June 19, 2017 7:00 pm
Updated: June 19, 2017 10:14 pm

Surrey tree inventory finds urban forest flourishing despite development

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The City of Surrey is taking stock of its trees, amid concerns the city’s recent development boom has come at the cost of greenery.

Council is receiving a report Monday assessing exactly how many trees have been cut in the recent years, with an eye towards maintaining a healthy urban forest.

The report found that 43,000 trees were cut down on private property over the last five years.

However, that loss was more than offset by nearly 56,000 trees that were planted as replacements on private land over the same period.

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Additionally, the inventory found that the city itself had planted more than 210,000 trees on public land, along streets and in parks over the last 11 years.

Surrey implemented its Tree Bylaw back in 2006, which restricts the number of trees unnecessarily removed, killed or damaged through permits, and requires the replanting of replacement trees.

Under the program, permit holders must plant two new trees for every tree removed, with the exception of cottonwoods and alders, which are replaced at one to one.

In situations where the development can’t accommodate more trees, the developer must pay $400 into a city fund per tree.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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