Tree Protection Bylaw

The City of Victoria is committed to the protection and enhancement of the urban forest. The Tree Protection Bylaw protect the trees in Victoria now and helps grow the urban forest for the future.

The bylaw applies to trees on private property, including those that are undergoing development.

Read the Tree Protection Bylaw

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 protected root zone of a bylaw-protected tree, a permit may be required. Please contact

The City has two fact sheets about the Tree Protection Bylaw to help you determine if you need a tree permit and how to apply for one:

Application forms:

Frequently Asked Questions

Tree Removal Conditions

The Tree Protection Bylaw outlines the conditions where a tree permit may be issued to cut or remove a protected tree. Examples of when property owners may be granted a tree permit to remove a protected tree include:

  • the tree is a hazard and the risk cannot be mitigated in another way 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 construction
  • the tree is causing or will cause structure or infrastructure damage that cannot be mitigated

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 bylaw. Where replacement trees or retention of protected trees are required as a condition of the tree permit, the applicant must provide security in the for of cash or letter of credit to the City.

Property owners may provide evidence that they cannot accommodate replacement trees on their property due to the size or characteristics of their lot. If this evidence is to the satisfaction of the Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities, 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.

Property Development

Tree information must be provided and tree permits may be required for development related application that include any of the following:

  • rezoning
  • subdivision
  • development permits
  • development variance permits
  • temporary use permits associated with a 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 10 m2, excluding deck, patio and balcony areas