Protecting Trees

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The Tree Protection Bylaw prohibits the removal of trees in the “Tree Cutting Permit Areas” defined in the bylaw, without a permit. Trees are an important resource for our community, just like sidewalks and water mains, and help regulate our climate among many other things.

What you need to know: 

Before cutting down any trees on your property, ensure the tree is not in a protected area. The removal of protected trees may require a Tree Cutting Permit to ensure compliance with the Tree Protection Bylaw. Check your land title to determine if you have any No Disturbance Covenants – permits are required for trees in covenant areas. Trees in Natural Environment areas are also protected, which are steep slopes or land within 15-30m of a water body. If you are unsure if a tree on your property is protected, contact Development Planning. Tree Cutting Permits will only be considered for trees deemed hazardous by a certified arborist.

Removal or pruning of dead, diseased, or damaged trees should be supervised by a certified arborist to protect property as well as other trees in the vicinity. Other trees should be protected from construction or tree cutting activity by a Tree Protection Zone – see the bylaw for guidance on how to construct this.

The city requires a minimum of 2 replacement trees to be planted for every protected tree that is cut down/removed. Removing larger trees will require more replacement trees – please see the bylaw for the requirements. Replacement trees are required even if a tree is urgently removed to prevent/address emergency damage. This is why a permit must be applied for even in emergency situations – to ensure replacement – but the application may be submitted after the emergency removal. If a protected tree is removed without a permit and it is deemed to NOT be an emergency, fines as well as replacement trees will be required.

Tree Permits are not required:

The Tree Protection Bylaw only applies to trees on private property near waterbodies, on steep slope areas, and in covenanted areas. A permit is not needed when pruning or removing trees on your property outside of those protected areas. Removing trees from tree farms, nurseries, or other agricultural business operations are also not regulated by this bylaw.

Still unsure if the tree applies under the bylaw: Contact Development Services at 250-469-8626

How to report: 

To report damaged trees and/or tree removal in protected areas, please submit a bylaw enforcement request or call: 250-469-8626

To report a park or boulevard tree in need of care/attention, please call: 250-717-2757 (250-71-PARKS)

If you have comments or concerns regarding trees on boulevards or in parks, contact Kelowna Parks (250-717-2757)

For more information: 

Development Services
250-469-8500 (City Hall)

Kelowna Parks 

Reference Bylaw: 
Tree Protection Bylaw No 8041

Other resources and quick links: