Protection of Trees Bylaw 9958
This bylaw affects all private property owners in Vancouver wanting to remove a tree.
If you want to remove a tree, you need a permit to do so for every tree that has a diameter (width) of 20 cm (8") or greater, measured at 1.4 m (4'6") above the ground. A tree trunk with a diameter of 20 cm (8") will have a circumference of approximately 64 cm (25").
The tree permit must be posted in a visible location during tree removal.
Single tree removal
Property owners can normally apply to remove only one tree during a 12-month period, and they are required to replace the tree removed from the site.
Multiple tree removal
Under certain conditions, property owners may be granted permission to remove more than one tree in a 12-month period, but only if one of the following conditions applies:
- The tree on a development site is located within the building envelope
- The tree is located such that a proposed garage or other accessory building cannot be located so as to retain the tree
- An accredited plumber certifies that the roots of the tree are directly interfering with, or blocking, sewer or drainage systems
- An arborist certifies the tree is dead, dying, or hazardous
- An arborist certifies the tree is directly interfering with utility wires and cannot be pruned and still maintain its reasonable appearance or health
Property development and trees
All property development, whether it's renovation or new building, requires you to retain all the existing trees located on your property.
All trees to be retained on the site require protection during any construction or development. All trees on adjacent properties or boulevard trees that are in danger of being damaged must be protected as well.
An arborist's report is required to make a development permit application.
Explanation of amendments since January 1, 2014
- Appendix A (11 KB) is revised to include recent amending Bylaw numbers
- Section 4 (77 KB) has been amended to reflect new fees, as enacted by Council on October 22, 2013, effective January 1, 2014
- Section 1 - Interpretation (78 KB)
- Section 2 - Application of Bylaw and Exemptions (13 KB)
- Section 3 - Certificates (13 KB)
- Section 4 - Tree Permits (77 KB)
- Section 5 - Tree Counting and Measurements (14 KB)
- Section 6 - Relocation Trees and Replacement Trees (14 KB)
- Section 7 - Protection of Trees During Construction (17 KB)
- Section 8 - Care and Maintenance of Trees (13 KB)
- Section 9 - Emergency Removal (12 KB)
- Section 10 - Assessments and Inspections (12 KB)
- Section 11 - Enforcement (71 KB)
- Section 12 - Repeal, Transition, and Enactment (13 KB)
- Schedule A - Protection Barrier Distance from Tree (14 KB)
- Schedule B - Exclusions from Tree Counting Distances from Buildings (15 KB)
- Schedule C - Number of Trees Required on a Site (13 KB)
- Schedule D - Types of Replacement Trees (55 KB)