Call before you cut!
Tree Preservation By-law in effect.
Markham enacted its Tree Preservation By-law - regulating the destruction or injury of trees - for all properties on June 24, 2008. The by-law is effective immediately.
The Tree Preservation By-law was adopted by Council to support a greener community and a healthier environment. It exists to preserve significant trees on all properties within the City and to sustain Markham's urban forest.
Call before you cut! - Permit required
Property owners must apply for a permit before injuring or destroying any tree in Markham with a trunk diameter of 20 centimetres (about 8 inches) or more, measured at 1.37 metres (about 54 inches) above the ground at the base of the tree.
Call before you cut! You need a permit before cutting a tree with a diameter of 20 cm (8 inches) or more measured at 1.37 metres (54 inches) above the ground. Anyone contravening the Tree Preservation By-law and found guilty of an offence will be subject to penalties.
Note: This process applies to both permit applications and bylaw exemption requests.
- Submit a Tree Permit Application using one of the following methods:
- If your tree is exempt, no permit fee is required. A written confirmation – a permit – will be issued by Markham where a permit is applicable, fees may apply.
- Applications can take up to 30 days to process.
Online Tree Permit Application or fill out the Tree Permit Application Form [PDF] and submit completed application in person to the Contact Centre, Unionville Entrance at the Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Boulevard.
Following the review of a permit application, the City may determine the removal of the tree does not require a permit and will refund any fees paid or confirm that a site inspection is required.
A report from a qualified tree expert may be required as a condition of permit approval, but is not required for the initial permit application.
Exemptions under the by-law may be granted. The property owner is required to complete and submit the same permit application when requesting an exemption to the by-law. Upon approval of exemption, Markham staff will issue a permit to allow the tree to be removed.
Exemptions are considered for:
- hazard tree removal
- emergency work removal
- work on dead, dying or diseased trees as defined in the by-law
- orders issued under any property standards by-law
- maintenance or pruning (not more than one-third of the live branches) in accordance with professional practice\
- tree removal on rooftop gardens, in indoor courtyards, solariums or raised podiums
- nursery business trees
- cultivated orchard trees
- removal authorized or required under a municipal building permit.
A permit is not required if:
- a tree is removed by the municipality or local board as defined in the Municipal Act
- a tree is removed under an approved site plan, plan of subdivision or development permit
Trees in woodlots and woodlands are covered by the Region of York By-law, and are also exempt from the City's permit process.
Refer to Section 4 of the Tree Preservation By-law for the details of these exemptions.
For more information contact Markham's Contact Centre at 905-477-5530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Application to Permit Injury or Destruction of Trees [PDF]
Complete form and deliver in person to the Markham Civic Centre. This application is used for both permit application and by-law exemptions.
- By-law 2008-97 (a by-law to amend Fee By-law 2002-276)
- Tree Preservation By-law 2008-96
- Tree Preservation By-law Common Terms