The intent of the City-wide Private Tree By-law is to protect trees situated on private property having diameters measuring 30 cm (12 inches) or greater (measured at 1.4 metres above the ground) from being damaged or cut-down unnecessarily and to ensure the on-going health and well-being of the city's urban forest.

The private tree bylaw directly supports the City's Official Plan, which recognizes the important contribution of trees to the quality of life in Toronto in balance with the need to remove trees due to development or property improvement construction.

The Private Tree Bylaw provides a consistent approach to protecting the city's urban forest while helping to increase awareness of the environmental, aesthetic and economic benefits of trees.

When a tree is allowed to be removed, the bylaw provides for replacement planting as appropriate While this does not "replace" the removed trees, it does help address the future of the urban forest.