Trees & Urban Forest

Trees are an integral part of our community’s biodiversity. They enhance neighbourhoods and create vibrant, livable and sustainable communities. 

Trees provide many benefits to cities and the people who live, work and play in them. Victoria's urban forest consists of the trees, shrubs, ground cover and living ecosystems of the soil on all land across the city. 

There are approximately 150,000 trees across Victoria growing on residential land, on boulevards and in parks. Roughly 75 per cent of the urban forest grows on private land and 25 per cent is on land managed by the City. Together, these trees make up the urban forest and provide a city-wide canopy cover of nearly 29 per cent. 

Trees Planting and Removal

A healthy urban forest is of high importance to the City. Removing unhealthy trees reduces safety risks and opens up space to plant new, young trees which will grow into our future urban forest.

Tree Protection Bylaw

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.

Tree Cities of the World Award

For the third year running, the City of Victoria has been recognized as a Tree City of the World The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations awards this recognition.

The Tree Cities of the World program is an international effort to care for and celebrate urban tree canopies. Recognized cities and towns have demonstrated commitment to sustainably maintaining their urban forests. 

Tree Cities of the World

Priority Actions

The City’s Urban Forest Master Plan guides the management of Victoria's urban forest. This plan identifies 26 recommended actions for the improved management of trees on public and private lands over 50 years. Currently, the City is prioritizing the following actions. 

Natural Area Management 

The City has a number of important natural areas and habitats. Natural areas in Victoria include what is left of the once-widespread Garry Oak ecosystem, as well as Cottonwood bog, Douglas Fir forest, Coastal Bluffs and riparian zones. 

To preserve this habitat, the City:

  • monitors the health of natural park areas and endangered species in the city
  • promotes awareness of conservation and environmental issues to municipal staff and the public
  • develops and present educational programs for staff and the public
  • works with community groups involved in invasive species removal, vegetation control, natural area management
  • prepares grant proposals and work with groups to fundraise for support of natural areas