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Vancouver residents no longer allowed to cut down trees

Vancouver city councillors gave the nod this week to plans to plant thousands of new trees and bar residents from cutting any down, taking a literal approach to the municipality's greenest city initiative.

City staff aim to plant 150,000 new trees by 2020 as part of the new Urban Forest Strategy.

There are roughly 140,000 street trees and 300,000 park trees in the city, according to the release. The city has no estimate as to how many trees are on private property, but by repealing Section 4.5 of the Protection of Trees Bylaw, council has prohibited residents from chopping any of their healthy, mature ones down.

Property owners can now only remove trees that are hazardous, dead, diseased or dying, within a new building footprint, or interfering with drainage systems, sewage systems or utilities.

The push for more and bigger trees comes after the city's canopy cover declined steadily since 1995, according to city data.

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