There are two different bylaws relating to trees on private property; one is for Protected Trees and the second is for trees located in the designated Erosion District
Trees on Private Property
The protected tree bylaw regulates the cutting or pruning of certain trees on private property. If you are considering pruning or removing trees that are considered “protected”, you would need to submit a protected tree permit. As part of your application, please submit a site plan identifying all tree types and sizes, along with all existing and proposed buildings and structures. Depending on the reason for pruning or removal, you may require an arborist report as well.
"Protected Tree" means the following:
- a Garry Oak tree (Quercus garryana) over 50 cm in height;
- an Arbutus tree (Arbutus menziesii) over 50 cm in height;
- a Pacific Dogwood tree (Cornus nuttallii) over 50 cm in height;
- a Pacific Yew tree (Taxus brevifolia) over 50 cm in height;
- a Shore Pine tree (Pinus contorta) over 50 cm in height;
- a Trembling Aspen tree (Populus Tremuloides) over 50 cm in height;
- a tree having significant botanical, historical or cultural value, that is listed in Schedule “A” of the bylaw;
- A Nesting Tree as defined in the bylaw and protected by the Wildlife Act;
- a Replacement Tree;
- a tree designated “to be retained” on a plan attached to a development permit, development variance permit, or building permit, shown as such on a plan attached to a rezoning application or subdivision application;
- a tree protected by a restrictive covenant; and
- any tree, regardless of species, having a diameter at breast height of 60 cm or more.
Erosion District Trees
If you would like to remove trees on your property and you are located in the erosion district (map), you would require a tree removal permit, which is processed by the Engineering Department. As part of your application, you would require the completed application form, a site plan locating all buildings, structures and trees as well as a geotechnical engineer’s report. The engineer’s report is to certify that the proposed tree removal will not create any detrimental effect to the land or a water course.
Trees on Public Property
Trees on the municipal right of way will only be trimmed if:
- the tree is an obstruction to vehicle or pedestrian traffic
- the tree is a danger to property such as houses and vehicles
- the tree is in need of maintenance to ensure continued health of tree
Trees on the municipal right of way will only be removed if:
- the tree affects traffic safety
- the tree affects underground services
- the tree is diseased or damaged and is a public hazard
- the tree obstructs ditches or drains and is less than 20 centimetres in diameter
Larger diameter trees or heritage/protected trees require an evaluation by a certified arborist and approval by Council before any action can be taken. If you have a question or concern about a tree on a boulevard, contact Central Saanich Public Works at 250-544-4224.
The Parks department of Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of the many different species of trees in the various parks, pathways and trail linkages in the district. If you have a question or concern about a tree in one of these areas, contact Central Saanich Public Works Parks department at 250-544-4224.