Last updated October 27, 2023

Are you allowed to fell a tree in your backyard? What should you do with a diseased ash tree? Learn more about Montréal’s urban forest management practices.

Trees on private property

Trees located on private property are the responsibility of the property owner, who must comply with all regulations.


Before you decide to fell a tree, you must always check the applicable standards in your borough, as a felling permit is often required, as well as a replacement tree for the tree that is being felled. 


You usually don’t need a permit to trim or prune a tree. But if the pruning will affect more than 50% of the crown (branches), you must get a tree-felling permit from your borough.

Ash trees

If your tree is an ash, you have two options, based on the condition of the tree:

  • If the tree is healthy, you must have it treated against the emerald ash borer every two years.
  • If it is diseased, you must have it felled.

A subsidy program exists to treat your ash tree free of charge. A separate program offers a partial reimbursement for felling costs when the tree is infested with the emerald ash borer, on the condition that it is replaced after felling.

If your ash tree is healthy, but you still want to have it felled (for example, the tree is within the perimeter of a future construction project), you are required to check the applicable standards in Montréal and apply for a permit from your borough before the tree is felled.

Trees on public property

The city is responsible for trees located along the sidewalk (even on what appears to be private property) or in parks. However, residents can report a problem concerning a tree on public property by contacting 311.

It is prohibited to prune or fell a tree on public property.

Tree trimming

If you notice branches touching the electric lines, please visit the Hydro-Québec Web site.

If a tree seems dangerous, call 911.

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