Tree Protection and Removal

Tree health improvement area signTree preservation

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:

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 and amendments 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 and amendments regulates site alterations within the town
  • By-law 2013-013 and amendments prescribes rules and regulations for parks within the town
  • Decorative Tree Lighting Specifications (pdf, 2 MB)
  • By-law 2009-072 regulates the use of a municipal right of way

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 boulvard. Review By-law 2009-072 and Boulevard Gardening permits.

Private tree protection by-law

The town's Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 (pdf, 2 MB) is currently under review. Visit the Private Tree Protection page to learn more. 

The Town of Oakville enacted its Private Tree Protection By-law 2008 as amended by By-law 2009-145 (pdf, 35.8 kB) and By-law 2011-137 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.

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:

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