Arborist removing a tree in Ottawa.


If you have a tree on your Ottawa property that you intend to fell and remove, you may need a City of Ottawa tree removal permit. The rule of thumb for Ottawa tree removal permits is 30 centimetres. To remove a tree that is larger than 30cm in diameter, you’ll require a permit from the city. Here are the exceptions where no permit is needed to tree removal in Ottawa:

  • Tree is less than 30cm in diameter (12in), measured at the trunk, on property less than one hectare
  • The tree is located in an interior courtyard, solarium, rooftop garden, etc.
  • Tree threatens health & safety or could damage infrastructure & needs removal ASAP
  • Trees on an orchard, nursery, farm, cemetery or golf course
  • Tree pruning (cutting branches, sections, etc.) does NOT require a permit

Removing a tree in Ottawa that would have required a permit is considered a bylaw violation, and you would be subject to fines from $500 to $100,000.


Are “Tree Trimming” and “Tree Pruning” the same thing?

While these two phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Pruning is done more in the interest of protecting the tree, hedge, bush or shrub; while trimming generally is limited to shrubs and hedges for aesthetic purposes. Tree pruning can save a tree if infection is present; pruning a tree is also a proactive method of proper tree care. Trimming shrubs and hedges doesn’t necessarily carry the health value that pruning does, but it can very much improve the appearance of hedges, shrubs, bushes, etc. A well-maintained property with trimmed hedges typically sees a higher value.

Should you hire a professional tree service in Ottawa for tree pruning or hedge trimming?

As certified arborists in Ottawa, Croft Tree Experts performs both of these services. First and foremost, we want to help you maintain the health of the trees on your property so that you can see those trees grow and thrive for many years to come. We have the equipment and experience to handle Ottawa tree trimming of any size and scope. For larger trees in particular, it is highly recommended that you leave this aspect of tree pruning to the pros. That way you won’t have to worry about injury to yourself and/or damage to your property. We can also prune smaller trees and hedges with expertise so that they stay healthy and will flourish over time. Or, if you prefer, we can pay a visit to your property to prune the larger trees and at the same time show you how to prune the smaller ones – it’s up to you? Now as for shrub and hedge trimming, we certainly perform these services as well. We’ll get your yard or property looking great for neighbours, guests and your family alike.

How exactly does tree pruning benefit the tree? Isn’t it just cutting back for looks?

While pruning the branches of a tree may look like an art – when performed artfully by certified arborists in Ottawa like Croft Tree Services – pruning goes well beyond appearances. Pruning benefits a tree by taking a strategic approach to the overall health and long-term growth of the tree. By identifying branches or parts of the tree that are dying, sick or infected, we then make the decision that it’s time for these parts of the tree to be removed. That way the rest of the tree has a much better chance of achieving and maintaining good tree health for the long run. You might call this tree pruning process, “addition by subtraction.”

How often should we get our trees pruned?

As a general rule of thumb, you can have your mature trees performed every 3-5 years; while younger trees (which are more prone to infection and stunted growth) require tree pruning once every 2-3 years. If you have a newly purchased property and aren’t sure when the last tree pruning was performed, call in Croft Tree Experts for a site visit; we’ll assess the health of the trees on your Ottawa property and advise the best course of action.

Is it better to prune trees in Ottawa in the spring, summer or fall?

Early spring is right about the ideal time to prune trees in Ottawa. That’s because the winter has ended (hopefully!) and all the snow and ice is off the branches; but the leaves have yet to come out. This way we can clearly see the tree and all its branches, then can make a more accurate assessment of the overall tree health as well as which branches and sections will require tree pruning.

Can I trim my own trees and hedges?

If we’re talking about trimming and not pruning, then we’re generally talking about hedges, shrubs, bushes and the like. If you’ve got a green thumb, the right equipment and enough time, you can perform this task on your own. Be careful of the trimming shears, of course, as they’re pretty sharp; and if you’re working at heights, take extra precaution with that ladder; wear safety equipment; and have a friend, neighbour or family member help out / spot you if possible. Of course you can always call Croft Tree Experts for hedge trimming in Ottawa. For tree trimming, a question we’re often asked, we’re really talking about tree pruning (see above Q&A). You can prune smaller trees on your own, but it is highly recommended that you hire a certified arborist for larger tree pruning; this is the safer way for you, your family and your property.

So You Need A Tree Removed


The tree is larger than 30cm in diameter YES
The property is larger than one hectare YES
The tree is in your yard but on city right of way (up to the water
shut-off, typically 1m or even more from the curb)
The tree is in a courtyard, solarium or rooftop garden NO
The tree is a threat to safety & health if not removed NO
The tree is on an orchard, farm, golf course or nursery NO


The implementation of Ottawa tree removal permits was designed to conserve a healthy amount of greenery in the city. Trees produce oxygen, after all, and trees have an aesthetic quality for everyone in the surrounding area – especially as more construction and development occurs in Ottawa. Even though the tree may be on your property, your neighbours benefit from having a multitude of trees throughout the community.


If you plan on removing a tree with a diameter of 30cm+ (can you wrap your arms around it?), you’ll need to apply for a Distinctive Tree Permit from the City of Ottawa. If the tree trunk straddles your property and your neighbour’s, you’ll need their approval as well. The best way to ensure full compliance with City of Ottawa tree permit bylaws is to hire the services of a professional arborist in Ottawa. Talk to Croft Tree Experts in Ottawa today about how we can help with your tree removal.

Our Arborist Services

We employ certified arborists who have passed comprehensive and regularly repeating exams developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care. An arborist is an individual who is trained in caring for, planting, and maintaining trees.

When you hire Croft Tree Experts to remove a tree in Ottawa, you're getting the services of a certified arborist on staff. That's how we ensure that we're removing your tree safely as well as within compliance of Ottawa tree permit bylaws.

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Although tree removal is a last resort, there are circumstances when it is necessary. An arborist can help decide whether a tree should be removed.

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Arborists have the expertise and the equipment necessary to remove unsightly tree stumps from your yard.

Contact Us

Get in touch with Croft Tree Services today! We’ll answer any questions you may have, and work with you to find the right solution and the most convenient scheduling options for your tree and landscaping needs. Please be as specific as possible in the field below, so that we can help you in the most effective way.


    208 Royalton Private
    Ottawa, ON K1V 9S3

    (613) 883 5611 or  (613) 410 4677


    Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
    Saturday: 9am to 3pm
    Sunday: Closed