Tree Protection and Removal
To support a greener community and healthier environment, Council has adopted several by-laws to provide preservation of the tree canopy in the town which are outlined in more detail below. These by-laws are intended to regulate the destruction or injury of all trees of any size located on municipal property and private trees greater than 20 centimetres in diameter measured at breast height (1.37 metres).
Construction near trees
The town has adopted several policies and procedures to protect as well as enhance the tree canopy in the town.
If you're planning a construction project you should review the Tree Protection Policy (EN-TRE-001) and Tree Protection During Construction Procedure (EN-TRE-001-001), which outline what you need to know about construction near existing trees, how to apply for permits and more. You may also need to complete one or more of the following:
- Building Permit Application (pdf, 1.7 MB)
- Driveway Permit
- Park Access Permit Application (pdf, 242 kB)
- Private Tree Removal Notification Form (pdf, 15 kB)
- Private Tree Permit Application (pdf, 22 kB)
- Road Corridor Permit
- Development Permit Application (pdf, 1.7 MB)
- Tree Protection Zone Encroachment Application (pdf, 68 kB)
Municipal tree protection
All street trees located on municipal property are protected by the by-laws and specifications listed below. The town's Urban Forestry section is responsible for the planting, protection, maintenance and removal of these trees.
- By-law 2009-025 (pdf, 32 kB) as amended by By-law 2009-188 (pdf, 19 kB) authorizes and regulates the planting, care, maintenance and removal of trees on town property and ensures the sustainability of the urban forest
- By-law 2003-021 (pdf, 1.42 MB) as amended by By-law 2008-124 (pdf, 32.5 kB) and By-law 2010-090 (pdf, 18.9 kB) regulates site alterations within the town
- By-law 2013-013 (pdf, 42.5 kB) as amended by By-law 2013-125 (pdf, 14.0 kB) and By-law 2015-017 (pdf, 14.2 kB) prescribes rules and regulations for parks within the town
- Decorative Tree Lighting Specifications (pdf, 2 MB)
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) and By-law 2011-137 (pdf, 35.2 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.
Visit the Private Tree Protection page to learn more.
Ownership of a tree is determined by the actual physical location of the tree. Whoever is the owner of the land upon which a tree is situated is also the owner of that tree. With that ownership comes all the corresponding responsibility for the care and maintenance of the tree. It does not matter who actually planted the tree – the owner of the land upon which the tree is located owns the tree and is responsible for that tree.
For more information contact:
For properties that are currently or will be undergoing construction or development, please contact:
Permits & Construction
905-845-6601 ext. 3982