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Tree Protection By-law FAQ's

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  • Why do we need a private tree protection by-law?

    Through extensive public consultation in 2012, 86% of respondents told us they support a tree protection by-law for trees on private property.  Council is aiming to achieve 34% canopy cover by 2065, which we can only do if we protect the trees we have, in addition to planting many more.

  • What trees are to be protected in this by-law?

    This by-law protects two classes of trees. It protects trees within certain areas (Tree Protection Areas) and large trees (Distinctive Trees) anywhere else in the city . A permit would be required to injure or destroy any trees located within a Tree Protection Area or any Distinctive tree

  • What is a Tree Protection Area?

    A Tree Protection Area is a portion of land protected by the by-law.  Generally, these are areas with a lot of tree cover.

    If you are planning to injure or destroy a tree within a Tree Protection Area, a permit will usually be required.

  • What is a Distinctive Tree?

    A Distinctive Tree is any large tree located within the Urban Growth Boundary of the city of London which has a diameter of 50cm or greater measured at 1.4m above the natural ground level.

  • Does this mean I can't cut down any trees?

    If trees are located within the Tree Protection Area or if the tree is a Distinctive Tree, you would require a permit. 

  • Could a permit be refused?

    Yes, the City Planner may refuse to issue a permit.

  • Would I need a permit to trim or prune my tree?

    A permit is not required where trimming or pruning is carried out in accordance with good arboricultural practices.

  • Do I Need a permit to remove a dead or hazardous tree from my property?

    If the tree is a Distinctive Tree or is located within a Tree Protection Area, a permit is required, however, there would be no fee for any trees the City Planner accepts as dead or hazardous.

  • How do I apply for a Tree Permit?

    Application forms are available to download from the Tree Protection By-law web page, or you can pick one up at the Urban Forestry office located at 267 Dundas St, 3rd Floor, or at the Planning Services office located at 206 Dundas Street.  If you wish one mailed to you, please contact a Customer Service Representative at 519-661-CITY (2489) ext. 4457.

  • How do I measure my tree to find out if it is a Distinctive Tree?

    A special diameter tape or tree calipers can be used to measure the diameter of a tree.  If neither is available, the diameter can be calculated by measuring the circumference around the tree, 1.4 metres above Natural Ground Level, using a regular tape measure and dividing by 3.1415 (Pi).  For example, a tree with a circumference of 157cm will have a diameter of about 50cm (157/3.1415 = 49.98)

  • What are the fees for a permit?

    The fees are listed on Schedule A of the By-law  To injure or destroy a distinctive tree, the fee is $100 per tree.  To injure or destroy 1 to 3 trees, within a Tree Protection Area, the fee is $75 per tree or trees under 50cm in diameter and $100 per tree for trees over 50cm in diameter.  To injure or destroy 4 or more trees, within a Tree Protection Area, the fee is $75 per tree for trees under 50cm in diameter and $100 per tree for trees over 50cm in diameter, to a maximum of $1000.

  • Who do I contact for more information?

    For more information please call 519-661-CITY (2489) ext. 4457.  You can also send an email to