The Private Tree By-law was adopted to preserve significant trees on private property in the city of Toronto, to assist in sustaining the urban forest in the city and to educate individuals with respect to tree protection measures and alternatives to tree injury and destruction. This by-law is formally known as City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 813, Article III, 'Private Tree Protection,' and is commonly referred to as the City's "Private Tree By-law". This by-law regulates injury or removal of privately owned trees which measure 30 cm in diameter or more as measured at 1.4 m above ground level.
If you require a permit to remove or injure a protected tree, you must complete and submit an Application to Injure or Destroy Trees. An arborist report is required for all Applications to Injure or Destroy Trees. You can find professional tree service companies, that can prepare an arborist report, by checking the Yellow Pages or similar business directories such as The Gold Book. An internet search using key phrases such as "tree service companies Toronto" should provide listings as well. Arborists are certified with the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A.) or registered with the American Society of Consulting Arborists (A.S.C.A.).
The Private Tree By-law does not apply to the ravine and natural feature portion of properties regulated under the provisions of Municipal Code, Chapter 658 (the Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-law). You must submit a Ravine and Natural Feature Protection Permit Application to injure or destroy any vegetation in the ravine and natural feature area. For more information, please see the Trees in Ravines section of the Tree Permits webpage.
Private Tree By-law (PDF)