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, on the street or in a park, a service request can be submitted online at http://www.toronto.ca/311/ 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.

City of Toronto Urban Forestry staff are responsible for the maintenance of City-owned trees on City streets and City of Toronto parks.

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, a contravention notice under the Tree Protection By-law may be issued to the resident for pruning a City tree, especially if this results in harm to the pruned tree.


  • If you have a maintenance request for a commemorative tree in a City park , you will need to request this from staff in the Commemorative Tree Program.
  • The public is not permitted to prune City-owned trees without prior written authorisation from Urban Forestry.
  • In areas where there is a lot of street parking, temporary no parking signs may be used to alert people to where crews will be working the next day. Please do not park in the work zone during the designated no parking period. If crews require your vehicle to be moved in order to access a street tree for maintenance, staff will try to contact you to move your vehicle. If we are not able to reach you, your vehicle may be towed to the closest legal parking location at no charge to you.

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

To expedite non-emergency tree maintenance:

To expedite non-emergency tree maintenance on City-owned trees a homeowner may apply for permission to hire a contractor to perform standard tree maintenance work. The City may approve the application if the request is deemed to be in compliance with the City's pruning standards.