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Environmental Protection

Tree Protection Bylaw

Tree Bylaw
The purpose of the Tree Protection Bylaw is to protect Richmond’s urban forest by restricting tree removal from private lands and ensuring replacement trees are provided when trees are required to be removed.

The basic strategy involves preserving healthy trees where possible (based on their long-term viability), permitting the removal of those trees that are either in poor condition or in conflict with new development and requiring the replanting of new trees.

Trees within any urban forest are a dynamic resource - they grow, they mature, they decline and eventually die. Seeking retention where it is feasible, while at the same time ensuring there are adequate replacements, promotes the creation of a sustainable urban forest as a continued benefit to our community.

When to Apply for a Tree Removal Permit
The City’s Tree Protection Bylaw No. 8057 generally prohibits the cutting or removal of any tree larger than 20 cm (7-7/8 inches) in diameter at breast height (dbh - measured at 1.4m or 4'7" above the ground) without a permit. 

Key elements of the Bylaw are summarized in the following Bulletins:

PDF Document Bulletin - Tree-01: Tree Protection Bylaw 8057  
PDF Document Bulletin - Tree-08: Tree Protection Bylaw 8057 Application Process

Updates to the Tree Bylaw as of October 10, 2007 can be viewed in:

PDF Document Bulletin - Tree-05: Tree Protection Bylaw Changes - Municipal Ticketing Bylaw Changes

The Arborist Report is now available to view/download/print:

PDF Document Bulletin - Tree-04: Arborist Report

Additional information on required tree fencing can be retrieved from:

PDF Document Bulletin Tree-03: Protection of Existing Trees During Demolition and Construction
PDF Document Tree Survey Guidelines

Downloadable PDF Document Tree Protection Sign

For full text of the Bylaw, please refer to our Bylaws Chapter List, where it can be viewed, printed, or downloaded.

PDF Document The Truth about Topping Trees

Tree cutting permits may be applied for in person at City Hall during regular work hours (Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) by the property owner or authorized agent of the owner.

A Tree Cutting Application Form must be filled out and submitted to City Hall. Bring the completed form and fees in person to City Hall where staff will assist you in completing all the necessary steps for submitting your application. We regret that we are unable to accept faxed, mailed or electronically submitted applications at this time.

The form and related materials are available below for download in PDF format.

PDF Document Tree Removal Permit Application (Non-Development) (PL-20)
PDF Document Tree Removal Permit Application (Demolition / New Construction - T2)
PDF Document Tree Removal Permit Application (Rezoning in Process - T3)
PDF Document Bulletin Tree-06: Tree Removal on Sites Involved in the Rezoning Process
PDF Document Bulletin Tree-07: Landscape Cross-Section Drawings at Building Permit Submission
PDF Document Bulletin Tree-10: Replacement Tree Guideline
PDF Document Letter of Authorization
PDF Document Letter of Authorization for Strata Properties (PL-54)
PDF Document New Survey Requirements
PDF Document Suitable Trees for Replanting (PL-17)

Contact Us
If you require further assistance, or would like to report a possible illegal tree cutting, please contact the City 604-247-4684 during regular work hours (Monday to Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Alternatively, we may be reached by email at:

To report a possible illegal tree cutting outside of regular work hours, please call the 24 Hour City Emergency Line at 604-270-8721.