Should You Need a City Permit to Cut Down Your Own Tree in Alberta?

By: albertaarb - February 27, 2017

If I can safely cut trees down on my own property, I should be free to do so, right? Maybe not for long.


Earlier this month, City council voted to ask the province to grant it the power to enact tree-cutting regulations. This would limit Edmonton residents’ ability to cut down trees on their lot without a permit.

Predictably there are people on both sides of the fence. Some see it as a necessary step in protecting the area’s green life. But others see it as a straight up invasion of privacy, as the city sticks their noses in where it doesn’t belong, and (presumably) into people’s pockets for permits.

Can Albertans Safely Cut Trees Down?

While much of City Council is on board with the move, Coun. Bryan Anderson stands firmly opposed.


“I don’t (like) the municipal government telling me or my neighbours or anybody else what they can do with plants on their own property,” said Anderson.

He added, ““If I have had 15 years of spending an hour every second day raking up and vacuuming up or clearing up some kind of debris on my property, and I don’t want to do it anymore, I should be able to.”

Cities That Require a Permit for Tree Cutting

There are several Canadian cities that require a permit from the city, if you want to take down a tree. This includes a lot of major cities where limited green space needs to be protected, in the eyes of the municipality. This includes Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.


Calgary has no such bylaw. Trees belong to the private property owner, and you’re free to trim, prune or remove them how you see fit. And disputes over trees on properties are left up to the respective private property owners.

You Should Never Remove Your Own Tree Anyways

Trust us. You don’t want to remove your own tree anyways. It may seem like a simple enough chore, but you really should leave it to train (and insured!) professionals who have the tools and experience to fell your tree professionally, safely and quickly.


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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