How to Get a Tree Removal Permit in Winnipeg: A Brief Guide

Trees are a critical element of any residential landscape. However, when a tree has a disease, is in danger of falling, causing damage to structures, or is in the wrong place, it most likely has to come down. 

To ensure safety, only allow trained professionals to remove trees from your property. In some cases, even when you hire a professional, you may also need a tree removal permit. This guide from Winnipeg’s tree removal experts explains when and how to acquire the necessary permission. 

When You Need a Tree Removal Permit in Winnipeg

You do not need a tree permit to cut down a tree on private property. Under Winnipeg law, a property owner may remove a tree from their yard at any time without violating tree ordinances. 

However, if the tree in question is publicly owned, meaning it is on public property like a median, a tree removal permit is necessary to remove it legally. The city views trees as an asset to the community and, therefore, only allows their removal under specific circumstances. 

Reasons Winnipeg Will Grant a Tree Removal Permit 

Winnipeg only grants tree removal permits for street trees and other publicly owned trees when there is no way to save or maintain them. This typically means:

  • The tree has disease or decay. 
  • The tree presents a safety risk or is in imminent danger of falling. 
  • The tree is damaging structures. 
  • The tree is impeding a major construction project, and alternative options to preserve the tree aren’t feasible. 
  • The tree is a problematic species.

Again, trees on private residential properties do not need to meet these criteria for removal; a property owner can opt to remove any tree at their discretion.

Seeking a Tree Removal Permit 

If you have concerns about a tree and believe removal is the best option, submit a request for removal to the Supervisor of Forestry and DED Operations of the Urban Forestry Branch in Winnipeg. 

Your written request should include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The location of the tree
  • The specific reasons for your request 
  • Additional information to support the request that the inspector needs to consider 

After submitting a request, the Urban Forestry Branch will inspect the tree in light of your claims. You’ll receive a letter detailing the results of the city inspection and a decision on the request. If the city agrees the tree should come down, they’ll provide a tree permit and further instructions. 

Additional Tree Ordinances in Winnipeg 

In addition to seeking a tree removal permit to cut down trees in Winnipeg, the city has additional tree ordinances.

When the tree service removes a tree from a public space, they must also remove the stump to at least six inches below the surface.

Because Dutch Elm Disease presents a significant danger to healthy trees in the area, the city prohibits pruning elm trees from April 1 to July 31. This helps keep the disease from spreading. If you need to remove an elm tree, do so only from August to March. 

The city also reserves the right to trim or prune trees on private property if the branches interfere with utility lines. If the city determines that branches could fall or contribute to a power outage, then a qualified arborist will remove them.

Get Help from Winnipeg’s Leading Tree Service

If you have concerns about any tree on or near your property, need emergency tree services after a storm, or have questions about tree removal permits and tree care, call the professionals at Mitchel’s All Season Tree Experts. You can reach us at (204) 998-4559 or (204) 990-8070.

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