Private Tree Protection

Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 review

The town's Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 is currently under review. For more information view the news release published on October 19, 2016. Here is a summary of existing versus proposed changes.

Existing by-law

Regulated tree size

20 cm dbh and up

Notification process

Included: Provides for removal of up to four trees (20 cm to 76 cm) annually without compensation

Compensation

May be required as permit condition; compensation may be imposed however details are not set out in by-law.

Permit process (review note 1 and 2)

Applies to fifth tree ($255) and; trees over 76 cm dbh ($640)

Proposed Amendment

Regulated tree size

15 cm dbh and up

Notification process

No notification process

Compensation

May be required as permit condition; compensation planting defined as one tree for every 10 cm of removed tree; compensation tree must be 30 mm caliper size deciduous or 1,500 mm height coniferous.

Permit process (review note 1 and 2)

Applies to all trees. First tree (15 cm to 24 cm) $50 plus compensation planting

Additional trees $325 per tree.


Note 1: A tree permit is required, but no fee is required for a tree:

  • Identified as dead, infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) or infested with Asian Long-Horned Beetle (ALHB) and approved by the designated official
  • identified as high risk accompanied by an arborist report and approved by the designated official.

Note 2: No tree permit and no fee is required for emergency work. Emergency work is defined as any work required where the likelihood of tree failure is imminent and a tree or part of a tree poses extreme risk in which there is a high likelihood of severe consequences, such as serious injury to persons or property.


Private tree protection by-law

The Town of Oakville enacted its Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 (pdf, 2 MB), as amended by By-law 2009-145 (pdf, 35.8 kB) regulating the destruction or injury of all private trees on October 1, 2008. The by-law was adopted by Council to support a greener community and a healthier environment. It exists to preserve significant trees on all private properties within the town and to sustain Oakville's urban forest. Anyone contravening the by-law and found guilty of an offence will be subject to penalties.

How do I know if the private tree protection by-law applies to me?

If any of the statements below describe you, the Private Tree Protection By-Law 2008-156 does not apply to your situation. If none of the below statements describe you, you must fill out a Notification form or an Application for a Tree Permit form (see below).

I want to remove a private tree...

  • with a diameter less than 20 centimetres.
  • for the purpose of satisfying a condition to a development permit authorized by regulation made under section 70.2 of the Planning Act, or as a requirement of an agreement entered into the regulation (examples include but are not limited to the Development Permit System).
  • located next to a transmitter or distributor as defined in the Electricity Act, 1998 for the purpose of construction and maintenance of a transmission or a distribution system, as defined under the Act.
  • to permit the construction of a building or structure where the tree's removal, injury, or destruction is required under a building permit. Example includes, but are not limited to Residential-New and Residential Addition under Site Alteration Application (pdf, 86 kB).
  • located within wood lands or green lands governed by the Halton Region Tree By-Law 121-05.
  • for emergency work.
  • located on rooftop gardens, interior courtyards or solariums.
  • located on a nursery.
  • by contracting a person licensed under the Surveyors Act to engage in the practice of cadastral surveying (or his agent) while making a survey.
  • for the purpose of satisfying a condition to the approval of a site plan, a plan of subdivision, a consent under sections 41 (Site Plan Application), 51(Plan of Sub-division Approval), and 53 (Consent Application) of the Planning Act, or as a requirement of a site plan or subdivision agreement under those sections of the Act. Examples include but not limited to commercial/industrial-new, commercial/industrial-addition, and subdivision-multi residence applications. Download the Site Alteration Application (pdf, 86 kB).
  • in the sole discretion of the director of Development Engineering for the Town of Oakville, as a result of activities or matter undertaken as part of the approved process for the Environmental Implementation and Functional Servicing requirements for the lands in the North Oakville Secondary Plan area other than the lands designated as a Natural Heritage System.
  • that is required under a property standards by-law order.

You must fill out a notification form if:

  • You're removing four or less trees between 20 to 76 centimetres diameter, measured at a height of 1.37 metres per calendar year.
  • You're removing dead and/or hazardous trees greater than 20 centimetres diameter, measured at a height of 1.37 metres.

Open the Notification Form (pdf, 14.9 kB).

You must fill out an application for tree permit form if:

  • You're removing five or more trees between 20 and 76 centimetres in diameter, measured at 1.37 metres per calendar year.
  • Four trees have already been removed and the tree you wish to remove is the fifth or more trees between 20 and 76 centimetres in diameter (measured at 1.37 metres) each calendar year.
  • Any tree greater than 76 centimetres in diameter (measured at 1.37 metres) in this calendar year.

Open the Application for Tree Permit Form (pdf, 118 kB).

Notification form process

Submit the completed form at least 24 hours prior to the proposed removal of the tree(s) by one of the following methods:

  • In Person at:
    Town of Oakville, Central Operations
    1140 South Service Road West
    Oakville, ON L7L 5T7
  • By fax: 905-338-4227
  • By email: forestryforms@oakville.ca
  • By mail to:
    Town of Oakville, Forestry Section
    1225 Trafalgar Road
    Oakville, ON L6H 0H3

No permit or confirmation of the Notification form will be issued by the town. The homeowner can proceed with the work 24 hours after a complete Notification form has been submitted to the town.

Application for tree permit form process

To remove five or more trees, property owners must apply for a permit at a cost of $255 per tree. The fee for the permit increases to $640 for any tree over 76 centimetres in diameter, recognizing that mature trees require additional protection due to their critical role in providing natural habitat, tree canopy and pollution reduction.

Submit the completed Permit Application form by one of the following methods:

  • In Person at:
    Town of Oakville, Central Operations
    1140 South Service Road West
    Oakville, ON L7L 5T7
  • By fax: 905-338-4227
  • By email: forestryforms@oakville.ca
  • By mail to:
    Town of Oakville, Forestry Section
    1225 Trafalgar Road
    Oakville, ON L6H 0H3

File the required, non-refundable permit fee. Fees are determined by size and number of trees being cut down. Refer to section A of the Private Tree Protection By-law for permit fees. No tree shall be injured or destroyed until a permit has been issued by the town.

If the Permit Application is associated with a development application, the matter will be deferred to the Planning and Development Commission to be addressed as part of the development application. No trees shall be removed until the development application has been dealt with.

Review instructions on how to measure a tree's diameter (pdf, 102 kB).

Still have questions? Visit the FAQ page.

For more information contact:

ServiceOakville
905-845-6601
TTY: 905-338-4200
serviceoakville@oakville.ca

For properties that are currently or will be undergoing construction or development, please contact:

Development Engineering
Permits & Construction
Michelle Drmanic
905-845-6601 ext. 3982
mdrmanic@oakville.ca