Branch Out! Educational Materials & Events
All the trees in Esquimalt – in parks and yards and along municipal boulevards – are important in our daily lives. Learn more about Esquimalt's Branch Out program.
Esquimalt's Tree Protection Bylaw
The township's Tree Protection Bylaw explains how trees are protected and what you can do to help keep our urban forest vibrant and healthy.
When will I need a permit to cut or remove a tree in my yard?
- You will need a permit to cut, remove or alter a protected tree. This includes trees which are dead, dying, or hazardous.
- You will also be required to obtain a permit to cut, remove or alter a tree that interferes with construction, if no alternatives exist.
- Download a Tree Cutting Permit Application or pick-up a permit at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre at 527 Fraser Street.
Do I need to replace a tree I have a permit to remove?
When you receive a permit to remove a protected tree, you are required to plant a replacement tree within the time specified on your Tree Cutting or Removal Permit.
What happens if I remove or cut a protected tree without a permit?
Fines will be applied for all removal or cutting of trees without a permit. Fines range from $250 to $10,000, depending on the circumstances of the tree removal or cutting.
Residents are within their rights to prune overhanging branches that are less than 4 inches in diameter from neighboring trees. Pruning cuts are to be done accourding to standard International Society of Arboriculture practices. If the limb is greater than 4 inches in diameter a tree cutting permit application is required.
Trees and storms
- Stay safe - look for downed power lines and keep a safe distance.
- Contact BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) if trees or branches interfering with power lines
- Property owners are responsible for removing trees or branches on their private property.
- Damaged pubic trees (e.g., from a park or on a boulevard) can be reported to Esquimalt Parks at 250-412-8513 or by filling out our online form.
- Learn about making insurance claims due to fallen trees.
Trees & high voltage wires
Never attempt to prune a tree that has grown into high voltage wires. BC Hydro prunes trees under high voltage power lines on a regular schedule. If a tree or tree branch is leaning on a high voltage wire, call BC Hydro immediately.
As a property owner, you are responsible for keeping the service wires on your property clear of vegetation. Branches rubbing on service wires wear through the weather coating and may cause home electrical appliance damage.
You can perform your own pruning as long as you keep yourself, your equipment and all parts of the tree at least three metres away from the power line. If you can't or are unsure, contact a professional CUA to prune your trees.
If any part of the tree or hedge is within three metres of a power line, call BC Hydro for assistance: 1-800-224-9376 (other areas of B.C.)
For more information, please contact:
Francis Mathieson, Program Support