Which trees are protected in Colwood?
  • Arbutus (2m or greater in height OR 4cm or greater in diameter)
  • Garry Oak (2m or greater in height OR 4cm or greater in diameter)
  • Pacific Dogwood (2m or greater in height OR 4cm or greater in diameter)
  • Pacific Yew (2m or greater in height OR 4cm or greater in diameter)
  • Douglas Fir (30cm diameter or more)
  • Grand Fir (30cm diameter or more)
  • Big Leaf Maple (30cm diameter or more)
  • Western Red Cedar (30cm in diameter or more)


  • any tree greater than 60 centimetres in diameter or more at chest height 
  • a retained tree identified on a tree protection plan
  • a replacement tree identified on a tree replacement plan
  • a wildlife tree

Our Urban Forest Bylaw pamphlet provides a handy overview of the Urban Forest Bylaw. Click to read the full pamphlet.

I am considering removing a tree on my property. What do I need to do?

Colwood's Urban Forest Bylaw helps to protect and grow our declining urban forest. If the tree you are planning to remove is a protected tree, you will need to obtain a Tree Management Permit. 

Apply for a Tree Management Permit

To apply for a Tree Management Permit, complete the online Tree Management Permit Application and submit along with a Tree Site Plan or a Tree Management Plan, and photos of the trees you are applying to remove.  

  • If you are removing less than five protected trees, you can submit a Tree Site Plan. A Sample Tree Site Plan can be found here.
  • If you are cutting more than five protected trees, you will need to provide a Tree Management Plan prepared by a qualified professional.

For assistance completing your Tree Management Permit Application, view our application instructions

The application fee for a Tree Management Permit is $75 for one tree, and $25 for each additional tree up to five trees. The application fee for removing more than 5 trees is $200. 

Planting replacement trees            

Replacement trees are to be planted on the same lot as the tree removals. When removing one to five trees, they must be replaced at a 1:1 ratio. When removing more than five trees, they must be replaced at a 2:1 ratio.

A security deposit of $250 per replacement tree is required. Security deposits are reimbursed in full with confirmation that the replacement tree has been planted and survived for at least one year. 

Replacement trees must be at least 1.5m in height and a native species found in Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem. 

If replacement trees cannot be planted on the same lot, $250 cash in lieu per replacement tree is required to plant trees elsewhere in the community.

When is a Tree Management Permit not required?

Permits are not required to remove or cut a tree when:

  • A tree does not qualify as a protected tree.
  • A tree must be cut in response to an emergency in order to protect public safety or private property (conditions still apply related to replacement of such trees).
  • Removing or pruning a hedge, which has five or more trees that are less than 5m in height and 1.25m apart.
  • Pruning is performed in accordance with sound arboricultural practices
    • Pruning does not include: lift pruning of lower limbs such that the live crown ratio is less than 50%, removal of more than 25% of the crown in one season, topping, or pruning or removal of a structural root within the critical root zone.

Trees are coming down in my neighbourhood. How can I check if the City permitted the work?

View the list of properties where tree removal has been authorized. 

Have more questions about Tree Management Permits?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. For more information about tree removal on private property, please contact Development Services at 250-294-8153 or planning@colwood.ca.

If you are concerned about a City owned tree in a park or boulevard, use our online Action Request Form or call Colwood Public Works at 250-474-4133.

If you would like to report an unauthorized removal or trees in progress, please contact a Bylaw Enforcement Officer at bylaw@colwood.ca or use the online Action Request Form