New online guide available to help navigate tree protection and tree permits in Burlington

By Staff

December 6th, 2022



The City has created a “Guide to Tree Protection” to help property owners and applicants navigate tree protection and the City’s tree by-laws, with a focus on the Private Tree By-law. The free guide is available online at

Information in the Guide includes:
• What rules are in place to protect trees?
• Which trees are protected under the City’s tree by-laws?
• When do I need or not need a tree permit?
• How do I work around trees without hurting them?
• What do I need to get a Private Tree Permit?

The Guide also features helpful illustrations that highlight key points to working around trees and aspects of the permit application. These illustrations will help applicants understand what is needed when applying for a tree permit.

What is the Private Tree By-law?
The Private Tree By-law protects trees on private property within the City’s Urban Planning Area Boundary. If you live within the Urban Planning Area Boundary, you will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove a tree 20 cm in diameter or greater measured at 1.37 m from the ground. Heritage trees and endangered, threatened, and at-risk species are also protected and may require additional approvals in addition to your tree permit.

View the Private Tree By-law (040-2022).

What is the Public Tree By-law?
The Public Tree By-law regulates publicly owned trees. You will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove any tree of any size anywhere on public property. The Public Tree By-law is applicable city-wide which includes both the Urban and Rural Planning Area Boundaries.

Contact the City before submitting a permit to remove a public tree at 905-335-7777 or

View the Public Tree By-law (068-2013).
For more information on tree by-laws, to apply or to view the guide, visit

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains: ““Submitting a complete and accurate tree permit application can save you time and money. It is our hope that as people plan their spring or summer renovations and construction, this guide will give applicants the extra information they need to ensure there are no errors or missed items on their application.”

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