Trees and recent wind and snow storm events in Saanich

February 12, 2019

Information bulletin
For immediate release 


Saanich, BC – Recent weather events have damaged trees on both municipal and private property in the District of Saanich. While safety is a top priority, residents are reminded that preserving trees when possible is both important for our urban forest and in some cases, legally required. 

Saanich Parks oversees publicly owned trees as well as trees protected through the Tree Protection Bylaw on private property in Saanich. All bylaw-protected trees require a permit for their removal. However in emergency situations, Saanich recognizes the need to address safety concerns immediately.  

If you have a protected tree on your private property that is causing concern and it requires a permit for removal, please try to determine if the tree is posing imminent danger.  

In the event that a protected tree has already fallen, or is in imminent danger of  falling and injuring persons or property and it’s not possible to obtain a permit prior to the tree failing, the owner may have the tree cut, but must report the cutting to Saanich Parks within the next business day.  

Residents will be issued retroactive permits free of charge and can also qualify for a replacement tree. The tree should not be removed from the property so that Saanich can inspect it to ensure its removal was required. Applications for a tree permit (even a retroactive one) are available at

If there are bylaw-protected trees that are causing concern, but not an imminent danger, Saanich recommends you hire a third party International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist to assess the tree's health, condition and structure. For any questions or concerns related to trees in Saanich, please call Saanich Parks at 250-475-5522. 

Other helpful tree tips in a storm event 
  • Stay safe - look for downed power lines and keep a safe distance.
    • Contact BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) if trees or branches are interfering with power lines.
  • Property owners are responsible for removing trees or branches on their private property.
    • Small pieces of tree debris can go in your green curbside compost bin.
    • You can take larger bits to the Saanich garden recycling drop-off or the Hartland Landfill.
  • If it is a hazardous public tree (e.g., from a park or on a boulevard), contact Saanich Parks at 250-475-5522.
  • Find more storm and emergency preparedness information on




Media contact:

Nathalie Dechaine, Community Development Manager