To Cut or not to Cut: The Greening of the City.

The City of St.Catharines would like to increase the tree canopy cover in the area. An issue that I strongly support and have ideas to help achieve.

Currently, trees cover around 15 % of the physical area in the city. The city would like to increase this to around 25%. One way to help reach this goal, is to create a bylaw that would require citizens to obtain a permit BEFORE cutting down trees on their residential property(s).

Keep in mind, the city's main goal is to protect old (100 year +) trees or trees that are unique and/or rare. The city does not want to interfere with property enhancements/renovations. The city will not prevent citizens from trimming or cutting down trees that are a safety risk for a property owner and/or their property.

In this context, I do support this possible bylaw. Other large cities have the same form of bylaw and it HAS helped increase the tree canopy cover in their cities. One of the major goals of my campaign is to help green all areas of St.Catharines - including Hartzel Road/Queenston St. I could group their revitalization into the mix. I could go even FURTHER and included revitalization/rejunivation of the old Welland Canal sites; clean-up and promotion of Centennial Park/Mountain Locks Park, but these other important issues deserve their own postings (or this one would be much longer).

What do YOU think?

Please comment, I want to know where the residents of Merritton stand. I hope this will help with keeping you informed on issues that matter in the area - not only to us but to all residents of St.Catharines as a whole.


David Haywood

Merritton Ward Candidate.


  1. It is curious that the city keeps moving towards a 'greener' community without taking any responsibility for the outcome. It has proven itself to be a poor steward of the natural resources (i.e. beaver trapping). Until the City is willing to adopt and maintain a comprehensive Natural Resources Management Plan, it should stop trying to manage without objective. Putting out bylaws and restrictions that 'sound' really nice is not helpful in the long run.

  2. I do agree with your comment that the city needs a comprehensive Natural Resource Management Plan that is actually followed. Greening the city whether it involves the tree bylaw, community gardens in parks (Niagara Prosperity Alliance), or greening city streets (the Hartzel Road/Queenston corridor)should be a major city priority.

    I do not agree with stopping bylaws that "manage with out objective". Each greening bylaw is, stone-by-stone, building a solid foundation to support a comprehensive Natural Resources Management Plan in the way you suggested. The objective is clear - GREEN the city.

    There ARE residents (like yourself)and community groups(like the Merritton Community Group) that have the expertise,have done the research, and have plans and ideas with ways to improve/green the area. These assets have been over-looked and under-utilized. I want to change this -with the help from people just like you.

    Just like you said it IS time to take responsiblity for the actions we take to achieve a 'greener' community.

    Thank you for your comment


    David Haywood
    Merritton Candidate,

  3. Some of the most beautiful streets are those with trees that over hanging the road. Why on earth would someone want to cut that down? We need more greenery. We are called the "Garden City" for a reason.

  4. I agree that tree lined streets are beautiful but they can also be a pain for the residents who have them in front of their homes. The roots get into the sewer system and it costs them to have their pipes cleaned out. The tree in front of our house has limbs that break off with every windy day. We even had a limb that was approx. 5 inces in diameter break off and imbed itself about 8 inches into the ground. Had a child been walking home from school and been hit by it, it would have killed the child. There are huge holes in the tree that the squirrels and birds fight over. When asked if the city would take it down, we were told that there was too much life it it. This is a Maple tree that is huge and there are leaves on the ends of the brances for about 5 feet of the overall length of the branch of about 25 to 30 feet. I worry that the city would do the same with trees on residential property. They care more about the trees that they do the people who have to live with them. I'm sure that if they took down the trees on city property that had become a nuisance or possibly dangerous, that they could replace them (hopefully with something that doesn't get quite as big with an enormous root system that destroys people's basements).

  5. There are a lot of boulevards in Secord Woods that do not have trees in front of their houses or along empty lot areas. If you need trees you could start there and fill in any extra spaces that have no trees. I personally enjoy trees and I am sad to see so many trimmed back so much that they look like broccoli.