Private Tree Removal Frequently Asked Questions


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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Browse through this webpage for Frequently Asked Questions related to Newmarket's Private Tree Protection By-law and the Private Tree Removal Process.

Why does the Town of Newmarket have a Private Tree Protection By-law?

The Town of Newmarket has a Private Tree Protection By-law in order to protect Newmarket's Tree Canopy on private property. Prior to the Private Tree Protection By-law being approved, the Town only had policies and By-laws in place to protect trees in areas that are designated 'Natural Heritage' and in areas that were subject to development applications. 

The Town's goal is to protect as many trees as possible which is in line with Council' Strategic Priority in Environmental Stewardship and critical in its fight against climate change.  

Who will this Private Tree Protection By-law affect?
This By-law will apply to property owners who are looking to remove trees on their property that have a trunk diameter greater than 20cm, measured at 1.4m from the ground. 

Property owners looking to remove trees as part of a development application process will be dealt through the planning process. 
If my tree’s diameter is less than 20cm, am I able to remove the tree without a Private Tree Permit?
A permit is not required to remove a tree that has a diameter less than 20cm. However, the Town encourages residents to think of tree removal as a last resort as trees provide many benefits to the environment and community. 
How will this By-law protect Heritage Trees in Newmarket?
Heritage Trees are designated and protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. Socially significant trees will be considered in a separate By-law at a later date.
How long will it take to review my tree removal application and have the permit issued?
The time it takes to review and issue the permit depends on the complexity of your application. For more information please email
What other policies does the Town of Newmarket have to protect trees in Newmarket?
  • Public Tree Protection By-law: A By-law that protects trees on Town property including trees on boulevards.  
  • Wood-lot By-law: A By-law to protect trees in certain dense wooded areas. 
  • Tree Preservation, Protection, Replacement and Enhancement Policy: A policy that regulates tree removal for properties subject to Development Applications.  
  • York Region Forest Conservation By-law: A By-law that protects certain large wooded tracts  
As a property owner, I should be able to remove trees on my property, why is the Town implementing this By-law?
The Town strives to protect private property rights wherever possible. However, after various rounds of public consultation and research, the Town believes it is appropriate to prioritize benefits to the community at large over individual property rights as it relates to the protection of trees. Staff have found that, generally, property owners are concerned about the welfare of trees; however, people are not always aware of how alterations to their property can injure, damage and destroy trees.
What happens if a tree is removed without a permit?

Property owners that are found to have removed a tree on private property without a Private Tree Permit will be subject to penalties and/or fines set out under the Town's AMPS By-law. Members of the public found to have removed a tree without a permit will also be required to obtain a tree removal permit.

How will this By-law stop developers from illegally removing trees for development prior to submitting a development application?

With the Private Tree Protection By-law in place, the Town will require all property owners, including developers, to apply for a tree removal permit prior to removing trees on their property. Those that fail to comply will be subject to a fine under the Town’s AMPS By-law.

I suspect that a neighbour/developer is illegally removing trees, how do I go about reporting this?
If you suspect trees are being removed illegally in Newmarket, please call the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193 or email with the location of the tree removal and any supporting evidence you may have (photos, videos etc.). 
After a tree removal permit is issued and the tree isn’t removed within a year, what happens?
The Town can revoke the permit after the deadline to remove has passed. Please contact the Town for more information.  
Is a permit transferrable if the owner sells the property?
Yes, the permit is transferrable as long as it is within a year of the permit issue date.  
What criteria is permitted when allowing a tree to be removed with a tree removal permit?
The Town will consider the condition of the tree, the location, the type of species it is, crown coverage of the ground, their ecological function, their ability to prevent floods, impacts on surrounding properties such as loss of shade or privacy and more. 
What are some of the reasons why a tree removal permit application is refused?

A tree removal permit can be refused for the following reasons:  

  • An incomplete application (missing components)  
  • Trees identified for removal by the property owner are subject to other policies and By-laws in place.  
  • The health if the Tree as determined by the Town's arborist and
  • if the tree meets one of the following criteria:
  • In an environmentally sensitive area 
  • In an area where erosion or flood control will be negatively impacted 
  • In an area where there is an application for rezoning, consent to sever, a minor variance, a plan of subdivision or a site plan for the land has been submitted but has not received final approval from the Town. 
  • Deemed inconsistent with an Approved Site Plan Agreement  
My tree removal permit was refused; can I make an appeal?

Yes, when a tree permit is refused, the property owner can make an appeal to the Town of Newmarket within 14 calendar days of the refusal. You can make an appeal by submitting a written request to the Town of Newmarket by emailing – appropriate fees will apply.

If the appeal is rejected by the Town of Newmarket, the applicant can submit a written request to the Town for their appeal to be considered by the Town of Newmarket's Committee of Appeals.   

What do I need to include in an arborist report?

The arborist report is prepared by an expert in the care and maintenance of trees. This includes a person with a diploma or degree involving arboriculture from an accredited college or university, a Registered Professional Forester or an accredited Certified Arborist under the International Society of Arboriculture.

The arborist report provides specific information about the tree(s) for which a permit is being requested. The report is required to obtain a tree permit because it helps determine the legitimacy of tree permit requests. It is a third-party review of the tree's condition. The key element of the report describes the condition of the tree which could include information on the health, condition, structural integrity and vigour of the tree.

An arborist report must include:

  • Percentage of total property canopy cover being removed
  • Species of tree(s) being removed
  • Diameter size of the tree(s), in centimeters, measured at the base of the tree and at breast height.
  • Health/Condition of trees being removed
  • Reason for removal
  • Replacement recommendations (planting plan) to remove non-hazard tree(s)
  • Arborist certification number