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What is a Protected Tree?

Every Municipality within the Greater Vancouver Regional District has a Tree Protection Bylaw and within each one is their own definition of a Protected Tree. Not every Municipality has the same definition but as the general rule there are similar themes within each one. If you are planning on doing any tree work on or around your property it is best to know the definition of a Protected Tree so you know your limitations and avoid any unnecessary fines from the municipality you are located in. For example if you were looking to remove a tree in the City of Surrey here is the definition of a Protected Tree from the City of Surrey via The City of Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw 2006 No. 16100 :

"protected tree"


(a) any tree, including multi-stemmed trees, within the City, regardless of

species, having a D.B.H. of 30 centimetres [11.8 inches] or more or, where

measurement of the D.B.H. is impossible or impractical, any tree with a

stump having a diameter of 30 centimetres [11.8 inches] or more, measured

at the natural grade of the ground;

(b) a replacement tree;

(c) a tree planted or retained as a requirement of a subdivision application,

development permit, development variance permit, building permit or

demolition permit;

(d) a tree located in a riparian area;

(e) a specimen quality tree;

(f) a significant tree;

(g) a tree with evidence of nesting or use by:

(i) raptors as defined in the Wildlife Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 488,

(ii) osprey, or

(iii) a heron colony;

(h) the following tree species where the tree is 3 metres [118.1 inches] or taller,

if coniferous, or a tree having a 5 centimetres [1.9 inches] or greater

caliper, if deciduous:

(i) Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii),

(ii) Garry Oak (Quercus garryana),

(iii) Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens),

(iv) Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides),

(v) Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum),

(vi) Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba); and

(i) any tree located on City property.

Browning Arborist Consulting Services in The City of Surrey
The City of Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw

In this example if any of these points applied to the tree in your project then you would need to apply for a permit in order to get it removed. If you are unsure if the tree in your project is protected then it is best to contact a professional for advice on your project. Whether your project is small, a single tree removal, or large, a development project, Browning Arborist Consulting can provide the necessary services required to move your project forward.


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