Tree By-laws

Here you will find the most important information London residents need to know about trees and the City, where to find more information, and how to ask questions. 

measuring tree trunkTree Protection By-law

The Tree Protection By-law took effect in August 2016. This by-law protects our trees in two ways; by protecting trees within “Tree Protection Areas” and protecting “Distinctive Trees”, trees with a diameter ≥50 cm. Trees that fall under either category are protected from damage or injury caused by any person without a permit. 

A Tree Protection Area is any area designated on the maps included in the by-law.  Any tree within a Tree Protection Area, regardless of species and size, is protected until such time as a permit is issued. Click here to view all the maps included in the by-law.

A Distinctive Tree is any tree equal to or greater than 50 cm in diameter that is located on private property, anywhere within the Urban Growth Boundary of the city of London. Click here to see a map of the Urban Growth Boundary.

The Tree Protection by-law requires property owners to apply and obtain a permit before removing a Distinctive Tree or any trees located within a Tree Protection Area. Click here find out how to apply for a permit.

For more information about the by-law, visit the Tree Protection By-law FAQ's. If you are considering cutting down a tree on your property and have any questions about the process, or if you think someone is in violation of the by-law, call or email the City of London’s Tree Protection office:  519-661-CITY (2489) ext. 4457 or [email protected] 


Boulevard Tree Protection By-law

The Boulevard Tree Protection By-law protects any tree located on a boulevard from damage or injury. For the sake of this by-law, a boulevard consists of the City of London road allowance that is not otherwise occupied by sidewalk, driveway, travelled roadway or shoulder. To see if the tree you are looking at is on city property or not, check the Tree Inventory Map here. Note that only City trees are listed. 

Residents can also request to have a boulevard tree planted and see the possible species on an approved list (Appendix 5). We recommended requesting one of our many native species.

Consider caring for the trees by watering them on hot days, and creating mulch rings to protect their roots and to help retain moisture. Click here to find out more information about how to care for trees. 

To request a boulevard tree, or if you have an questions about the by-law, contact the City of London’s Forestry Office at 519-661-CITY (2489) ext. 5783.


Urban Forest Strategy

The City of London has developed an Urban Forest Strategy to help guide them in planting, maintaining and protecting the trees in 'The Forest City'. Four main principles guide the development of the strategy: plant more, protect more, maintain better, and engage the community.

Plant more - Expand and manage the urban forest strategically to maximise the social, environmental and economic returns.

Protect more - Protect and maintain London’s urban forest on public and private land where it is providing the benefits of the ‘right tree in the right place’, or is supporting the integrity of natural features.

Maintain better - Maintain and monitor the urban forest over time and adjust management practices as needed using current information and research.

Engage the community - Partner with the community to achieve urban forest goals.

The strategy has been accompanied by an Implementation Plan to help ensure success through outlining steps to achieving short and longterm goals.

For more information, read the full Urban Forest Strategy by clicking here.