First let us learn what Toronto’s Urban Forest is?
Toronto is a city of trees. More than four million trees dominate our ravines, line our boulevards and beautify our parks. Six million more trees are located on private property.Toronto’s trees along city streets, in parks, ravines and natural areas, in the front and back yards of homes, and in landscaped open spaces are collectively known as the city’s “urban forest”.
Have you see? If there is a tree located on your private property, the tree is NOT yours but government own.
Government provides services to protect and grow urban forest as a natural legacy for future generations to enjoy. The services called Toronto Urban Forestry Services.
Here is an example of Urban Forestry Service:
Sometimes Toronto resident might receive a notice from government:
Urban Forest has determined that the ash trees in your neighborhood are infested with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) insect. The declining City-owned ash tree(s) located on the City property adjacent to your home/property has been scheduled for removal. Plans for removal and replacement (space permitting) are outlined below.
If the tree is on your private property, even the tree is not yours, but if you want to do something on the tree, you have to pay the service, the government and the Urban Forest Services will not be responded for that.
Here we have an example which we were talking with a Toronto Urban Forest Service employee (we think he is):
(We) to 311
Dear Sir /Madam:
There is a big pine tree is just on my drive way, it drop pine oil every summer, let my car very mess and dirty! and I can not clean them!
My house address is xxxxx
Can you help ! Can you move the tree to other place, or cut the tree sticks above on my driveway side ?
311 to me
Thank you for contacting 311 Toronto.
This tree is on private property and therefore the City will not prune it back. If it is on your property, you should hire a tree service to properly prune the tree back.
I hope this is helpful and please do not hesitate to let me know if you require further information or assistance.
(We) to 311
You mean I can cut (remove) the pine tree completely if I do not like it? If the answer is yes, then I will find service to remove the tree from my private property soon. But before I do it, I need your confirmation so that I will not get trouble and fine later.
Thanks a lot !
311 to me
If the tree measures at least 30 cm at a point 1.4 metres above the ground you will need a permit to remove or destroy the tree, or a waiver of the permit. You need an arborist report as part of the permitting process. However, you do not need a permit to trim a tree.
So, if a tree grows, you might not cut it if without government permit, However, if you want to trim a tree which is on your private property, you do not need a permit.
Anyway, it is good to ask questions to government before you do anything for the trees on your private property.