Tree Preservation Bylaw

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Tree Preservation Bylaw

The City's urban forest is a valuable asset which provides environmental, historical and aesthetic benefits, and contributes positively towards property values and a high quality of life.  

The City's urban forest is at risk of Dutch Elm Disease (DED), Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moth. An infection of any one of these pests will cause poor tree health and/or mortality.

It is in the City's best interest to protect public trees from damage, disease or unnecessary removal.

On November 4th, 2014 the City of Medicine Hat passed a bylaw to protect Public Trees and prevent the spread of tree related diseases in Medicine Hat, such as Dutch Elm Disease. 

This bylaw states that no person other than the City Arborist shall:
  • Plant a tree on public land
  • Damage, disturb, prune or remove any public tree
  • Attach any notice, bill, poster, sign, wire, rope, electrical cord, nail or other object to or around any public tree
  • Spray or apply any substance other than water, fertilizer or lawn weed control product on any portion of a public tree or within three metres of the base of any public tree
  • Remove or interfere with any protective barrier, structure or device on or around any public tree
  • Construct any walkway, driveway or paving within a distance of 0.5 metres from the base of any public tree for every ten centimetres of diameter of the trunk (not applying to walkways, driveways and paving in existence prior to November 4, 2014)

The bylaw also states that the City Arborist may authorize the removal of any public tree upon receiving a written request for removal from a resident upon giving consideration to:

  • 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 in its current location
  • If you wish to submit a written request please complete the Tree Removal Application
The bylaw also states that:
  • any person who removes an Elm Tree from any land in the City shall ensure that the removal of the stump, treatment, and disposal is done in a satisfactory manner to an inspector
  • Owners of elm trees shall keep the tree pruned so that it is free of dead or dying wood
  • No person shall prune an elm tree between April 1 and September 30 in any year unless authorized in writing by an inspector

Click here for more information on Dutch Elm Disease or the Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED).