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Exisiting Bylaws


5. It shall be unlawful for any person to cut or allow to be cut, trees on any urban land without having obtained a Tree Cutting Permit.


a) The following are general exemptions from this Bylaw:

  1. i) surveyor's cutting survey lines having a width of less than 2 meters;

  2. ii) Removal or pruning of dead, diseased or damaged trees by acceptable arboriculture practices;

  3. iii) emergency removal of dangerous or hazardous trees and branches by acceptable arboriculture practices, provided that the City may require such trees to be replaced in accordance with the replacement tree standards of this Bylaw;

  4. iv) pruning of trees and/or removal of hedges;

  5. v) cutting within a calendar year of the greater of: 
  6. vi) 5% of the trees on a lot, provided that the following conditions are met:
  7. no trees shall be removed within five metres from the perimeter of a lot; and
  8. no trees shall be removed within 10 metres from a highway; 
  9. no tree to be cut is a significant tree; 
  11.  OR 
  13. one tree, not including a significant tree, per lot.

                •  vii) cutting of trees by the City, through its officers, employees, agents or contractors.
                • viii) trees and land exempted by statute.
b) The following are exceptions for significant trees from this Bylaw:
i) Despite S. 5, no tree permit shall be issued and no person shall cut down a significant tree growing on urban land except where:

  1. growing on the building envelope of urban land unless the removal of the tree is necessary for the purpose of constructing a building or addition to a building;

  2. required for the construction or installation of a driveway, required off-street parking area, or underground or above ground utility corridor, or

  3. required for the installation of roads or services shown on an engineering drawing approved by the Director of Engineering and Operations, in which cases, a tree permit shall be required to be first obtained.

Tree is defined to have a diameter of at least 20 cm measured 1.4 metres above natural grade.

(a) All shaded lands shown on the maps attached as Schedules ‘A’ and ‘B’ may be subject to flooding, erosion, land slip, or avalanches; or constitute non-riparian forested lands with an area of 0.5 hectares or greater, and are hereby designated as a Tree Cutting Permit Area. Additionally,
(i) Any slope of 20 degrees or greater, where the slope has a vertical height of 3 metres or greater, and
(ii) Any forested areas extending for a horizontal distance of 15 metres measured perpendicular to and beyond the slope boundary in (i)

are hereby designated as a Tree Cutting Permit Area.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to cut or permit to be cut trees within a designated Tree Cutting Permit Area without first having applied for and having obtained a Permit except as otherwise provided in this Bylaw.


"Tree" shall mean any woody plant which is 5 metres (16.4 ft) or more in height, including any which have been reduced in height to less than 5 metres (16.4 ft) as a result of topping, having one or more self supporting trunks and including the roots, branches, trunk, crown or any part of the tree.

10. No person shall
(a) remove or relocate a retained tree, or
(b) remove or relocate a replacement tree, except in compliance with a tree plan.
10A. No person shall remove a tree without first obtaining a tree permit.
*Where a 'tree' is defined as:

Tree means a self-supporting woody plant that

(a) has a trunk or stem with a diameter, measured 1.4 m above the existing grade of the ground adjoining its base, of 20 cm or greater, or

(b) has a combined diameter of its 3 largest trunks or stems, measured 1.4 m above the existing grade of the ground adjoining its base, of 20 cm or greater,

except that clauses (a) and (b) do not apply to a replacement tree.

Replacement Tree
-means a tree that is shown on a tree plan as a tree which is intended to replace an existing tree on the same site. 

*This applies to developoment/redevelopment only, not existing private properties
A tree cutting permit is required:
  • to cut down a protected tree in the three (3) months before application for building or demolition permit is made.
  • to cut down any protected tree located 1.5 m (5 ft.) outside footprint of the exterior walls of an existing or planned building for which a demolition or building permit has been issued
  • to cut down any protected tree within one year following the date of occupancy of a new dwelling
  • to cut down any protected tree located within 15 m of a ravine or watercourse at anytime

A tree cutting permit is not required:

  • to cut down any tree located within 1.5 m (5 ft) of the exterior walls of an existing or planned building
  • when an addition or renovation is proposed for an existing dwelling
  • to cut down a tree on a lot with an existing dwelling any time after one year from the date of occupancy of the dwelling

Tree removal on a vacant lot is not permitted unless an application for a building permit is made and a tree plan has been submitted as part of the application.


Surrey - Bylaw 12880 - This may now be replaced ?? See Below.
Sets conditions for removal of trees:
1. To allow for construction of buildings permitted by the Zoning By-law
2. To eliminate hazardous conditions
3. To allow for agriculture

Requires that replacement trees be planted when trees are removed for building or development. For each protected tree removed, 2 replacement trees must be planted. If the lot is not large enough, the ratio may be reduced and replacement tree size increased.

Generally protects trees with a trunk diameter of 12 inches, at 4.5 feet above the ground. These are defined as “protected trees”.

Requires a tree cutting permit to remove a protected tree.
No person shall cut, remove or damage any protected tree or cause, suffer or permit any such tree to be cut, removed or damaged, except where permitted by and in accordance with the terms of this Bylaw.
"protected tree" means:

(a) any tree, including multi-stemmed trees, within the City, regardless of species, having a D.B.H. of 30 centimetres [11.8 inches] or more;

(b) a replacement tree;

(c) a tree planted or retained as a requirement of a subdivision application, development permit, development variance permit, building permit or demolition permit;

(d) a tree located within a high sensitivity area as identified on the "City of Surrey Environmentally Sensitive Areas Map" described in SCHEDULE "A";

(e) a specimen quality tree;

(f) a significant tree;

(g) a tree with evidence of nesting or use by:

(i) raptors as defined in the Wildlife Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 488,

(ii) osprey, or

(iii) a heron colony;

(h) the following tree species of any size:

(i) Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii),

(ii) Garry Oak (Quercus garryana),

(iii) Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nutalii),

(iv) Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia),

(v) Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens),

(vi) Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides),

(vii) Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum),

(viii) Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba), and

(ix) Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana).

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