Tree Bylaw

On November 2, 2020, the Tree Bylaw (formerly the Interim Tree Bylaw) was adopted. In addition to housekeeping amendments, the following is a summary of the approved changes to the bylaw:

  1. Clarification of the definition of the term “tree cutting” to improve understanding of when a permit is required.
  2. Definitions of acceptable pruning practices that will not compromise the health of the tree.
  3. Addition of Pacific yew, Pacific dogwood, Yellow cedar, and Shore pine tree (greater than 20 cm DBH) to the Protected Tree list.
  4. Addition of trees (greater than 10 cm DBH) within the watercourse protection area (i.e., 15 m of the top of bank of a watercourse) to the Protected Tree list.
  5. Addition of heritage trees, replacement trees, and retained trees to the Protected Tree List.
  6. Restrictions on tree work during the nesting season of wildlife species that are protected under senior levels of government.
  7. Permitting requirements for tree work related to wildfire hazard risk.
  8. Replacement tree requirements and recommended species for removal of Protected Trees are outlined in the Recommended Replacement Trees resource linked below.
  9. Updated permitting process for tree removals when trees are certified as dead by an Arborist, including a reduced arborist report and expedited process.
  10. Updated tree protection barrier requirements during construction activities.
  11. Updated expiry date for a tree removal permit from six months to one year.

The complete Tree Bylaw is provided here:

Tree Bylaw

Background information

With the rapid pace of development and re-development, local trees are being removed at a fast pace. Balanced and informed tree management is needed to maintain West Vancouver’s urban forest in the short and long term. The District adopted an interim tree bylaw to protect trees on private land in July 2016, which was updated in 2020, to allow more time to develop a thoughtful and balanced approach to tree management. In 2024, the District adopted the Urban Forest Management Plan, which provides a unified 15-year vision to guide future actions to protect and enhance West Vancouver’s urban forest.