Tree Protection

Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478

To protect trees, regulate cutting, and outline replanting requirements, the Township of Langley Council adopted Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478  on July 8, 2019.

To help ensure tree health and the urban canopy, property owners are now required to apply for a permit through the Tree Removal/Cutting application  process if they want to cut or remove a tree from their property. Anyone removing or cutting any tree without a valid permit may be subject to fines and additional tree replacement requirements.

The Bylaw applies to all trees on private properties in the Township, with the following exceptions:

  • Lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)
  • Portions of non-ALR land used for farming
  • Lands under a development application, or where trees will impact placement of structures, services, or driveways
  • Golf courses
  • Tree farms
  • Trees smaller than 30 centimetres diameter at breast height (DBH)
  • Standard trimming or pruning of trees
  • Hedges

Permit application overview

  • Download the Tree Removal/Cutting application form , and submit the completed package, to the Engineering Division, 20338 – 65 Avenue or 4700 – 224 Street, Langley.
  • Permit requirements include posting of the associated permit tag at the subject property a minimum of 72 hours prior to tree cutting/removal. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application at least 3 weeks before the desired date of tree removal to allow for permit review and processing time.
  • The application fee is $100 per tree proposed to be removed/cut, which will be collected prior to permit issuance. However, while a permit still needs to be obtained, a fee is not charged for one tree in a 24-month period from the date of issuance of a previous permit.
  • While permitted tree removal typically includes a one-for-one replacement (or cash-in-lieu if unable to be planted on site), a replacement tree is not required for one tree in a 24-month period or for hazard trees.
  • Tree cutting or removal is not permitted between 6:00pm and 8:00am, with the exception of hazardous trees.

Full details are available in the Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478 .

Frequently Asked Questions

Township of Langley Council adopted Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478  on July 8, 2019. Taking steps to protect trees in the Township helps ensure we retain our valuable tree canopy. Similarly, undue damage to a tree's roots, bark, or canopy can kill or severely injure the tree. To help ensure tree health and the urban canopy, property owners are required to apply for a Tree Removal/Cutting Permit via the Tree Removal/Cutting application  process.

No, land in the ALR is exempt from the Tree Protection Bylaw. If you would like to confirm if your property is located in the Agricultural Land Reserve, search your address in GeoSource

No, removal of standard hedging and shrubbery does not require a permit, unless the hedge is comprised of large conifers or deciduous species. Call 604-532-7300 to initiate a service request with Urban Forestry staff if you are unsure whether your hedge removal (individual trees or the entire hedge) requires a permit.

If you would like to remove hedging on the boundary of your property, you may wish to double check that it does not reside on your neighbour’s property or on shared land. 

No, standard pruning (select removal of branches to improve the tree’s overall health) does not require a permit. However, cutting or damaging roots of a tree within its drip line, significantly cutting back the top portion of a tree’s branches (i.e., topping), removing the tree’s bark, or denting, gouging, or damaging the trunk of a tree is not allowed. For a full list of restricted activities, check the Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478 

If your property is stratified, the trees on your property may have been planted as a requirement of development. In these cases, tree removal may not be permitted. To determine if the tree you wish to remove is governed by development guidelines, call Development Services at 604-533-6034.

Additionally, depending on the type of strata, you may have to submit the following:

  • For multi-family stratas, you will need to speak with your Strata Council and receive their approval to remove any trees from your property. Any application for tree removal must be submitted by the Strata Council.
  • For industrial or commercial stratas, or single family bare land stratas, you will need approval from all property owners. This can be achieved by having all owners sign the application form, or having owners authorize the applicant as their agent. If any owners are a numbered company, a corporate company search must also be provided showing authorization to act on behalf of the company as a principle or director.

Development applications are subject to a separate set of tree removal requirements. Lands under a development application (Rezoning, Development Permit, or Subdivision) are exempt from the Tree Protection Bylaw as tree retention/replacement is achieved through the Subdivision & Development Servicing Bylaw. For more information on development applications, visit Development

Property owners cannot request to remove a municipal street tree through the Tree Removal/Cutting process. However, The Township of Langley has a Nuisance Tree policy  for concerns regarding municipal street trees affected by insect infestations, diseases, or those causing conflicts or damage to infrastructure. For enquiries regarding nuisance trees on municipal road allowances, please call the Engineering Division at 604-532-7300. 

Only property owners or the owner’s agent can apply for a Tree Removal/Cutting permit. 

Diameter at breast height, or DBH, is the standard for measuring trees. DBH refers to the tree diameter measured at 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) above the ground. Trees less than 30 centimetres (one foot) DBH are exempt from the Tree Protection Bylaw. If you are unsure of the tree’s DBH, call the Tree Protection Line at 604-533-6111. 

Trees near watercourses fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, regardless of size. Township staff can review your request and determine if tree removal is allowed.  Please email cdinfo@tol.ca or call 604-533-6034, where our support team can receive your request and refer it to appropriate staff for review.

As outlined in the Tree Protection Bylaw, if your property has a significant slope, you may be required to submit additional reports before the application can be processed. For more information, call the Tree Protection Line at 604-533-6111.

Replacement trees are required to help sustain the Township’s urban forest. You can purchase your replacement tree from a retailer of your choosing, so long as it meets the planting criteria outlined in the permit. View list of acceptable replacement trees .

Tree parts and wood waste can remain on your private property, if desired, otherwise it must be disposed of by chipping, contracting a private hauler, or bringing it to a transfer station. 

Wood waste cannot be placed in the Green Cart or disposed of via municipal curbside collection. Additionally, any burning requires a separate Burning Permit and must follow all requirements as outlined in the permit. Please note, burning is not allowed and permits will not be issued for the urban areas of Aldergrove, Brookswood, Fort Langley, Murrayville, Walnut Grove, and Willoughby, and are restricted to specific times of year. 

Properties with a valid permit to remove or cut trees are required to display a purple permit tag at their property, visible from the roadway. If you feel a tree has been cut without a permit, please visit Bylaws for general information on lodging a complaint.

If you are witnessing an active tree removal and have permit concerns, please call the Bylaw office at 604-532-7551 Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm, or our after hours line at 604-543-6700 on evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Note that properties under an active development application or building permit application are exempt from the Tree Protection Bylaw.

As an expert on tree cultivation and management, an arborist will be able to help you accurately identify the health of trees on your property, and advise the best course of action. More information on services that arborists provide, criteria for selecting an arborist, and the benefits of hiring a professional are available through the International Society of Arboriculture 

More information

For more information regarding tree protection and the Tree Removal/Cutting application process, call the Tree Protection Line at 604-533-6111 or email trees@tol.ca.