From time to time, an Ottawa homeowner or property manager may might want to cut a tree down for different reasons.

Maybe the tree is dead or dying. Perhaps the tree suffers from rotting or infestation. Whatever the reason is, you want a specific tree on your Ottawa property to be gone. Fair enough.

However, the City of Ottawa has been making significant efforts in the last decade to protect urban trees from being cut unnecessarily. As a result, someone who wants to get rid of a tree may find it necessary to obtain a permit for tree removal in Ottawa, although the rules vary depending on the situation.

In this article we’ll cover more about Ottawa tree by-laws and permit regulations.

Which Permit Do I Need to Remove a Tree in Ottawa?

getting permit at government officeThe City of Ottawa has two tree by-laws.

The first one applies to all municipally owned trees, while the second one (the Urban Tree Conservation By-law, 2009-200) regulates privately owned trees in urban areas, depending on the size of properties and the trees themselves.

This By-law is quite complex, but the good news is, you don’t have to read it all.

You can trust our expertise and knowledge as certified arborists. Read on to find out more about Ottawa tree bylaws and how to know for sure whether you need one before removing a tree in Ottawa.

Must I Apply for an Ottawa Tree Removal Permit?

arborist in ottawa removes treeDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current Tree By-law Review Project’s implementation has been delayed.

As a result of limited resources, staff were not able to implement it as originally scheduled. The new date is yet to be determined, so the existing tree by-laws remain valid until the new regulation comes into effect. The process of obtaining a permit can take up to three weeks or more, so be sure to plan ahead.

At the moment, if the tree you are thinking of cutting down has a diameter of 50 cm and is located in an urban area, you need to apply for a Distinctive Tree Permit to comply with the regulation.

If the tree happens to be located in a property larger than one hectare and it’s 10 cm or more in diameter, you must outline a tree conservation report, which has to be approved by the City of Ottawa.

legal consequences of not getting tree permitOnce you find out about the paperwork required for your specific case, you must account for ownership of the tree.

If it borders in other properties, all owners must be in agreement for the procedure. Afterwards, you must get hold of a certified arborist to complete an Arborist Report by the book. After submission, a Forestry Inspector will make a site visit and issue a permit provided that all criteria is met.

The granted document must then be displayed publicly one week prior to removal and one week after.

The Consequences for Not Obtaining a Permit for Ottawa Tree Removal

City of Ottawa By-law Officers have the power to enter and inspect land in Ottawa in order to ensure that all property-owners are compliant with all laws and regulations.

The fines for not following the legal steps range from $500 to $100,000.

Better safe than sorry!

That’s why, rather than risking it on your own, you’re far better off seeking the help of trusted and qualified Ottawa tree removal service.

At Croft Tree Experts, we are experienced arborists in Ottawa with a depth of knowledge of Ottawa tree removal permit requirements and processes.

We provide the region with superlative tree care, effective removal and professional advice. Contact us and save yourself a legal headache!