Caring & Pruning your Trees

Proper tree pruning maintains the health, appearance and safety of trees. Trees on private property must be pruned in accordance with arboriculture standards as per the Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw. Fines may be applied for trees that are damaged or excessively pruned.

Learn more about proper tree pruning.

To ensure your tree is properly pruned, you can hire a certified arborist to do the pruning for you. Search for a certified arborist on the International Society of Arboriculture website. When looking for your own arborist, it is important to ensure the person is certified, they have insurance and they are familiar with Delta’s bylaws. Search for an arborist.

Trees on Private Property

Things to Avoid: Tree Topping

Topping is one of the most harmful tree pruning practices and is not permitted as per the Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw. Topping involves cutting of the whole tops of trees, including large branches, trunks and/or main leaders. Learn more about why topping is not an acceptable pruning technique and discover recommended alternatives: Why Topping Hurts Trees.

Neighbouring Trees

Trees on neighbouring private property may impact your property. Arrangements for the pruning and maintenance of these trees must be worked out between neighbours. Delta does not get involved.

Do Your Part

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  • Hot and Dry Weather
  • Young and Stressed Trees
  • Protection From Fire
  • Naturescaping

Tree Removal

If your private property tree is protected by the Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw, a valid Tree Cutting Permit is required to remove the tree. Protected trees include:

  • All trees that measure 20 cm (8 in) in diameter or greater when measured 1.4 m (4.6 ft) above ground
  • Trees that were planted as required replacement trees

The first application for a Tree Cutting Permit for a single tree within a 24-month period does not require an arborist report or replacement trees. This allows property owners to maintain landscaping and vegetation on their private property.

Subsequent applications within a 24-month period or applications for removing multiple trees require an arborist report and replacement trees.

  • An arborist report must be completed by a qualified arborist. Search for a certified arborist on the International Society of Arboriculture website. The report must highlight the tree(s) to be removed, the reason for removal and a tree replacement plan.
  • Two replacement trees are required for each tree to be removed

Multi-family Strata Properties

Multi-family properties with common property (as defined by the Strata Property Act) can apply for a Tree Cutting Permit to remove one tree per 4000 m2 (1 acre) in a 24-month period without requiring an arborist’s report. A tree management plan prepared by a qualified person is required with the application to demonstrate the property’s commitment to tree maintenance, replacement and long-term planning.

In addition to above requirements, the following documents are required:

  • Proof of Strata Council approval for tree removal (e.g. copy of strata minutes)
  • If this is the first application for removing a single tree on the property within a 24-month period, no additional documents are required.
  • If this is the first application to remove one tree per 4,000 m2 (1 acre) within a 24-month period, a tree management plan prepared by a qualified person is required.
  • If this is a subsequent application within a 24-month period, an arborist report is required to confirm a valid reason for tree removal and to provide a replacement tree plan. 



Tree Cutting Permit applications for trees designated as heritage trees, located on steep slopes, located within 30 m of the Fraser River or within 15 m of any body of water in Delta, protected by a restrictive covenant or similar agreement registered on the title of the property, or planted as a replacement tree as a condition of a previous permit, may not be approved as per Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw. For more information, contact the Engineering Department.

Applying for a Tree Cutting Permit

To apply for a Tree Cutting Permit, you need to:

  1. Verify the tree is on your private property, not on the municipal boulevard or neighbour’s property (see ‘How Can I tell if a tree is private or Municipal’)
    • Trees located within neighbouring properties require a signed letter of authorization from the registered owner(s)
  2. Submit a completed Tree Cutting Permit Application form, along with required documents via email or in-person to the Engineering Department

You will be notified once your Tree Cutting Permit application is reviewed. Most single and simple Tree Cutting Permit applications can be approved while you wait. Tree Cutting Permits are valid for six months from the day they are issued and must be clearly displayed (e.g. in front window) during tree removal.

Tree Cutting Permit Requirements & Fees



Single Tree Replacement Fee: funds Delta’s Urban Reforestation Project to support the enhancement of Delta’s overall tree canopy cover.

Replacement Tree Security: ensures owners are accountable for planting and maintaining new replacement trees and equates to the cost for Delta to purchase, plant and maintain a tree for one year. Replacement tree security is fully released upon confirmation that the owner has met permit conditions.

To report an illegal tree removal in progress, please contact our Bylaw office by email or call 604-946-3340.

Need help? For questions or for more information about trees on private property, please contact the Engineering Department by email or call 604-946-3260.

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