Edmonton Tree Removal By-Laws

Edmonton Tree Removal By-Laws

By-laws for Edmonton tree removal differ for privately and publicly-owned trees. Understanding your local by-laws can help you take care of your property and abide by regulations. In Edmonton, the City enforces the public tree by-law to preserve urban forestry.

Any person who violates or disregards Edmonton by-laws is guilty of an offence. If found guilty, individuals are subject to fines, which vary depending on the degree of the violation.

Tree Removal on Private Property

For trees that don’t fall under the definition of city-owned or public trees, removal is up to the property owner’s discretion. However, it is best to obtain a permit, especially if part of a construction project.

If citizens have concerns about a tree on private property that is not their own, they may call 311. The caller must provide details, including location, violation of the Community Standards By-Law, and the caller’s contact information. 

Although the City of Edmonton recommends resolving complaints with the property owner first, the City will investigate concerns and remedy the situation as needed. Always ensure to do your due diligence to minimize any damage to your or someone else’s property.

If the problem cannot be resolved after a warning, an officer may issue a fine or a bill for necessary fixes. Violations tickets range from $250 to $10,000.

Tree Removal on Public Property

Citizens must submit requests for tree removal and obtain a permit according to Edmonton public tree by-laws. City-owned trees are public assets. Therefore, a City Manager must authorize any work, removal, or changes with a permit or written consent. Additionally, permissions must include approved tree preservation or tree protection plan.

By calling 311, an Edmonton Urban Forestry employee can offer guidance on tree protection or preservation plan approval. Additionally, the City has created an accessible Tree Protection Detail document. Finally, an ISA Certified Arborist should complete tree preservation or protection plans.

The Winnipeg tree removal by-laws updated on August 30, 2021, require a permit for work done within specified distances from public trees. For example, citizens must obtain a permit if the tree or related work is within five meters of boulevards or open spaces. For a natural stand, the by-law requires permits within ten meters. 

Edmonton officials may approve live tree removal if:

  • Trees are infested, diseased, decaying, or a safety risk
  • Required by City-approved construction
  • Replaced (according to Urban Forestry and Sustainable Development approval)

 Some removal reasons may justify transplantation or preservation over destroying the removed tree. Removal requires neighborhood support, such as gathering signatures or advanced notice through signage.

Applying for a Tree Permit

Anyone applying for a tree removal permit must submit a completed application form and tree preservation or tree protection plan to a City Manager. Additionally, fees and other details may be necessary, at the discretion of the City Manager or required for the approved tree protection or preservation plan.

An Edmonton City Manager may cancel or reject permit applications that are incomplete or contain inadequate or inaccurate information. The City Manager is responsible for providing applicants with a response, including a written document detailing reasons for refusal, suspension, or cancellation.

Call 311 or visit 311 online for requests.

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