Tree Protection and Removal

Tree health improvement area signTree preservation

To support a greener community and healthier environment, the town has adopted several by-laws, policies, and procedures to preserve the tree canopy. These are outlined below.

These by-laws regulate the destruction of trees of any size located on municipal property and of private trees greater than 20 centimetres in diameter measured at breast height (1.37 metres). Currently, the town's Private Tree Protection By-law is under review. Visit the Private Tree Protection page to learn more.

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 need to complete one or more of the following:

Municipal tree protection

All street trees located on municipal property are protected and regulated by established by-laws and applicable amendments. A summary of those by-laws, protections, and specifications is provided below.

  • Regulations are in place to manage the planting, care, maintenance and removal of trees on town property. By-law 2009-025.
  • Site alterations within the town are subject to a mandatory review of existing trees. By-law 2003-021.
  • Parks within the town are subject to a by-law which protects the health of our canopy. By-law 2013-013.
  • Rules and regulations regarding trees, the municipal right of way, and town boulevards. By-law 2009-072.
  • Decorative Tree Lighting Specifications (pdf, 2 MB)

The town's Urban Forestry section is responsible for the maintenance of these trees. We encourage you to use your property survey or contact the town to determine your property line before beginning any tree planting or landscaping. Private trees and landscaping features are not permitted on the town boulevard. Review Boulevard Gardening permits. To find more information on the above rules and regulations, please search for the relevant by-law on the town's Municipal By-law Page.

Private tree protection by-law

The town's Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 is currently under review. Visit the Private Tree Protection page to learn more. 

The Town of Oakville enacted its Private Tree Protection By-law to regulate the destruction or injury of all private trees. The by-law and amendments were 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.

Ownership of a tree is determined by the location of the tree. Regardless of who planted the tree, the owner of the land upon which a tree is situated is also the owner of that tree. With that ownership comes the corresponding responsibility to care for and maintain the health of the tree.

For more information contact:

TTY: 905-338-4200

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