Trees and Storms

During the fall and winter, trees are subjected to more severe weather events.

Healthy trees are very resilient and it is normal for trees to sway and shed small branches in a windstorm. While it can be unnerving to watch, the swaying means the trees internal structure is healthy and providing strength and flexibility to the tree. Branches can still cause minor property damage or personal injury, so please be cautious when out in extreme weather. Proper care and proactive pruning can prevent storm-related tree damage.

  • If a tree on your property has fallen, please take the following steps:

    1. Take photos and video of the fallen tree
    2. Email with the photos, information about the tree, address, and contact information
    3. Mitigate the hazard: have an ISA certified arborist remove the tree and/or make the property safe
    4. Leave all tree parts on the property for the City Arborist to inspect
    5. Remove tree parts after city inspection

  • If your tree has been damaged by a storm but is still standing, please take the following steps:

    1. Seek advice from a certified tree care professional who can determine if the tree is hazardous and provide recommendations for how to mitigate hazard
    2. If tree is assessed as being an imminent hazard by the certified arborist, the tree can be removed immediately. Written documentation (condition of the tree, tree risk assessment, photos) compiled by the arborist must be submitted to
    3. If tree is not assessed as an imminent hazard, but is assessed as having conditions or defects which contribute to an elevated level of risk associated with the tree, then a tree risk assessment can be prepared by the arborist and included in your Tree Permit Application [hyperlink]

    If a tree on city property is in imminent danger of falling, has fallen, or had a branch failure please call 604-527-4567 or email photos and location of tree to . After-hours concerns can be directed to Engineering Operations at 604-526-4691. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

  • What should I do if a tree on my property falls during a storm?

    Mitigate the hazard, ensure you are safe. Contact the Tree Bylaw Division as soon as possible – you may need to apply for a Tree Permit. You should also contact your insurance company and hire a qualified arborist to remove the fallen tree.

    What if the tree that fell was not a protected tree?

    The property owner does not need a permit to clean up a fallen tree on their property if the tree was not a protected tree.

    What section of the Tree Bylaw mentions this?

    Section 5.6 of the Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw states:

    "In the event that a protected tree is in imminent danger of falling and injuring persons or property due to natural causes, and it is not possible to obtain a permit prior to the tree falling, the owner may cut the tree or have it cut, but shall report the cutting of the tree to the Director within the next business day along with a photograph of the tree prior to such cutting. The owner shall not remove the tree from the lot until the City has attended at the site and has confirmed that the tree was in imminent danger of falling and injuring persons or property. Trees that are cut pursuant to this section must be replaced in accordance with subsections 7.2 and 7.4, security for which must be provided in accordance with the security requirements for replacement trees set out in section 9.0. If the City determines that the tree was not in imminent danger of falling, or was in imminent danger of falling due to reasons other than natural causes, the owner may be subject to the offences and penalties in section 11.0."

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