Tree Management

The City of Courtenay's Tree Management and Protection bylaw is under review.

Select Committee on Tree Protection & Management Bylaw

Courtenay City Council established the Council Select Committee on Tree Protection and Management Bylaw No. 2850 in December 2016. The committee will seek input from the City’s environmental and development communities on the application of the bylaw, look for any gaps in the respective views of these two communities of interest, and provide recommendations to Council on ways to reconcile them.

Survey Results

City staff thank all who partipated in the Tree Bylaw Survey and congratulate the winners of the slow release tree watering bags for filling out the survey.  719 partipants completed the survey which is a relatively high response rate! The survey closed on July 11, 2016. Feedback from the survey was used in the development of the proposed new bylaw.

Tree Bylaw Survey Results [PDF - 963 KB]
Tree Bylaw Survey Questions [PDF - 1.8 MB]

More information and background

Public meetings on the proposed bylaw changes were held on June 15 & 16, 2016.

Current Tree Management and Protection Bylaw Information

Can I cut down trees on my property?

The Tree Management and Protection Bylaw [PDF - 65 KB] regulates the preservation, removal and replacement of trees within the City of Courtenay.

Normal maintenance and pruning is generally allowed. Dead, diseased or damaged trees may have to be removed. However, always contact us first if your property or tree meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Within a Tree Protection Area
  • Within a Significant Tree Area
  • Within 30 metres of a stream or other watercourse
  • If the tree is a Garry Oak or Dogwood

The Tree Management and Protection Bylaw applies to:

  • All protected trees
  • All trees on properties greater than one hectare or within a Tree Permit Area
  • All significant trees
  • All trees within 30 metres of Arden Creek, Courtenay River, Morrison Creek, Portuguese Creek, Puntledge River, Tsolum River, Piercy Creek, Millard Creek, Little River, all stream estuaries and Comox Harbour and 15 metres from all other streams, lakes and wetlands
  • All trees in riparian assessment areas

We manage and protect trees by designating Significant Tree Areas and Tree Protection Areas. In addition, provincial Riparian Area Regulations impact what trees can be removed. If you are planning to cut down trees, and are within a Significant Tree Area or Tree Protection Area, or if the tree(s) is within 30 metres of a watercourse, please contact us for a review of your plans. Development in these areas requires a permit which will generally allow you to remove trees within the construction zone following issuance of a permit.

Please note, tree cutting within 30 metres of streams or other watercourses that contain fish habitat may require a riparian area assessment which identifies required stream side setbacks. For more information on Riparian Area Regulations visit the Ministry of Environment's website

How to make a Tree Cutting Permit Application