Oakville Tree Removal By-Laws

In 2017, Oakville strengthened its tree protection by-laws to promote conservation of town-owned trees, park trees, and trees on private properties. If you want to remove a tree, you’ll need to get a permit. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Oakville tree removal by-laws.

Removing a Tree on Private Property

By-Law Number 2017-038 1 requires you to obtain a permit if you need to remove a tree on your property. A tree removal permit is applicable in these situations:

  • The tree has a DBH (diameter at breast height) of more than 15 centimeters.
  • The tree is dead and poses a danger to life and property.
  • The tree is part of a site plan.
  • Any hedge with stems totaling at least 15 centimeters.

Before applying for a permit, you can determine the tree’s DBH by measuring its circumference (the distance around the tree) at 4.5 feet above the ground level (an average person’s breast height). Then divide the circumference value by 3.14 to get the tree’s diameter.

You may not need a permit if the tree’s diameter is less than 15 centimeters. Emergency tree removals also don’t require a license, meaning you don’t need to apply for a permit if a tree can suddenly cause severe damage or injury to people or property. You only need to alert the town as soon as possible.

Tree Removal Permit Application Process

To obtain a tree removal permit in Oakville, you must first complete a simple online application form 2. After applying, you should expect a tree inspector from the town’s Forestry Section to get in touch within five business days to schedule an on-site consultation to assess your tree removal request.

During the site visit, you may need to produce the following documentation depending on your reason for removal:

  • A certified arborist report
  • The property owner’s signed letter of authorization if requesting on the property owner’s behalf
  • Signed consent letter from the neighboring property owner if removing a tree on a shared property line

If Oakville approves your application, you’ll receive a notification on when to collect your permit. Once you get the notification, you’ll need to take the applicable fees and security deposit to ServiceOakville, Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road and collect your permit.

In cases where you don’t need to pay any fees, such as for ash trees, buckhorn, and high-risk trees, the inspector will issue a permit during the site visit. You’ll need to post the permit on the tree removal site for five days before removing the tree.

You’ll need to hire a tree removal professional because town employees don’t remove trees on private property.

Municipal Tree Protection By-Laws

Several Oakville tree-removal by-laws protect trees located on the municipal property:

  • By-law Number 2009-025 3 entails regulations for managing the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees on town property.
  • By-law Number 2003-021 4 requires a review of existing trees for any site alteration within the town.
  • By-law Number 2013-013 5 aims to protect the health of trees in parks within the town.

If you live in Oakville, be sure to familiarize yourself with all the Oakville tree removal by-laws to avoid hefty fines.