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By-laws on trees

A number of provisions exist to protect the trees on on the territory of Saint-Lambert and preserve our urban forest.

Tree in front

The City of Saint-Lambert asks all property owners to maintain or plant at least one tree per front of a building on the part of their property that borders the street.

Cutting down trees

It is forbidden to cut any deciduous trees measuring more than 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter down to 30 cm from the ground or conifers measuring more than 2 m in height, on private property without a permit.

Print the application to request a permit to cut down a tree and evaluation of the application (in French only). Bring the completed form to the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department to obtain your permit. Certain fees apply.

A tree can only be cut down for one of the following reasons:

  • the tree is dead or has an incurable disease; 
  • the tree is dangerous for residents’ health or safety; 
  • the tree constitutes a nuisance or causes damage to public or private property; 
  • the tree is a nuisance for the growth and health of adjacent trees; 
  • the tree is located in an unrestricted cutting zone.  

When a tree is cut down, it must be replaced by another tree planted in the same section of land. However, no replacement is required if the number of trees on the property after cutting down the tree remains higher than the required minimum, as specified in the following table:

Section of landMinimum numbert of trees required*
Front yard1 tree per 50 m2
Side yard1 tree per 50 m2
Portion of the back yard that constitutes part of the front yard1 tree per 50 m2
Back yard1 tree per 100 m2

* However, there must be at least one tree in each yard, regardless of its surface area.

The replacement tree must be at least 7.5 cm in diameter (measured 30 cm from the ground) if it is a deciduous tree, and at least 1.5 metres tall if it is a conifer. If the tree cut down is a medium- or large-growing species, it must be replaced by a variety of species that will grow to a similar size. If the replacement tree dies, a new tree must be planted in its place.

Prohibited tree species

It is prohibited to plant certain species less than 20 metres from the sidewalk or public roadway, underground pipes, underground public utility service infrastructures, or lot lines:

  • weeping willow (Salix alba tristis); 
  • white poplar (Populus alba); 
  • eastern cottonwoods (Populus deltoides);
  • lombardy poplar (Populus nigra italica);
  • balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera);
  • trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides);
  • silver maple (Acer saccharinum);
  • box elder (Acer negundo); 
  • american elm (Ulmus americana);
  • norway maple (Acer platanoides).

This regulation applies only to the new plantations.

Due to the presence of the emerald ash borer on our territory, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) strongly recommends not planting ash trees. 

Tree topping

Tree topping, which consists of cutting the crown of a tree, as well as overpruning, are prohibited at all times. The consequences of tree topping are extremely harmful. A topped tree is weakened, risks developing blight or sunscald, and breaks more easily, and its esthetic value is diminished. In the worst-case scenario, topping can kill the tree, meaning that it has to be chopped down. 

If you wish to reduce the height or crown of a tree, techniques exist to minimize the risk of damaging the tree. To benefit from these techniques, it is essential that you use the services of qualified personnel. 

Work on your property 

Before carrying out any work that could cause damage to a tree, you must check with the Urban Planning, Permits and Inspection Department and take all the necessary precautions to protect the tree.

Refer to article 5.12 of the zoning by-law found on the By-laws page to find out about all the provisions of the tree by-laws in force on Saint-Lambert territory.