Do You Need a Permit to Remove or Injure a Tree in Toronto?

You require a permit for tree removal service in Toronto. Laws protecting Toronto trees are in the Municipal Code, Chapter 813 (Tree Protection By-law).
So why do you need a permit to remove and/or injure your own tree with the help of an arborist Toronto? The legislature in Toronto passed laws to protect certain trees.

Protected Trees Include:

Below are three categories

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    Trees and Vegetation Located in Regulated Areas

    As per Revine and Natural Feature Protection By-law

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    Street Trees (any size)

    As per Street Tree Protection By-law)

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    Private Trees ( 30 cm)

    As per Private Tree By-law

Tree Removal Service in Toronto

Cutting any tree that falls into the categories mentioned above requires a permit. In addition to cutting, you require permits for any activities resulting to removal, injury, or destruction of a protected tree service. Such activities include:

  • Construction, replacement, demolition, or alteration of temporary/permanent structures and buildings, pads, driveways, parking, walkways, sidewalks, trails, paths, dog runs, patios, retaining walls, pools, terraces, decks, raised gardens, or sheds.
  • Installation of boulders or large stones
  • Altering grade by removing or adding fill/soil, trenching, excavating, fill/topsoil scraping, compacting fill or soil, or any disturbance.
  • Storage of equipment, construction materials, wood, leaves, branches, fill/soil, debris, or construction waste of any sort.
  • Disposal, application, discharging any chemical that adversely affects the health of a protected tree e.g. gas, oil, concrete sluice, pool water, paint, backwash water (from a swimming pool).
  • Allowing/causing discharge of water flow through natural areas or over slopes.
  • Access, movement/parking of equipment, vehicles, or pedestrians.
  • Tearing, breaking, cutting, exposing, crushing, or stripping a tree’s branches, roots or trunk.
  • Stapling or nailing into a protected tree, including attachment or electrical wires, signs, or fences.
  • Installing lights or stringing of tables on a tree
  • Removal of contaminated fill
  • Excavating, boring or micro-tunneling of entering/directional shafts

If you perform any of the above activities within a tree’s root zone and that tree falls under the TPZ (Tree Protection Zone as per the Tree Protection Policy and Specification for Construction Near Trees), you have caused injury which is illegal unless you have a permit.

Need a Permit to Remove or Injure a Tree in Toronto

Get a permit


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    1. Prepare an Application Package

    This includes an application form and all the necessary documents for permit approval. The documents required during applications to injure and applications to destroy trees are different, which is why you should find out from your selected tree removal service Toronto company the exact details you ought to have.

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    2. Submit the Application Package

    Deliver the application form, fees (money order or certified check), and all supplementary documents to the appropriate district office for Urban Forestry Tree Protection and Plan Review (TPPR)

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    3. Application Review

    The last stage of getting a permit involves the review of your permit by Urban Forestry Staff. You will only receive a permit if your application is correct and meets all conditions of permit approval.

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