The City of Victoria has committed to the protection and enhancement of the urban forest, as outlined in the Urban Forest Master Plan (2013) and the Strategic Plan (2019).
Victoria’s new Tree Protection Bylaw protects the trees we have now and helps grow our urban forest for the future. The bylaw came into effect on July 1, 2021 and applies to trees on private property, including those that are undergoing development. The new bylaw implements several recommendations in the Urban Forest Master Plan and aligns with leading practices and standards across the region.
The purpose of the Tree Protection Bylaw is to provide for the protection and preservation of trees on private property. If you would like to prune, remove, or work in the protect root zone of a bylaw protected tree, a permit may be required. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read our fact sheets:
- Tree Permit Application Form
- Replacement Tree Confirmation/Inspection Form
- Tree Permit Extension or Modification Application Form
Tree Removal Conditions
The Tree protection bylaw outlines the conditions where a tree permit may be issued to cut or remove a bylaw protected tree. Examples of when property owners may be granted permission to remove a bylaw protected tree include:
- The tree is a hazard tree and the risk cannot be mitigated other than by cutting or removing the tree, or the tree is dead
- The tree is a regulated invasive plant, or an unregulated invasive plant of concern in B.C.
- The trunk of the tree is located within the building envelope and the removal of the tree is necessary for the purpose of constructing a building, an addition to a building, or construction of an accessory building
- The tree is causing, or will in the near future cause, structure or infrastructure damage that cannot be mitigated other than by cutting or removing the protected tree
If permission is granted, property owners may have to pay a permit fee and/or security. These are outlined in Section 23-26 of the new bylaw. Where replacement trees or retention of protected trees are required as a condition of the tree permit, the applicant must provide to the City security in the form of cash or letter of credit.
If a property owner provides evidence to the satisfaction of the Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities that they cannot accommodate replacement trees on their property due to the size or characteristics of their lot, property owners will be required to pay $2,000 cash-in-lieu for each replacement tree or tree seedling that cannot be accommodated on the site.
Tree information must be provided, and tree permits may be required, for development related applications that include any of the following:
- Development permits
- Development variance permits
- Temporary use permits associated with new building or an addition to an existing building
- Heritage alteration permits
- Building permits associated with:
- Demolition, blasting or construction of a principal building
- Construction of an accessory building (including garden suites) or an addition to an existing building more than 10m², excluding deck, patio, and balcony areas