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City of Toronto - Online Information and Services

City tree branches - need pruning

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If a City tree branches are touching the service wires that run from the street to the house or a City tree requires general pruning, a service request can be submitted online at , or call 311.

Forestry staff across the City of Toronto prune trees according to the following general standard:

  1. to encourage the health of a tree;
  2. to clear tree limbs and branches interfering with structures, street lighting, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, utility conductors and traffic signals or signs;
  3. to remove dead broken or split limbs; and/or
  4. to maintain structural stability and balance of a tree.

Tree work is only undertaken if deemed to be necessary according to this standard. Trees will not be pruned simply to thin out foliage.

General pruning of trees on private property are the owners responsibility. Contact a certified arborist for this service.

City standard for pruning City Trees
Urban Forestry had determined that trees will live longer and grow better if they are pruned more frequently. Urban Forestry recently implemented a new standard for pruning newly planted trees where trees are serviced 3 years after planting. Urban Forestry is working to implement a new standard for maintenance and pruning after 3 years of growth, where all trees will be systematically pruned by area (street) on a cycle of about 7 years.

If a tree is planted on City property it becomes the property of the City. The City is responsible for maintaining the tree and Forestry staff across the City of Toronto prune trees according to general standards. If pruning is required, a request must be made. Urban Forestry will inspect and inform the resident if tree maintenance is required. If the resident prunes the tree, an infraction under the bylaw may be given to the resident for pruning a City tree, especially if this results in harm to the pruned tree.

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