Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Tree in Oakville?

The answer is yes. Since May 2nd, 2017 the rules for the removal of trees on private property in Oakville changed. Property owners who wish to remove a tree on their property must apply for a tree removal permit Oakville. Applying for on-site consultation is also required. This goes for all trees that have a trunk that is larger than 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) in diameter.

The purpose of the by-law is to protect the urban forest which is made up of all trees that are growing in Oakville. This park trees, town-owned trees, and trees on the private properties. The private tree protection by-law has been strengthened to help preserve the healthy trees as well as protect the community’s urban forest. If you need to remove a tree from your property, you will need to apply for a permit.

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When Do You Need a Permit?

A tree removal permit is not required in all situations. There are certain exemptions. You will need to apply for a tree removal permit if the following apply to you:

  • You have a tree that is bigger than 15 centimeters in diameter
  • It is a dead and high-risk tree. Ash trees and buckthorn require a permit but are exempted from the permit fees.
  • Tree is part of the site plan
  • Any hedge with stems that total to 15 centimeters or more

You Don’t Need a Permit If:

  • Tree measures less than 15 centimeters in diameter
  • It’s an emergency tree removal. This is considered where a tree is in immediate risk to cause serious damage or injury to property or people. You will not be required to get a tree removal permit for emergency tree removal. You will, however, need to notify the town as soon as possible.

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Permit Application Process

The permit application process starts with the filling of the application form. You can download the form from here. A tree inspector from the Forestry Section will then contact you within 5 business days to arrange for an on-site consultation. This is meant to review the tree removal request.

The number of items that will be required will depend on the type of tree removal that you need. It is good to have the following documents ready:

  • Arborist report from a certified arborist. This is required when removing high-risk trees or if the request is part of engineering permit application like landscaping, pools or other construction projects.
  • Signed letter of authorization from the property owner. This is required if you are submitting the application on behalf of the property owner.
  • Signed letter of consent from the neighboring property owner. This is needed if the tree that is to be removed is on a shared property line.

Upon submitting the application, you will be notified once it is approved and ready for you to pick it up. You must take your security deposit and fees to the Service Oakville, Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road to collect the permit. For the high risk and dead trees, buckthorn and ash trees, no fees are required. The inspector will leave you with the permit as soon as he is done with the site visit. You should post the permit on the site for 5 days before you start removing the tree.

You can download application here.

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