Tree Protection Bylaw

Changes to the Tree Protection Bylaw are now in effect! Want to know more about why we made updates? Check out the Q&A document [PDF - 261 KB].

Our Tree Protection Bylaw [PDF - 214 KB] regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees and sets requirements for replacing Protected trees.

View from Boulderwood Hill Park

  • Apply for a Permit Online - if you want to cut down a Protected tree you must first request and receive a tree cutting permit.
    • If you wish to remove or alter a tree related to a development application, you do not apply for a tree permit separately. Saanich Parks will be informed when your development permit application is processed and ready for review. Do not submit a separate request as it will not be processed.

Trees defined as "Protected" under the bylaw

When a tree is defined as “Protected”, certain rules apply. For example you may require a permit to remove it, and Saanich can only issue permits for certain reasons, as per the Bylaw.

Trees are Protected for various reasons. From the tree type, size or its location, a rough guide of which trees are protected includes:

Trees Protected – when at least 2m tall or 4cm in diameter:

  • Arbutus
  • Garry Oak
  • Pacific Dogwood
  • Pacific Yew

Trees Protected when- diameter at breast height (1.4m) is 30cm or more:

  • Douglas Fir
  • Grand Fir
  • Big Leaf Maple
  • Western Red Cedar

Other ways trees are Protected:

  • Any other tree with a diameter of 60cm or more.
  • Any replacement tree.
  • Any tree over 10cm in diameter or 5m tall located in a Streamside Permit Area.
  • Any tree planted or retained through a subdivision application, development permit or other permit.
  • Significant Trees as listed in the Bylaw.
  • Any tree with evidence of a nest used by raptors, ospreys or herons.
  • Any tree growing on Saanich-owned property.

Trees may also have other forms of protection if registered on the Land Title under a Tree or Natural State Covenant. 

Please refer to the Bylaw [PDF - 214 KB] for more detailed information on how it may apply to you.