Plan Around Trees

The Importance of Trees

Mature trees play an essential role in the environmental quality and biodiversity of the city, and contribute to the livability of our neighbourhoods. Diverse, attractive landscaping and plant material on private properties also reinforces the unique community character of existing mature neighbourhoods, and helps reduce the visual impact of new development. 

Tree Protection Plan

If your development takes place within 5 meters of any city trees, you’ll need to file a tree protection plan with Urban Forestry. You can request an Urban Forester to help you create your tree protection plan for free by calling 311.

Visit the Trees and Construction page on to find documents about protecting City-owned trees during construction.  

New Landscaping Requirements

On June 27, 2016, City Council approved changes to the Zoning Bylaw in regards to tree and shrub planting requirements for all low-density residential development, incentives to preserve mature trees and mandatory submission of a Construction Site Management Acknowledgement Form.

Landscaping requirements remain unchanged in the following low-density zones: RPL, RPLt, RF4, RF4t, RMD, UCRH, CCLD, CCSF, HVLD, GHLD.  

All new low-density residential development in all other zones, such as the RSL, RF1, RF2, RF3 zones, are now required to plant trees and shrubs according to the table below. Trees and shrubs are to be listed in text on the site plan in a legend, and plant locations do not need to be shown on the site plan. This is so that future homeowners can have flexibility in the ultimate location of the trees and shrubs. 

Incentives to Retain Trees

The City of Edmonton has introduced an incentive program promoting the retention of existing mature trees during construction. Any new development can receive credits towards their tree requirements for preserving mature trees. The table below describes the minimum size of trees and shrubs required to receive credit for one or two new trees.

When applying for a development permit to construct a new home, submit a site plan listing the following:

  • Existing trees (if applicable)
  • Number, size and type of new and preserved trees
  • Seed/sod or alternative ground cover

Rain Garden in a Box

You can help keep our city green by participating in the City of Edmonton’s Rain Garden in a Box project. A rain garden is a landscaped area that collects, absorbs and filters stormwater runoff from rooftops, driveways, patios and other hard surfaces that don’t allow water to soak in.

Want to learn more about how to build a rain garden in your yard to capture your roof runoff? Click here.