Tree preservation is a recognized climate mitigation measure. Not only are trees key to carbon sequestration, they can also support storm water management, reduce the urban heat island effect, provide habitat and enhance biodiversity.
Central Saanich has seen significant tree canopy loss, and is working to slow current loss and eventually increase our canopy cover. Our Tree Management Bylaw regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees and sets requirements for replacing trees.
Looking to plant a tree?
Our Tree Species List is a handy tool for determining what trees suit your needs.
Looking to prune a tree?
Pruning of branches of any Permit Tree that are more than 10 cm in diameter requires a tree permit (see Related Documents) unless the pruning is carried out by a certified arborist.
Looking to remove a tree?
You must submit a tree permit application if you are considering pruning, altering or removing a permit tree and, in some instances, an arborist report.
1. First, determine if the tree you want to remove is a Permit Tree. Even permit trees that are dead or dying require a permit.
Permit trees include:
- Trees greater than 30 cm diameter at breast height. To calculate diameter, measure the circumference of the tree at breast height and divide by 3.14.
- Protected species:
- Pacific Dogwood
- Pacific Yew
- Garry Oak
- Shore Pine
- Trembling Aspen
- Municipal trees, replacement trees, trees protected by a covenant or located within a development permit area, nesting trees and trees within the Erosion District or the Environmentally Sensitive Areas.
2. If you wish to remove a Permit Tree, you must first request and receive a tree cutting permit.
3. If your property does not meet the Tree Density Target after tree removal, you will need to plant replacement trees. A removed permit tree must be replaced with three trees to get the canopy to grow back quicker. See the Tree Species Replacements to help determine what type of tree is suitable. A landscape deposit ($500 per tree) is required for replacement trees until trees are established.
Note there are new application fees to recover District costs:
Removing hazardous trees
$75 application fee +
$25 per tree (to a max of $200)
Amending a permit
When trees cannot be planted on the same property, a cash-in-lieu option ($250 per tree) will fund planting trees on municipal property.
Tree removal on lands within the ALR remains exempt from the requirement for a permit. However, a written statement from the owner declaring the trees are to be removed for an agricultural use is now required.
If the fruit tree has a diameter at breast height of less than 30cm, then yes. No permit is required.
As most native species are protected, tree removal will require a permit, and an assessment by an arborist will need to support the application for removal. Replacement trees may be required, depending on the number of trees remaining on the property.
Pruning of branches of any Permit Tree are more than 10 cm in diameter requires a tree permit unless the pruning is carried out by an arborist.
If the tree is a permit tree, a permit for removal can only be issued under certain circumstances. Protection of views is not listed under these circumstances.
Any permit application requires the owners of the property on which the tree is located to sign off on the permit application.
Trees in the boulevard may only be removed if there is no alternative (for access). Three replacement trees are required in the form of a contribution to the Tree Planting Reserve Fund of $750 per tree.
Damage to a driveway (or services) is a condition under which a tree permit for removal may be issued. The application will need to be supported by an assessment by an arborist that the tree is causing the damage. Replacement trees may be required.
If replacement trees cannot be planted on site, a cash in lieu contribution can be made in the amount of $500 per tree.