A question we get asked quite a bit is about Ottawa tree removal and the need for permits.

The City of Ottawa has a by-law to protect urban trees from being removed without good cause. To remove a tree from a private property, you might need a permit from the city, but the rules differ depending on the situation. Read on to find out more about permits for tree removal in Ottawa.

Who Does Not Need An Ottawa Tree Removal Permit?

A tree can be removed without a permit if it is:

  • under 50 centimetres in diameter (20 inches, at chest height) on a property less than one hectare (2.47 acres or 10,000 square metres)
  • within a building, solarium, rooftop garden, or interior courtyard
  • in an actively managed orchard or nursery where harvesting was the purpose of planting
  • tree removalon a cemetery or golf course, or on rural land, with some exceptions
  • threatening public health and safety, needing removal as soon as possible
  • being removed as part of farming operations by a registered farm business

As well, a permit is not needed to prune a tree.

Who Must Apply For An Ottawa Tree Removal Permit?

If the tree to be removed has a diameter of 50 centimetres or more, a Distinctive Tree Permit is needed to legally remove it. If the tree is on a property larger than one hectare, a Tree Conservation Report must be drafted for approval from the City before removing any tree 10 centimetres (4 inches) or more in diameter.

After the required paperwork is determined, the ownership of the tree must be confirmed. If the trunk of the tree borders on other properties (common in Ottawa’s urban neighbourhoods), all property owners must be in agreement for the tree’s removal.

An Arborist Report must then be prepared by a certified and qualified arborist, following the City’s template. A Forestry Inspector will then make a site visit and issue a permit if all criteria is met. A granted permit must be posted in a visible location for the public to see 7 days before removal and 7 days after. From the initial application to the removal can be 3  weeks or more, so planning is required.

What If I Need a Permit, But Do Not Obtain One?

arborist climbing a treeBy-law Officers have the power to enter and inspect land to ensure all laws and regulations are being followed properly.

If laws have been ignored, or there is a contravention of the by-law, a stop-work order will be issued and the offender will be filed as committing an offence.

The fines associated with this range anywhere from $500 to $100,000.

With such large fines, the paperwork must be completed thoroughly.

That’s why it’s important to request the services of a trusted and qualified arborist. tree removal service that will not only safely remove the tree but abide by any by-laws, saving you a legal headache.


Croft Tree Experts Are Your Call for Ottawa Tree Removal

Croft Tree Experts provide the Ottawa region with quality tree care, removal, and arborist services, ensuring that your tree removal is done safely and efficiently. Contact us to find out how we can service your trees today!

For more information about the by-law, see: