Urban Forestry Operations

Tree Pruning

Tree pruning by urban forestry staff

Urban Forestry ensures that the City's trees are cared for according to best arboricultural practices and standards.   Effective pruning is critical to maintaining healthy tree structure.  Early pruning to correct branch habit will significantly reduce the need for pruning later in the tree’s life and will reduce decay, extending the longevity of the tree. Better branch structure also reduces the vulnerability of trees to storm damage, something which is particularly important with increasing wind velocities and storm intensities associated with climate change.

Tree pruning is also conducted to maintain sightlines and ensure public safety.   This may include pruning to maintain clearances near roadways, sidewalks, directional signs and street lights.  Urban Forestry does not prune City trees to improve scenic views, to obtain uninterrupted paths for signals or satellite dishes, to increase light to swimming pools, solar panels, patios, lawns or gardens. 

Pruning encourages good health and natural form of the tree.  All of Toronto's trees should be cared for and maintained!  For more information on City-owned tree pruning, review the City of Toronto's Tree By-Law Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 813.

If you need to have a City-owned tree pruned, you can submit a request online of by phone.

Online: request service button 

By phone: call 311

Please note, this request is only for the City-owned trees. Tree care for privately-owned trees is the responsibility of the private land owner. Review why you should hire an arborist to care for your trees.