Tree Protection and Tree Canopy Preservation Policy

Policy statement

The Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town) is committed to preserve and enhance its tree canopy and natural vegetation. The town shall protect trees on both public and private lands pursuant to applicable by-laws, recognizing their importance to the ecology, aesthetics, culture, and heritage of the town.

Trees on public lands shall be removed only to safeguard public safety. Trees with significant structural and/or health problems and dying trees may also be removed with confirmation from the town forester or designate. Trees cannot be removed solely for reasons of aesthetics or nuisance, including shade, the shedding of tree leaves, nuts, or fruits, or damage caused by tree roots.

The compensation for leaf area loss will be determined as set out in the Town Tree Protection During Construction procedure.


This policy recognizes the importance of tree canopy and many environmental, economic and social benefits of urban forests to communities. This policy enables the establishment of procedures to preserve tree canopy by minimizing tree removal, preventing damage or destruction of trees, establishing mandatory conditions for replacement of trees and optimize planting provisions and tree health within the town.


This policy applies to trees within the Town of Oakville, both on public and private lands.

Related documents

The town shall observe the established plans, by-laws, and legislation:

  • Liveable Oakville 2009, The Town of Oakville official Plan, Part C, Section 10.12, considers its municipally-owned urban forest as green infrastructure and mandates no net loss of Town tree canopy policy in municipal rights-of-way
  • Town Tree Protection By-law 2009-025 regulates the planting, care, maintenance and removal of trees on town property.
  • Private Tree Protection By-law 2017-038 provides established rules for removing trees on private property. 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.
  • Town Tree Protection During Construction Procedure EN-TRE-001-001 provides an outline and required action to protect trees during construction.
  • Site alterations By-law 2003-021 requires site alterations within the town be subject to a mandatory review of existing trees.
  • By-law 2013-013 prescribes rules and regulations to protect tree health and tree canopy in the parks
  • Halton Region’s Tree By-law # 121-05 prohibits the destruction and/ or Injuring any tree located in Greenlands or in Woodlands 0.5ha or larger;


Tree canopy: refers to the layer of tree leaves, branches, and stems that provide tree coverage of the ground when viewed from above.


Liveable Oakville 2009, The Town of Oakville Official Plan
Town Tree Protection During Construction procedure
Town Tree Protection By-law
Private Tree Protection By-law
Site Alteration By-laws
Halton Region’s Tree By-Law 121-005
Healthy Green Space for Public Lands Report
Environmental Sustainability Policy
Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan (2008)
North Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan (2012)
Oakville Strategy for Biodiversity (2018)