An Abbotsford councillor says the city has to do a better job of protecting trees after a recent report revealed the city lost about seven per cent of its tree cover between 2005 and 2015.

Patricia Ross says the city needs to strengthen its tree protection bylaw and push back against developers who want to clear cut large swaths of land.

"It's actually quite mind boggling," Ross said.

"Seven per cent might not sound like a huge amount but when you consider it's over a ten-year period, it's actually quite dramatic."

Stronger rules

Abbotsford requires developers to replace trees that are cut down, but Ross says planting a sapling doesn't make up for the removal of a full grown tree.

"We're basically not saying no," she said.

"When there's a significant huge tree, we're not saying, 'No you can't cut that down' and I think we absolutely have to start doing that and it has to be built into a tree protection bylaw."

The city is reviewing its tree removal bylaw and council is expecting a report from staff sometime in the coming months.

There is also a discussion about introducing a tree management protection plan.

"It's not just losing a tree and not just the greenhouse gas emission absorption that trees provide, it's biodiversity loss, too," Ross said.