Environmental concerns, permits and conservation

Many property owners have come across this situation: A dead tree in their yard needs felling. In Rosemere however, which is a very environmentally-conscious city, you have to go about cutting down a tree properly in order to minimize the effect on the environment.

A free permit is required.

To obtain a Certificate of Authorization for tree cutting, the form duly completed by the owner must be sent to the Permits and Inspections Department. The trees to be cut or inspected must be clearly identified with tape, a detailed sketch or by attaching a photo to the form. After transmission to the Permits and Inspections Department, the inspection of the tree(s) will take place within 2 weeks. If the application is accepted, the permit (free of charge) will be left on site. When the planting of a replacement tree is required, proof of replacement (photos, invoices) must also be submitted before the scheduled date. Before ordering work on trees, residents must check the liability insurance of the company that will carry it out and ask for references. You can find certified contractors through the SIAQ at the following website : www.siaq.org

Trees and your neighbors

Trees are considered immovable property under civil law. Therefore, a tree belongs to the owner of the property on which it stands. On the other hand, a tree is also an integral part of the community landscape. If a tree is a serious nuisance to a neighbour, the owner may be required to remedy the situation. Serious nuisance refers to a real and relatively significant problem.

For example, a large dead branch overhanging the neighbour’s house could damage the roof of that home. On the other hand, leaves or fruit falling from a tree into the neighbour’s pool may be annoying, but are not considered serious. The reason is that a pool requires regular maintenance and its owner can remedy the situation by installing a protective cover.

According to the Québec Civil Code, no one can take the law into his own hands. You cannot cut down, in whole or in part, a tree that is not on your property. It is recommended that you speak with the neighbour involved in order to settle the problem. Should discussion be difficult or even impossible however, “Mesures alternatives des Basses-Laurentides” provides a mediation service that could be of help.

Tips on controlling the ldd moth population

The LDD moth (previously referred to as the “gypsy moth”) is a leaf-eating insect that has been wreaking havoc across Quebec in recent years. There are four different stages in its lifecycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. LDD moths tend to prefer oaks, poplars and maples, but they can also be found on other deciduous or evergreen trees. LDD moth eggs are laid in masses and remain dormant between July and May. You can find these egg masses on trees, picnic tables, garden furniture, walls of buildings and other flat surfaces. To prevent them from hatching, scrape off the mass with a knife into a bucket of warm soapy water. During the larval stage, between May and July, you can wrap your tree trunks with duct tape (sticky side out) or tie a piece of burlap cloth around each trunk to stop the caterpillars from making their way up the tree and eating the leaves. As a last resort, you may choose to apply BTK, a low-impact insecticide. Spray affected trees in the early morning or late evening. Note, however, that BTK attacks all butterflies, so it should be used with great caution.

In the case of ice, should you intervene on trees?

In fact, a tree’s resistance to ice varies considerably from one variety to another, as well as one tree to the next. Certain characteristics can make a tree more vulnerable (ex: weak junctions between branches, bark included, cankers, existing injuries, etc.). The build-up of ice or wet snow combined with high winds can cause considerable damage, which can sometimes be prevented with good maintenance. One should know, however, that once the ice has taken, shaking the branches to try to dislodge it could be highly damageable to the bark and buds. Frozen trees are highly fragile and it is preferable to wait for them to thaw before repairing the damage. It’s better to let nature do its job.

Still, if residents must plant a new tree, they would do well to choose a variety that better withstands harsh weather conditions, like the bur oak, the ginkgo biloba, deerberry, white spruce, Norway spruce, blue spruce, bitternut hickory, crab apple, black walnut, American hophornbeam, balsam fir, etc. These trees have stronger branches or flexible side branches that better resist the ice. Special attention musy be paid as well to the variety’s vulnerability to pests and environmental stresses.

Why inspect trees in winter?

In summer, leaves conceal defects on the branches or trunk that could affect the tree’s strength or structure. This makes winter the ideal period for examining it closely, especially if:

you have seen animals nest in a cavity in the trunk or on a branch (like a family of raccoons)

your tree suffered significant breakage in previous years (large branches broken off)

you regularly find pieces of bark or wood on the ground

you have seen woodpecker holes

mushrooms (other than lichens) appear sporadically on the trunk.

Do not hesitate to call on the services of a expert if you feel that the tree could present a danger or requires preventive pruning.