Parks, Forestry & Recreation

Trees and Ravines

Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto's Urban Forest

In cities, trees play a key role in creating healthy urban environments.  Many citizens see trees as an important measure of the quality of their communities. In North America and internationally, there is a growing body of research that supports the importance of maintaining healthy, sustainable urban forests.


Toronto Tree Information

city owned trees in a park during summer months

City-owned Trees

A major responsibility of Urban Forestry Services is the maintenance of City owned trees, particularly trees that grow on the City road allowance and in parks.

tree during summer on private property in front of residence

Privately-owned Trees

Private trees are an important part of the urban forest nurtured and are protected by Urban Forestry. Trees on private property can be protected and regulated under the provisions of municipal by-laws.

Community stewardship is essential to renewing the urban forest and responding to threats like the Asian long-horned beetle.

Tree Planting

Urban Forestry Services plants trees on City-owned street allowances fronting residential properties for free. Periodically, Urban Forestry Services will canvass neighbourhoods for tree planting opportunities.

Tree Trimming from Areial Bucket Truck

Why Hire an Arborist?

An arborist is a professional with knowledge of tree biology and physiology, and experience in arboriculture - the cultivation, management and study of individual trees. Learn when and how to hire one.

Illustration of tree being correctly watered with accompaning text describing correct watering technique

Trees Need Water

Trees need water to survive. Water is used by trees to carry nutrients obtained from the soil throughout the tree. During periods of hot, dry weather there is often less moisture available in the soil.

Tree in fall with leaves changing colour to yellow and orange

Trees FAQs

Why do tree leaves change colour in the fall? Leaves change colour due to biochemical processes within them that are triggered by diminishing amounts of daylight, longer nights, and weather factors. Your questions are answered at Trees FAQ.

Ravines and Natural Features

Aerial View of a Ravine

What are Toronto's Ravines and Natural Areas

Toronto has many natural areas including ravines and woodlands on both private and public land. Urban Forestry enforces protection by-laws and limits development proposals in and adjacent to ravine and natural feature areas.

Forest Health Care

Toronto Ravine showing the bases of several mature trees and the surrounding undergrowth.

Promoting the Health of the Urban Forest

To promote the health of the urban forest, Urban Forestry Services’ takes a holistic approach to tree care that focuses on improving the health of trees in an urban environment.

Invasive Pests

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect pest that attacks and kills all species of ash trees. In 2007, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed presence of EAB in Toronto. Urban Forestry implemented a management plan to mitigate the impact of this introduced pest on our urban forest.

European Gypsy Moth

European Gypsy Moth

European Gypsy Moth is a serious threat to Toronto's urban forest. At outbreak levels, this invasive insect can cause severe defoliation of trees. Parts of the City of Toronto experienced outbreaks in 2007, 2008, and 2013. An Integrated Pest Management control program was implemented in these years to prevent significant canopy loss in the affected areas.

Asian Long Horned Beetle on the branch of a maple tree

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALHB) which has devastated the tree canopies in parts of New York City and Chicago since the late 1990's was discovered September 2003 in parts of the city of Toronto and the city of Vaughan.

A photograph of City staff inspecting a healthy elm tree as a candidate for injection of Arbotect 20-S fungicide.

Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by a fungus that attacks the water conducting vessels of the sapwood of elms.  DED was introduced to Canada from Europe in 1944 and was first detected in Ontario in 1950.

Urban Forestry Operations

Canopy over Brickworks

About Urban Forestry Operations

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, has an urban forest with an estimated 10.2 million trees covering approximately 18,000 hectares.Forty percent of this valuable resource is maintained by the City.