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Do you need a permit for Tree Removal?

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Alex, Staff Writer

Friday, 28th May 2021

Do you need a permit for Tree Removal?

Clearing up your backyard can be a tiresome and difficult task at the best of times, but when it comes to removing something like a large oak or pine tree from your garden, the task really steps up a notch. 

As much as you might want to take an axe to your tree straight away, you should probably call in a professional first. Not only will they carry out the task at hand with all the right safety precautions in place, but they’ll also be able to tell you whether you need a permit for your tree removal.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at whether you’re likely to need a permit, or not.

When do you need a permit for Tree Removal? 

As a country of stunning natural beauty, permits for tree removal were introduced in Canada to protect its trees and other natural flora. So, how do you know whether you need a permit to chop down that tree in the backyard, that’s blocking the sun from shining on down?

The first step is to measure the width of the tree; this will give you the best indication of whether you’ll need to apply for a permit, or (fingers crossed) not. According to officials, you should measure the width of a tree, around 4 feet above the ground - usually chest height for the average person. Any tree that is bigger than 12 inches in diameter will need a permit to be cut down.

If you don’t go through the proper channels and simply cut down the tree or have it cut down, you could find yourself in trouble with the law. With a minimum fine of $500.00 and a maximum fine of $100,000.00 per tree, you’d be foolish to take the risk and not get yourself a permit.

How to get your hands on a Tree Removal permit

So you’ve measured up your tree in the yard and found out its diameter is bigger than 12 inches, what next?

The next step is to actually get the tree removal permit. 

  • You can apply for a permit through your local authorities by filling out all of the necessary paperwork. 

  • You’ll then need to pay your local fee together with your Permit Application Form. 

We know, we know, it all seems like a lot of effort. But just a little effort from you with keep you from being slapped with a pretty hefty fine if you chop your tree down without permission. 

When is a permit for Tree Removal not needed?

There are a number of instances where you won’t need a permit to chop down a tree, apart from when the tree is too small to warrant one. 

You will be exempt from permit laws if the tree is dead or suffering from a form of tree disease. If the tree is an immediate danger, you can also skip the permit application process and get your tree surgeon out into the yard as quickly as you’d like. 

To prove the tree is dead, diseased or poses an immediate threat, you must send a detailed Arborist report and receive approval before finding a tree surgeon to cut it down.

To sum up

Considering everything we’ve learned here, Canada certainly takes its role of protecting its woodlands very seriously - even if it is annoyingly in your own backyard! 

A quick measurement of the tree will quickly give you an idea of whether a permit is needed or not. Whatever the result may be, hiring a tree surgeon to cut the tree down is the best way of having it done safely and professionally, and with minimal intrusion to your yard.

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