How to Get a Residential Tree Removal Permit in Calgary

How to Get a Residential Tree Removal Permit in Calgary

Removing a tree from your residential property in Calgary requires careful adherence to local regulations to ensure you are compliant with city bylaws. This guide will walk you through the steps to obtain a tree removal permit, covering the necessary requirements, application process, and tips for a smooth approval.


Trees are vital to Calgary’s urban landscape, providing numerous environmental, social, and economic benefits. However, there are instances where removing a tree becomes necessary. To ensure this process is done responsibly and legally, Calgary has specific regulations in place. Here’s how you can navigate the permit process for residential tree removal.

Why You Need a Tree Removal Permit

In Calgary, a tree removal permit is mandatory to protect the city’s urban forest. The Tree Protection Bylaw aims to prevent indiscriminate cutting of trees, ensuring that only necessary removals are conducted, and often requires the planting of replacement trees to maintain the city’s green canopy.

Tree Removal

Criteria for Needing a Permit

Several factors determine whether you need a permit for tree removal:

  • Tree Size: Any tree with a trunk diameter greater than 20cm (8 inches) at 1.4 meters above the ground requires a permit.
  • Tree Location: Public trees or those close to property lines typically need permits.
  • Tree Condition: Dead or dying trees may require a permit for removal, irrespective of their size.

Understanding Calgary’s Tree Protection Bylaw

Calgary’s Tree Protection Bylaw covers various aspects of tree care and removal. Key points include:

  • Unauthorized cutting, pruning, or removal of trees on public property is prohibited.
  • Specific guidelines exist for trees near construction sites or development projects.
  • Fines for non-compliance can range from $500 to $10,000 per tree​​.

The Application Process for a Tree Removal Permit

Here are the steps to apply for a tree removal permit in Calgary:

  1. Tree Assessment: Hire a certified arborist to evaluate the tree. Arborists can provide a professional assessment and help determine if the tree qualifies for removal.
  2. Application Form: Complete the application form available from the City of Calgary’s website. Ensure you provide all required details, including site plans and the arborist’s report.
  3. Application Fee: Pay the necessary fee when submitting your application. Fees vary based on the specifics of the tree and its location.
  4. Site Inspection: In some cases, city officials may conduct a site inspection to verify the need for removal​.
Tree Removal

Hiring a Certified Arborist

Hiring a professional arborist is crucial for a smooth permit process. Certified arborists understand the local regulations and can ensure that all necessary documentation is provided. They also handle the safe and efficient removal of trees.

For reliable tree assessment and removal services, consider contacting Calgary Landscaper, which offers comprehensive tree care solutions and can assist with the permit application process.

Possible Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failing to obtain a permit before removing a tree can result in severe penalties, including:

  • Fines ranging from $500 to $10,000 per tree
  • Orders to plant replacement trees
  • Court-ordered remediation costs​​.

Tips for a Smooth Permit Approval

  • Prepare Thoroughly: Ensure all required documents and information are ready before applying.
  • Follow Guidelines: Adhere to all local bylaws and regulations.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes: Double-check your application to avoid errors that could delay the process.


Understanding and following the proper procedures for tree removal in Calgary ensures that you comply with city regulations and contribute to preserving the urban forest. By obtaining the necessary permits and working with certified professionals, you can responsibly manage tree removal on your property.

For more information and professional assistance, visit Calgary Landscaper. Their experienced team can help you navigate the permit process and provide expert tree care services.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and compliant tree removal process, maintaining the beauty and health of Calgary’s urban environment.

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