Trees and Gardens

The City of Medicine Hat manages our urban forest to maintain the social, economic and environmental benefits that our community gets from its trees.

Tree Preservation Bylaw

Bylaw 4218 protects public trees and prevents the spread of tree related diseases in Medicine Hat. This bylaw states that no person other than the City Arborist will:

  • Plant a tree on public land
  • Damage, prune or remove any public tree
  • Attach any poster, sign, wire, electrical cord, nail or other object to a public tree
  • Spray or apply any substance other than water, fertilizer or lawn weed control product on or within three metres of the base of any public tree
  • Interfere with any protective structure or device on or around any public tree
  • Construct any walkway or driveway .5 metres from the base of any public tree for every 10 cm of trunk diameter
    • Does not apply to walkways, driveways and paving in existence before November 4, 2014.

Tree removals

The City Arborist may allow the removal of any public tree upon a written request from a resident considering:

  • The reason for the request and the need for removal of the tree
  • Any reasonable options that would not require the removal of the tree
  • The possibility of relocating the tree
  • The historic, environmental or other intrinsic value of the tree

If you wish to submit a request please complete the Tree Removal Application.

Tree Removal Application

Trees and power lines - plan before you plant

Trees should always be planted away from power lines. Always consider what type of tree you are planting and where you are planting it to reduce electrical safety hazards. Remember the following tips when planting trees and vegetation:

  • Picture the tree at its full height and width - will the tree pose a problem in the future when fully grown?
  • Avoid planting trees near power lines
  • Contact Alberta One Call to determine the vicinity of power lines before you dig
  • Avoid planting trees and vegetation where the root growth may interfere with the power supply

Tree trimming in proximity to power lines

Tree branches growing into power lines pose a hazard to public safety and can result in power outages. If trees have grown to a point where they are close to power lines, they must only be trimmed by qualified and authorized personnel with the proper tools, equipment and training.

Do not attempt to trim branches that interfere with power lines. It is not worth the risk and the consequences could be fatal. Contact us for assistance. There is no charge for this service during regular working hours.

City employees trim trees encroaching on powerlines annually to reduce public safety hazards, avoid power outages and meet regulatory requirements. These power lines can be in front streets or back lanes. Trimmed tree branches will be stacked for future chipping into mulch.

Request for tree trimming

On request, a city representative will visit the site and determine if an electrical safety hazard exists and the extend of trimming required. Please note the city does not clear trees near secondary power lines unless there is a serious electrical hazard. We recommend that homeowners hire a professional tree trimmer when managing their own trees.

Bylaw 2244

Elm trees

  • Owners of elm trees must keep the tree pruned so that it is free of dead or dying wood
  • No one can prune an elm tree between April 1 and September 30 in any year unless authorized in writing by an inspector
  • A City of Medicine Hat arborist is required to approve the removal and disposal of any elm tree in Medicine Hat. Please contact


Under Alberta's Weed Control Act, landowners must destroy plants categorized as Prohibited Noxious. These plants must be controlled by limiting their growth and preventing the dispersal of seed. Visit the Alberta Invasive Species website to learn more.