Trees & Development

If you are developing a property in the City of Coquitlam that has existing trees on it, you may be asked to provide an assessment of the trees by a certified arborist.

Single family lots

If a property owner plans to redevelop and build a single family home, not associated with a subdivision or located in the Burke Mountain neighbourhood, tree removal and replacement must follow the tree cutting permit process found in the Tree Management Bylaw. Consult the City’s tree cutting permit process to confirm whether the removal of trees on your property will require a tree cutting permit.


When you apply for a demolition permit, City staff will review the proposed demolition plan and note any City trees that could be impacted. Construction fencing around City trees may be required prior to issuance of the demolition permit. Trees located on private property must be managed under the Tree Management Bylaw 4091. A permit may be required for their removal, and replacement trees may be required. 

Impacts to trees on neighbouring properties

When redeveloping a property, impacts to neighbouring trees must also be considered. If there are significant trees in close proximity to the property line, the property owner should be contacted following good neighbour development practices. Causing damage to a neighbouring tree violates the Tree Management Bylaw 4091 and may result in delays to your development. If you are unsure about the effects of your development on neighbouring trees, consult an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) arborist to guide the work.

Subdivision and Land Amalgamation 

Please consult your development file manager for further information on tree clearing. You will likely be required to submit an arborist report written by a consulting arborist as part of your development submissions. 

What needs to be included in an Arborist Report?

An arborist report submitted to the City should be inclusive of all the guidelines included within our ISA arborist report guidelines. Please ensure all the applicable standards are met.  The City of Coquitlam recognizes a trees ‘dripline’ as the Critical Root Zone (CRZ) while a measurement of six times the trees DBH is the Minimum Protection Zone (MPZ).

Multi stem trees are considered of protected size if the largest two stems Diameter at breast Height (1.4m) DBH added together are >20cm DBH.

Will a new forest edge be created by development?

When significant tree clearing occurs and a new forest edge is exposed retained trees are often more susceptible to increased wind forces. This susceptibility can cause the retained trees to potentially be hazardous into the future. If a development creates a new forest edge, applicants will be asked to submit a windthrow analysis completed by a Registered Professional Forester (RPF).

The windthrow analysis should include a review of the trees and any mitigation suggestions to reduce the hazard level. If the new forest edge abuts a protected stream or watercourse the owner’/developer is responsible for ensuring that the edge “effect” created in clearings lots does not place the protected trees adjacent to the streams at risk. The RPF must ensure that requirements are met to maintain Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) compliancy.

When does Coquitlam recognize the bird nesting window?

Residents and developers must be compliant with the Wildlife Act section 34 referencing nesting birds. This occurs between March 1 and Aug. 31 each year. 

If tree removal is required during this time, the site should be reviewed by a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) registered as a Professional Biologist and any reports submitted to the City to ensure no nesting birds are disturbed. 

Additional Bird Nesting Season Information

  • Nests are often well hidden and not visible from the ground.
  • Birds may be nesting in trees, shrubs or hedges.
  • Nests and trees with nests of eagles, peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, osprey, herons and burrowing owls are protected year-round, regardless of activity.

Please refer to the following laws and regulations regarding the protection of birds and their nests:

For further information consult the Province of British Columbia’s Natural Resource Best Management Practices where construction or development is involved.

Information About Trees and Construction