Do I Need a Permit to Remove My Tree

By: albertaarb - May 5, 2017

You’ve loved that tree in your backyard from the moment you moved into the house. But, maybe it’s beginning to decay, or it looks like it’s about to fall over. Those situations are dangerous, so sadly, it’s time to cut the tree down. But before you start, do you need a permit? Read on to learn more.

When You Need a Permit to Cut Trees in Alberta

If you’re cutting down a tree for non-commercial purposes—meaning, you’re not going to sell the wood—there are three situations in which you would need a permit. The first situation is if you’re cutting down a Christmas tree. In Alberta, you can choose your Christmas tree from provincial crown land, provided you have a permit and the tree is less than 2.5 metres tall. A second situation is if you want to remove up to 20 trees less than 2.5 metres tall for transplantation. Alberta allows you to transplant this number of trees from crown land to your private property with the right paperwork. The third situation is if you want to cut down up to five cubic metres of trees for firewood. There isn’t a set number of how many trees makes up five cubic metres, though Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry suggests it’s approximately five to seven large coniferous trees (trees with needles, such as pine trees) or four to six deciduous trees (trees with leaves, such as maple trees).

Elm Trees in Edmonton

Elm trees are prone to Dutch Elm disease, a fungus that can be transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The city of Edmonton has passed laws that restrict how residents can deal with elm trees on their property to stop the spread of any disease. You need the city’s approval in order to cut down an elm tree, and an inspector must verify that the stump is far enough below the soil so that it can’t spread any disease. Even pruning elm trees is restricted to between October 1 and March 31. In addition, the city must approve the disposal of any elm tree or branches—it’s another measure to halt the spread of disease.

Is DIY Tree Cutting a Good Idea?

After reading this, you might say, “Well, I don’t fall into the first category, and the tree in question isn’t an elm. So, I don’t need a permit.” That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it yourself, though. Cutting down trees is dangerous work. In order to carry it out safely, you need to be aware of a variety of safety concerns. For a start, you need special equipment, such as cutting tools and personal protective gear. Second, you need to know how to cut down trees safely. You have to know which branches and how many to remove first. You have to understand the physics of the tree to anticipate where and how it will come down. And you have to be aware of structures or power lines that are in the path of the tree. Also, if the tree is decaying, it needs to be supported so that it doesn’t fall down on its own.

Turn to a Tree Expert to Remove Your Trees

If you have a tree that needs to be removed from your property, contact an expert. Certified arborists can remove trees safely and without causing property damage. At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property. Click here to contact us or call the number at the top of the page for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job.

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