Tree Removal and Protection
Port Coquitlam’s Tree Bylaw aims to protect our city’s natural heritage and acknowledges the value of maintaining our trees. It applies to all land in Port Coquitlam except properties within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).
Under the bylaw, it is unlawful to cut trees on any land not in the ALR without having obtained a Tree-Cutting Permit. For the purposes of this bylaw, a tree is defined as having a diameter of at least 20 cm (8 in) measured at 1.4 m (4.5 ft) above the ground.
Trees may be removed without a Tree-Cutting Permit under these circumstances:
- surveyors cutting survey lines having a width less than 2 m (7 ft)
- removal/pruning of dead, diseased and damaged trees (arborist report may be required)
- emergency removal of dangerous or hazardous trees and branches – the City may require such trees to be replaced
- pruning and/or removal of hedges
The bylaw prohibits these tree-damaging activities:
- cutting, undermining or damaging roots
- placing ﬁll, building materials or other structures over the roots
- operating trucks, backhoes, excavators or other heavy equipment over the roots
- denting, gouging or damaging the trunk
- removing or scraping bark
- depositing concrete washout or other harmful substances near the roots
- adding or removing soil to change the original soil grade
- tree topping (cutting off the top portion of a tree)
Reporting a tree of concern
The City is responsible for maintaining trees on public property, such as park land or on a boulevard.
To report a problem, call Public Works at 604.927.5496 (Monday-Friday, 8am to 4pm). For after-hours emergencies, call 604.543.6700.
The health and maintenance of a tree on private property is the responsibility of the property owner.
If you are concerned about a tree your property, please contact a certified arborist for advice, Please refer to the International Society of Arboriculture Directory to find an certified arborist.
Steps to Get a Tree-Cutting Permit
The City’s Arborist will review the applicant’s package and advise them if any of following are also required prior to the issuance of a tree cutting permit:
- a tree survey
- a tree cutting and replacement plan
- an arborist’s report
- proof of liability insurance carried by the owner or tree removal contractor retained
- proof of approval of the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and/or Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the case of any areas protected for fish habitat or flood-proofing purposes
- a report from a geotechnical engineer confirming to the City’s satisfaction that the proposed tree cutting and replacement plan shall not in any way create a danger to the lands or adjacent lands from flooding, erosion, land slip or potential tree falls, where required by the City
- Where applicable, adherence to the City’s approved Watercourse Development Permit Area designation of the 2005 Official Community Plan
- Proof there are no applicable covenants in favour of the City restricting tree cutting and/or
- Security deposit of 100% of the value of all the replacement trees and site restoration
Step 6 (if applicable)
Tree Bylaw Fines
A ﬁne is levied for each tree cut and tree-damaging activity that is in contravention of this bylaw. In addition, a replacement tree plan may be required.
All fees and/or ﬁnes collected go towards planting new trees in the City. To view the Tree bylaw, click here.