Tree Cutting Permit: Parks & Trails

A Public Lands Tree Cutting Permit is required before any tree work can be done on public lands, parks or covenanted areas. For information on tree cutting permits for boulevards, visit Tree Cutting Permit: Boulevards.

Tree work is described in the following categories:

  • low-impact – single tree pruning, for example, re-topping a hedge
  • medium-impact – for example, tree removal (small trees) or pruning multiple trees
  • high-impact – removal of large tree or multiple trees

Before submitting your Public Lands Tree Cutting Permit Application for tree work on public land, you will need to:

  • find a tree contractor from the list provided
  • obtain a quote and scope of work and include this in your application package. The proposed work should be to ANSI standards.
  • obtain neighbourhood approval. Contact your neighbours within a 30-metre radius for low-impact work, 50-metre radius for medium-impact work, or 150-metre radius for high-impact work, and have them sign the neighbourhood consent form. A minimum of 80 per cent of your neighbours needs to approve to work before you can submit your application.

Complete the application form:

Public Lands Tree Cutting Permit Application

  1. clearly define the proposed scope of work and include your quote from the tree contractor
  2. include a sketch or legal plan indicating legal ownership of the trees
  3. tag all trees being considered for work for inspection by the Parks Department
  4. include the signed consent forms you obtained from your neighbours. Eighty percent consent is required to submit your application, if you cannot contact a resident, the District will send a second notification to ensure that all neighbours have been given a chance to comment

Application process

  1. Send in the completed application by email or mail:

    Parks Department
    3755 Cypress Bowl Road
    West Vancouver, BC V7S 3E7 
  2. Once your application has been received and processed, an application fee slip will be emailed to you. This usually takes a couple of days.

    Fee: $300 for any pruning work or removal of one tree, plus $100 for each additional tree removal, if applicable.

    Application fees are non-refundable.

    Pay your invoice online

  3. The review of a completed application usually takes two to three weeks once all paperwork has been submitted.
  4. If your application is approved, a permit will be sent directly to the contractor identified on your application.
  5. You must notify the District at least 48 hours before beginning work. The tree permit must be on site during the work, and no debris is to be left behind.
  6. A final inspection of the work must be conducted. Call 604-925-7275 to schedule an inspection.

District Tree Practice for Managing Stands of Non-Hazardous Dead Trees

Due to climate change, there are a considerable number of dead cedar trees in our parks. Removing these trees is costly. Early this year, the Parks department developed a pilot program procedure for managing groups of dead trees (stands of dead trees) on District-owned lands and parks (excluding boulevards). This program will allow residents to remove groups of dead trees at their own expense, using a District-approved contractor.

Program principles

Trees are integral to our environment, add character to our community, and are valued by our residents. Where appropriate, dead or dying trees and downed wood will be retained on District-owned lands to sustain forest ecosystems and biodiversity.

Staff will seek to manage the state of our urban tree canopy so that it provides the maximum amount of benefits and poses the least danger to its surroundings.

Removal of dead groups of trees on District-owned lands and parks will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Removal of dead trees on District-owned lands and parks will be considered in relation to the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and the tree’s surroundings, species, age and condition.

If the above principles cannot be achieved and staff and the applicant are unable to reach an agreement on the work, the District reserves the right to refuse the permit request.

Procedure for non-hazardous dead trees on District property

Staff will consider a permit application to allow work on non-hazardous dead trees with the following conditions:

  • The resident must make a permit application as per the Tree Policy
  • The permit fees and associated cost of the work will be the responsibility of the applicant
  • The applicant will be required to submit a signed neighbourhood consent form from the affected owners as per the District Tree Policy
  • The work will conform to all other Tree Policy and Tree Bylaw requirements
  • If groups of dead trees are allowed to be removed, then other appropriate tree species and/or vegetation may be required to be planted near the removed tree(s) as replacement.