The rules for removing trees on private property have changed. As of May 2, 2017, property owners must apply for a permit and on-site consultation before removing any tree that has a trunk measuring 15 cm or larger in diameter (5.9 inches in width).
The urban forest is made up of all the trees growing in Oakville, including town-owned street and park trees, trees in forested areas, as well as trees on private property.
We’ve strengthened our private tree protection by-law to help us preserve healthy trees and protect our community’s urban forest. If you’re making home or garden renovations, consider ways to make your trees part of your plan.
Need to remove a tree? You might need a permit. Fill out our simple online Private Tree Removal Permit Application and receive an on-site consultation from one of our tree inspectors.
Supervisor, Forest Protection
905-845-6601, ext. 2846
Depending on reason for removal, please have the following documents ready for the site visit:
NOTE: It is the property owner's responsibility to hire a professional arborist to remove a tree. Town employees do not remove trees from private property.
Permit fees include consultation and administration and are non-refundable.
As a condition of the permit, one tree must be planted for every 10 cm DBH of healthy tree removed.
A $300 security deposit is required for each tree to be planted. The security deposit will be refunded once a final inspection of the replacement plantings is complete.
Replacement trees must be planted on the same property as those removed. Where it is not possible to properly grow replacement trees on the site, the security deposit may be donated to the town to plant on nearby town property.
The minimum tree replacement size is a 30-mm caliper (3 cm width) deciduous tree, or a 150-cm high coniferous tree in a five-gallon container, balled in burlap, or in a wire basket.
Dead and high risk/hazardous trees, ash trees, and buckthorn require a permit but are exempt from fees.
Diameter at breast height (DBH) is a standard measurement for the size of a tree.
Note: If your tree measures 47 cm or less around its trunk (its circumference) at 137 cm above ground level, then the tree is considered to be less than 15 cm DBH (5.9 inches in width) and you do not need a permit to remove it.
About half of Oakville’s urban forest is on private property. Trees benefit everyone. They:
Your trees matter. There are many native species perfect for planting in Oakville. When planting a tree on your property, learn which trees are native to Ontario and which are the best species to plant where you live. Visit the Ontario Tree Atlas website. For more planting and tree maintenance tips visit the tree planting page.
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 responsibility to care for and maintain the health of the tree.