—(1) Subject to subsection (6), no person shall, except with the approval of the Commissioner under section 20 and in accordance with the terms and conditions of such approval, cut any tree with a girth exceeding one metre growing on —
any tree conservation area; or
any vacant land (whether within or outside a tree conservation area).
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or damages any tree referred to in that subsection shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
(3) In determining the amount of fine to be imposed on a person convicted of an offence under subsection (2), the court shall, in particular, have regard to any financial benefit which has accrued or appears likely to accrue to him in consequence of the offence.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the girth of a tree shall be measured half a metre from the ground.
(5) Where in any proceedings for an offence under this section, a question arises as to whether the girth of a tree measured half a metre from the ground exceeds or does not exceed one metre, a certificate purporting to be signed by the Commissioner or an authorised officer certifying the girth of the tree shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of the matters stated therein and of the signature of the Commissioner or authorised officer, as the case may be.
(6) No approval referred to in subsection (1) shall be required where the condition of the tree constitutes an immediate threat to life or property.
[Parks and Trees 1996 Ed., s. 5 (2) to (4)]