Tree protection bylaws
The Tree Protection Bylaw was created to protect public trees - trees growing on land owned or controlled by the City. The Bylaw does not apply to trees growing on private property. The Tree Protection Plan Guide will lead you through protecting City trees. A list of tree contractors permitted to work on City trees is listed below.
Help protect Calgary's trees!
The Tree Protection Bylaw prohibits:
- Cutting, removing, moving or pruning of City trees.
- Penetrating the bark or attaching any object or sign to trees on City land.
- Planting trees or shrubs on City land.
- Spraying trees with any substance except water.
- Attaching electrical cords or other objects to trees.
- Unauthorized entry or interference with a tree protection zone.
The fines can range from $100 for attaching an object to a tree to $1,000 for failure to comply with an enforcement order. The Provincial Municipal Government Act allows The City to seek fines as high as $10,000 for serious infractions to the tree and shrub bylaw.
Current tree installation cost is $565 and replacement tree must be 60-85mm in size.
For more information call 311 or 403-268-CITY (2489) if calling from outside Calgary.
Why protect trees?
Trees provide many environmental, public health, welfare and socio-economic benefits to communities including:
- Improving air quality by removing gaseous pollutants and dust particulates from the atmosphere
- Absorbing carbon dioxide
- Moderating the climate and conserving energy
- Retaining storm water
- Facilitating wildlife habitats
- Adding aesthetic value to the urban landscape
- Increasing property value
Building or developing a property?
The Tree Protection Bylaw is independent of the development process, however, development and construction activities must still comply with the Bylaw's requirements. A Tree Protection Plan is required if construction activities will come within six meters of a public tree growing in the road right of way. For more information, please see the Street Bylaw and Hoarding Permits.
Tree and stump removal is considered a last resort for development sites and The City requests that developers consider alternatives or modifications prior to application. Please note, authorization to remove a public tree will not be provided until the Development Permit or Building Permit (Residential House Move or Demolition) has been approved by Development & Building Approvals.
Along with the completed public tree and stump removal application form, a copy of the site plan drawings indicating which trees are to be removed must be included. Please see form for contact details.
If you have received written approval to prune or remove a public tree adjacent to your property, you can either,
- Hire a tree service contractor from the list below who meet minimum standards and are permitted to work on City owned trees.
- Hire a tree service contractor that meets the following minimum requirements:
- Has an ISA Certified Arborist designation. Find a certified arborist.
- Coverage of five million dollars in auto insurance and five million dollars in general liability insurance.
- Has a WCB Clearance Letter.
- Has a Certificate of Recognition from Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. Find a certified company.
- If an aerial unit is required, the unit must have a current commercial vehicle inspection and a current non-destruct boom inspection.
It is the responsibility of those entering into the contract to ensure the contractors can provide current valid documentation in the event it is required.
Note: No warranty from The City of Calgary is intended or implied. The City will not be a party to hiring any of these contractors and any issues relating to the quality of the workmanship or damages that might arise from the service is strictly between the contractor and the hiring party. Use of a contractor from the list is not intended to guarantee the quality or the workmanship of the contractor.