Tree Protection Requirements
Tree Protection Bylaw
In December 2022, City Council approved the development of a new tree protection bylaw for Saskatoon, as well as necessary amendments to the existing Trees on City Property Policy. The new bylaw is expected to be ready for Council approval in early 2024. For more information, visit the Tree Protection Bylaw Engage Page.
Trees on public property are valuable assets and an integral part of the larger urban forest which provides economic, environmental and social benefits to everyone that lives in or visits our city. Protecting and maintaining City-owned trees ensure they will continue to provide these benefits well into the future.
Whether you are a homeowner wishing to re-landscape or a business owner planning to build near a City-owned tree, you are responsible for providing tree protection measures.
Any unauthorized excavation, removal, relocation, pruning or damage (in part or whole) of a City-owned tree is not permitted and may result in a fine or penalty, as per City Council Policy, #C09-011.
We want to work with you! Contact Urban Forestry at 306-975-2890 before you proceed with any construction near City-owned trees.
Tree protection requirements include:
Protect the tree roots
Severing tree roots, compacting soil or changing the grade in the critical root zone of a tree can impact both the health and stability of a tree.
- You are only permitted to excavate on one side of a tree and not within 3.0 metres of the trunk.
- If construction takes place when soil moisture levels are high, it increases compaction within the drip zone. To prevent compaction, 150mm (6”) of woodchip mulch must be placed on any area under the drip line of a protected tree if it is not fenced off.
- All exposed roots must be pruned with a sharp pruning tool to provide a clean severance of the root.
- Exposed roots must be protected from drying during construction and exposed roots must be backfilled as soon as possible.
Provide protective fencing
The best way to avoid tree damage at construction sites is to set up a protective fence to act as a physical barrier to keep vehicles, equipment, and materials away from trees. For safety reasons, an underground utility check must be completed before installing the fence to ensure you do not hit any buried utilities. Construction of the protective fencing will be inspected and must be acceptable to Urban Forestry.
- Protective fencing must be constructed of either:
- a solid wood frame with orange snow fencing securely stapled to the outside; or
- snow fencing fastened securely to metal stakes spaced no more than 1 meter apart; or
- metal construction fencing.
- Protective fencing must:
- Be at least 1.2 meters high measured from the ground
- Not interfere with access to fire hydrants and sidewalks or obscure intersections and traffic signage
- Be sturdy with vertical posts driven firmly into the ground to keep it in place
- Stay in good repair for the duration of the demolition or construction project.
Refer to Call Before You Build! - Tree Protection for more information.