Calgary, Alberta Tree Protection Bylaw

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Calgary, Canada

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Type: Bylaw1

Status: In Effect

Source File: Click here


The intent of the Bylaw is to protect Public trees - trees growing on land owned or controlled by the City of Calgary. The Bylaw does not apply to trees growing on private property.

Elements in the Bylaw which are of particular interest are the requirements for a Street Use or Hoarding Permit and the Tree Protection Plan – required whenever construction work is to take place within 6 meters of a tree growing in the road right of way. Put another way, construction can not take place without a Hoarding or Street Use Permit - and the Permit is issued only after the City of Calgary has approved the Tree Protection Plan prepared by the applicant for the site.

The road right of way runs from the private property line on one side of the street to the private property line on the other side of the street. In most cases the road right of way includes a strip of unpaved land between the asphalt pavement and the private property line, often referred to as the boulevard. The width of the boulevard varies throughout the City and even on an individual street. Trees growing on the boulevard are owned by the City of Calgary regardless of who may have planted them.

The 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 in the Bylaw range from $100.00 for attaching an object to a tree to $1000.00 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.

Footnote: 1 - For the sake of consistency, Canadian municipal by-laws are categorized as ordinances as they serve the same purpose as their American counterparts.