Working on trees in Vancouver? City asks residents to check first

Work may require a permit

VANCOUVER — Before starting any work on trees in the city of Vancouver, first find out if you need a permit.

Within the city of Vancouver, permits are required prior to removing, planting or doing major pruning on trees along streets.

Removal of private trees could also require a permit, depending upon the site and other criteria. For example, many residential areas have been developed under requirements to protect trees within yards. In those and other certain cases, permits are required for tree removal. Failure to obtain a permit before starting work will result in a violation and monetary fines per Vancouver Municipal Code (VMC 12.004 and VMC 20.770)

Be sure. Check and call before you cut. Visit then click on the tab below to visit the tree permits webpage. Or contact Urban Forestry by calling (360) 487-8332 or emailing

“Vancouver’s tree canopy is a critical component of our community’s vitality, health and livability,” Charles Ray, Vancouver’s Urban Forester, said. “It takes a lifetime to grow a tree, but it only takes a minute to improperly prune or remove one. It is imperative that we protect trees from unnecessary removal or destruction.”

Trees are a valuable resource to our community. They decrease stormwater runoff, clean our air, cool our neighborhoods, increase neighborhood livability, reduce energy costs, and add value to property. Careful management and proper pruning are important tools for helping to maintain and grow Vancouver’s urban tree canopy.

For more information, please visit Vancouver Urban Forestry is a division of the Department of Public Works.

Information provided by city of Vancouver Public Works.

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