The City of Toronto does not regulate the trimming of trees on private property.

If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous, Urban Forestry can investigate.

Trimming a neighbour's overhanging branches:

Urban Forestry recommends that you discuss this with your neighbour.

There are three main points to remember when dealing with trees on adjacent private property:

  1. You cannot trespass onto your neighbour's property
  2. You cannot damage your neighbour's property (in this case a tree); and
  3. You have the right to maintain your property in a safe condition

It is therefore best for property owners to come to an agreement between themselves with respect to trees overhanging property lines.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour and want to determine your legal rights, you should contact a lawyer.

The act of pruning trees on neighbouring private property affects private property rights and is a civil issue between private property owners.

Where a tree on private property is protected under the provisions of the Private Tree Bylaw, pruning of the tree is permitted provided the pruning is in accordance with good arboricultural standards. Otherwise, a permit would be required to injure or destroy the tree.

A qualified tree expert should always be retained to carry out tree pruning.

For more information about the bylaws enforced by the City, please visit