Stump removal and planting of a public tree in front of your home

Last updated May 2, 2022
Reading time: 1 min

Each year, our workers plan the work to be done on the trees located on public land in the neighbourhood, including felling, stump removal and the planting of new trees. If this work is taking place in front of your home, you can find the answers to your questions here.

How do you determine that a tree is on municipal land and not mine?

Publicly-owned trees can be found in the following places: 

  • In parks, squares and tree pits along the sidewalks
  • In front of houses or buildings in between the sidewalk and private property, on what is called the public right-of-way


Felling consists of cutting down a tree. It is considered complete when the trunk is cut low to the ground. The remaining stump may vary in height from 15 cm to 1 m.

Reasons for a felling:

  • The tree is dead
  • The tree is dying or has an incurable disease
  • The tree is unsafe
  • The tree has a weak structure that cannot be corrected


Grubbing is the removal of the stump from a previously felled tree. The stump is shredded deep below the ground and the chips are used to fill the hole left by the removal of the stump.

*The area is left as shown in the image. Complete grading of the land, root removal and sod laying are not included.

Stump removal work will be done approximately 12 to 18 months following the felling of the tree, between April and November.

The stump removal site must not be permanently landscaped.


  • Flower plantings (annuals, small plants and flowers)

*All temporary features must be removed before the workers come to plant the new tree.

Not acceptable

  • Trees
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Other permanent features

Replacement and planting

Once the stump is removed, a new tree will be planted. This will be coordinated by borough workers.

Felled trees are systematically replaced. However, the replacement of a tree can be delayed for various reasons, including a shortage of new trees in stock, planned road work and underground services in the tree’s location.

The new tree will be planted approximately 12 to 24 months following the removal of the stump.

Two planting periods are scheduled each year, in the spring and fall.

Under what circumstances can the municipality decide to plant a tree in front of my house?

The planting of one or more trees in the vicinity of a home is carried out on the municipal right-of-way that is the property of the Ville de Montréal. A tree will be planted, either:

  • To replace a felled tree
  • In a new location

Any planting request made via 311 will be considered.

Why plant a tree in front of my house if I don’t want one?

We are facing a major climate emergency that requires essential measures. In response to this, the Ville de Montréal has adopted several ecological transition policies, including specific planting objectives. 

Since trees play an important role in combatting climate change, we need to use every strategic location to implement these policies. We understand that this requires adaptation on your part and we are grateful for your cooperation.

Need more information? Read these articles:

Generally, in the same location as the felled tree. However, the presence of underground or aerial infrastructure may require us to move the site or to not plant a tree. A paint mark will indicate the precise location of the planned planting.

What type of tree will be planted in front of my house?

The selection of the right species is crucial to the survival and harmonious integration of a tree into its environment. The aim is to ensure adequate biodiversity, according to the principle of the right tree in the right place. There are about fifty genera, including maples, oaks, honey locusts and hackberries, that are appropriate for urban conditions. 

The Division des parcs in your borough chooses the tree species best suited to each planting location, based on various criteria:

  • The availability of species on the market
  • Biodiversity
  • Underground and aerial obstacles
  • The environment

How can I help prepare for the arrival of the new tree?

  • Please move any landscape features (shrubs, perennials, annuals, lights, etc.) located near the stump, to avoid damage to them.
  • Obey the no parking signs.

Can I help maintain the new tree?

The care to be given to the new tree will be provided by our workers. However, here is how you can contribute to the tree’s survival:

  • Keep the ring of mulch around the tree intact for two years.
  • Water the tree for the first three years after planting. This will help it take root and resist dry spells.
  • Do not change the ground level around the tree.
  • Only weed manually at the base of the trunk. Lawn mowers and trimmers can harm its bark and compromise its survival.
  • Do not install a support: contact the borough if the tree is tilting.
  • If you grow plants in the soil near the tree, be careful not to injure or cut its root system.
  • Do not attach bicycles or other objects to the trunk or branches of the tree.

After the tree is planted, be sure to understand the offences that are subject to a fine. In particular, it is forbidden to do these things to a public tree:

  • Pruning and felling
  • Application of any product on or around it
  • Drilling holes
  • Cutting the root system
  • Posting a sign
  • Attaching any item (lights, swings, etc.)

For more information: Règlement sur la propreté (RCA08 17155) (In French)