removing ash trees based on the degree of the potential danger, according to the town's emerald ash borer fact sheet.

Coun. Wendy Cheropita suggested running the list by the arborist. Lord Mayor Betty Disero responded saying the town staff will meet with a group of arborists and then report back to council. 

Chief administrative officer Holly Dowd confirmed it, saying Rolf Wiens, the town’s manager of enforcement, will meet with the arborist at the end of May. Once the staff brings back the report in September, the tree bylaw will be updated depending if any other trees will need to be removed or added to the list.

Coun. Clare Cameron proposed sticking with the list made by the province.

“(The list) by the province is based specifically on our geography here and what’s known about historic species that grew here and that tend to thrive really well here,” she said.

Council voted in favour of removing three ash trees – black ash, green/red ash and white ash – from the list of preferred trees for replanting.

Cameron also made a motion that would require planting one tree for each one removed, regardless of size. She said she received comments from residents and the reason for her motion was financial implications for property owners.

Cameron’s motion was defeated.


Correction: The article was edited to exclude American mountain-ash from the list of removed trees.