Heritage tree permit applications

Any property owner wanting to remove a heritage tree, or prune more than one-fourth of the canopy and/or roots, must apply for a permit from the city. Please refer to the master fee schedule(PDF, 706KB)  for the current permit fees. Applicants must hire an arborist from the city-approved consulting arborists list. The named arborists (not the company) submitted their qualifications to demonstrate their ability to comply with the city’s heritage tree ordinance. For tree removal work, applicants may hire any tree maintenance companies not on the approved list. 

The city arborist will review the application and the arborist report, visit the property and evaluate the tree and related conditions on the property. Applicants are encouraged to mark trees requested for removal with a yellow ribbon to facilitate the site visit for the city arborist and other city staff. Once the city arborist visits the property, he will either approve or deny a permit or request further review by staff. He/she may request relevant documentation from the applicant to determine whether removal is justified.

For non-development related permit applications, notices are not required to be posted on the tree.

For development-related permit applications, the permit applicants are responsible for posting City-issued notices on or near the tree, stating the reasons for tree removal (or heavy pruning). Staff will mail notices to property owners and residents within 300 feet surrounding the applicant’s property.

If the city arborist approves the permit, and there are no written appeals of his decision, a permit will be issued to the owner of the property. If the permit is approved, a copy of it must be in possession of the tree company on-site during the tree work. If further review of the application and comments are required, staff will strive to issue a decision in a reasonable period.

Dead trees

If the heritage tree is dead, please apply for a permit application online and submit pictures or an arborist report for verification purposes.

Application requirements

The following documentation is required:

  • A complete heritage tree acknowledgement form(PDF, 143KB)
  • A completed arborist report from a city-approved consulting arborist
  • A landscape plan or written replacement tree plan (include replacement tree species, location, container size and in lieu payment, if applicable) 
  • For development-related projects, additional documents are required:
    • Tree inventory and tree appraisal value(s)
    • Construction plans
    • Alternative designs to preserve the tree and construction costs
  • Payment is required before application is accepted

Contact us

Joanna Chen
Management Analyst II