Trees and green spaces

Trees

Trees are a key architectural and aesthetic feature in Saint-Lambert. In our urbanized environment, they make our cities healthy, pleasant, and comfortable places to live by helping to control local temperatures and protect us from wind, improve air quality, and buffer the noise caused by wind and traffic. Trees also lessen our impacts on the environment and various ecosystems, for example, by reducing water runoff.

You do not need a permit to plant or maintain (prune) a tree on your property. However, pruning must be done in accordance with the by-laws. A permit is required to fell a tree located on your property. To obtain a permit, contact the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department at urbanisme@saint-lambert.ca or 450-466-3277.

For complete details on the by-laws concerning trees on the territory of Saint-Lambert, visit the section below.

Did you know that there are 13,600 public trees in Saint-Lambert? These trees can be found growing in rights-of-way, on private property, in parks and green spaces, on medians and islands, etc. These trees belong to the Ville de Saint-Lambert.

It is important to know that it is forbidden to prune or fell a public tree. If you believe that a tree is in need of maintenance, you are invited to contact the Environment Management division at foresterie@saint-lambert.ca or 450-466-3889, ext. 3316 to request an inspection. You can also submit a request for a tree be planted in the municipal right-of-way abutting your property.

Reporting damage to your property or possessions
To report damage to your property or possessions involving a public tree, please refer to the Claims and Civil Remedies page. Please note that you have 15 days to report an incident.

Forestry Department

The Forestry Department handles the following:

  • Requests to fell a public tree;
  • Requests to prune a public tree;
  • Requests to inspect a public tree;
  • Requests to brace a public tree;
  • Requests to plant a tree in a public right-of-way.
You can send your requests at foresterie@saint-lambert.ca or 450-466-3889, ext. 3316. Due to the high volume of requests during the summer period, a certain amount of time may be required to process your request. Upon receipt of a request, an inspection of the tree will be carried out. You will then be notified whether or not the request is accepted.

To find out if a tree on your property is yours (private) or the City’s (public), identify your property line using your certificate of location. If the center of the base of the tree is located within the public right-of-way, the tree belongs to the City.

The municipal guide to choosing trees to plant (in French only), which was developed in keeping with the specific features of our territory, will promote the harmonious development of our urban forest by advising you about all aspects of a tree species. In addition to helping you choose the appropriate species, the guide incudes recommendations about tree planting, maintenance, protection, and cutting.

The guide is a practical tool that you should consult each time you have questions about trees on your property. Print copies are available for on-site consultation or on sale at a cost of $4 at City Hall and at the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department.

This concept was developed by the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki as a way of quickly restoring urban woodlands on barren land. It is a method that involves planting native tree species close together and randomly to simulate local environmental conditions. This practice maximizes competition between the trees, natural selection, and relationships among plants. It results in the rapid growth of trees that compete with each other for light, as well as the rapid production of plants and weeds, which populate the lower layers of the new forest.

The Ville de Saint-Lambert planted trees and shrubs in Brixton Park with this principle in mind. While not following the Miyawaki method to the letter, as the planting density is lower, it is still enough to have the same benefits. Also, many different species were planted, including native species especially chosen to live in urban environments.

The Ville de Saint-Lambert recognizes the importance of trees in its urban environment, which is why it adopted a tree policy in September 2012. We all have a shared responsibility to preserve and improve our urban forest to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the quality of life to which they are rightfully entitled.

The Tree Policy provides us with a management framework for working to conserve and develop this precious resource.

By-laws on private trees

A number of provisions exist to protect the trees on on the territory of Saint-Lambert and preserve our urban forest.

The City of Saint-Lambert asks all property owners to maintain or plant at least one tree per front of a building on the part of their property that borders the street.

It is forbidden to cut any deciduous trees measuring more than 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter down to 30 cm from the ground or conifers measuring more than 2 m in height, on private property without a permit.

Print the application to request a permit to cut down a tree (in French only). Bring the completed form to the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department to obtain your permit. Certain fees apply.

A tree can only be cut down for one of the following reasons:

  • the tree is dead or has an incurable disease;
  • the tree is dangerous for residents’ health or safety;
  • the tree constitutes a nuisance or causes damage to public or private property;
  • the tree is a nuisance for the growth and health of adjacent trees;
  • the tree is located in an unrestricted cutting zone.
The following are normal inconveniences related to the presence of a tree and do not constitute reasons for felling a tree: falling twigs, leaves, seed pods, seeds, needles, flowers or fruit; the presence of exudate of sap or honeydew, roots on the ground’s surface, insects or animals, shade, unpleasant odours or the release of pollen.

When a tree is cut down, it must be replaced by another tree planted in the same section of land. However, no replacement is required if the number of trees on the property after cutting down the tree remains higher than the required minimum, as specified in the following table:

Section of landMinimum numbert of trees required*
Front yard1 tree per 50 m2
Side yard1 tree per 50 m2
Portion of the back yard that constitutes part of the front yard1 tree per 50 m2
Back yard1 tree per 100 m2

* However, there must be at least one tree in each yard, regardless of its surface area.

The replacement tree must be at least 7.5 cm in diameter (measured 30 cm from the ground) if it is a deciduous tree, and at least 1.5 metres tall if it is a conifer. If the tree cut down is a medium- or large-growing species, it must be replaced by a variety of species that will grow to a similar size. If the replacement tree dies, a new tree must be planted in its place.

It is prohibited to plant certain species less than 20 metres from the sidewalk or public roadway, underground pipes, underground public utility service infrastructures, or lot lines:

  • weeping willow (Salix alba tristis);
  • white poplar (Populus alba);
  • eastern cottonwoods (Populus deltoides);
  • lombardy poplar (Populus nigra italica);
  • balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera);
  • trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides);
  • silver maple (Acer saccharinum);
  • box elder (Acer negundo);
  • american elm (Ulmus americana);
  • norway maple (Acer platanoides);
  • female Ginko biloba (ginkgo biloba L.);
  • Glossy buckthorn (rhamnus frangula);
  • Common buckthorn (rhamnus cathartica);
  • Ash (fraxinus) of all categories.
This regulation applies only to the new plantations.

Due to the presence of the emerald ash borer on our territory, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) strongly recommends not planting ash trees.

Tree topping, which consists of cutting the crown of a tree, as well as overpruning, are prohibited at all times. The consequences of tree topping are extremely harmful. A topped tree is weakened, risks developing blight or sunscald, and breaks more easily, and its esthetic value is diminished. In the worst-case scenario, topping can kill the tree, meaning that it has to be chopped down.

Proper pruning techniques minimize the risk of damaging a tree. It is important that this work be carried out by qualified individuals. You can consult the site of the Quebec Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture to find a tree care professional in your area.

During landscaping or construction work, significant damage to trees may be caused by machinery traffic, the stockpiling of materials or excavation activities. Before proceeding with any such work, you should check with the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department to find out what precautions you should take to protect trees.

Throughout the territory of the city, it is forbidden to:

  • Pollard a tree;
  • Top a tree;
  • Place any object or material on the ground that could interfere with the supply of water, air or nutrients to the roots of a tree;
  • Mark, remove bark or engage in any action that may injure a tree;
  • Build a structure in a tree in a way that will cause damage to the tree;
  • Poison a tree or bring a tree into contact with a poisonous or harmful substance;
  • Alter the slope, height or drainage of soils in such a manner as to interfere with the supply of water, air or nutrients to a tree;
  • Girdle a tree trunk;
  • Fell a deciduous tree of more than 10 cm in diameter measured at 30 cm from the ground or a conifer measuring more than 2 m in height without having first obtained a certificate of authorization issued for this purpose.
Refer to article 5.12 of the zoning by-law found on the Territorial development page to find out about all the provisions of the tree by-laws in force on Saint-Lambert territory.
Gazon

Lawn

Lawns form part of the urban landscape in any municipality. The Ville de Saint-Lambert therefore has a few rules in this regard to ensure a pleasant environment.

Watering isn’t always necessary to have a lush, green lawn. Here are a few simple tips to keeping your lawn healthy, while using as little potable water as possible:

  • Only water when necessary. A lawn only needs 2.5 cm (1 in.) of water per week. A good rain shower once a week is plenty.
  • Use water from rainwater barrels during dry spells.
  • Mow less frequently to help the soil retain its moisture.
  • Keep your mowing height at around 7.5 cm (3 in.) to retain moisture.
  • Leave grass clippings and shredded leaves on your lawn to provide a natural fertilizer.
  • Diversify your seed mix for better resistance to insects and a reduced need for fertilizer: creeping red fescue, perennial ryegrass, white clover, etc.

Grasscycling consists of leaving grass clippings on the lawn. Decomposing in less than 48 hours, grass acts as a perfect natural fertilizer, largely because it consists of nearly 80% water and is rich in nitrogen.

Grasscycling also helps reduce the quantities of residual materials sent to landfill sites. Grasscycling: it’s plain common sense!

Vegetation maintenance by-laws

In order to preserve the quality and quantity of water as well as the quality of the environment in general, several regulations apply.

Manuel watering

You are free at all times to use a watering can containing less than 40 litres of water or the water from your rain barrel to water your garden and lawn. You may also use a hose connected to the municipal water supply system on the condition that it is fitted with a hand-held spray nozzle with an automatic shut-off.

Movable sprinklers

Watering with removable systems, such as perforated hoses or oscillating sprinklers, is permitted between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Wednesdays at even-numbered addresses and on Tuesdays at odd-numbered addresses.

Automatic sprinklers systems

Watering with automatic sprinkler systems is permitted between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Wednesdays at even-numbered addresses and on Tuesdays at odd-numbered addresses.

An automatic sprinkler system must be equipped with the following devices:

  1. An automatic humidity sensor or an automatic shut-off device that, in case of rain, will suspend watering operations when precipitation suffices or when the humidity level in the soil is sufficient.
  2. A reduced pressure anti-backflow valve to prevent any contamination of the drinking water distribution network.
  3. An electric valve activated by an electric control mechanism for automatic sprinkler control or sprinkler cycle control. It must be installed downstream from the anti-backflow device.
  4. A handle or gate valve with manual closing to be used exclusively in the event of breakage, malfunction or for any other situation considered an emergency. The handle or gate valve must be accessible from the exterior.

Special watering permit

When you lay down new turf, you may obtain a permit to water your lawn for a maximum of seven consecutive days; it is renewable once only. However, the watering hours prescribed in the by-law must be respected. To obtain a permit, contact the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department at 450 466-3277 or urbanisme@saint-lambert.ca.

It is forbidden to make any noise (such as using a lawnmower) that disturbs the peace and tranquility of the neighbourhood between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., and all day Sunday. It is also forbidden at all times to make a noise with a sound level that is equal to exceeds 50 decibels, as measured at the property line.

It is forbidden to let brush or grass grow taller than 20 cm. The owner, tenant, or occupant is responsible for maintaining the property and the building.

The application of all pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides) is strictly forbidden. Only the application of low-impact products approved by the City is permitted without a temporary permit for the application of pesticides.

Please contact us at 450 466-3199 or environnement@saint-lambert.ca to validate your product before you buy it or apply it on your property.

Effective since May 1, 2022, there is total ban on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. The aim is to reduce emission of the greenhouse gases, which are so harmful to the environment, and their impacts on human health.

Electric leaf blowers are still permitted, but only Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as well as Saturday and public holidays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Their use is never authorized on Sundays.

The best way to collect your dead leaves is still (and will always be) using a good old rake! It’s environmentally responsible, good for your health, and less noisy!

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