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Process for removing a huge tree on lawn

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  • Jun 8th, 2021 2:58 pm
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2019
213 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto

Process for removing a huge tree on lawn

Hello, so we have this huge tree on our front lawn that dwarves the whole lawn, making it a little hard to successfully grow grass and not to mention all the leaves that fall and end up clogging our eavestrough as well as the squirrels that use it to get onto our roof (kinda worried about them squeezing their way into the attic)

We'd like to cut it down and plant something smaller in its place. Can anyone who has gone through this outline the process in removing this tree? The tree appears to be healthy so I'm unsure if that changes anything. Do we first need to get in touch with the City to obtain a permit and do we hire our own guys afterwards or does the City have their own contractors? Do these requests usually get turned down if the tree is in good health? And approximately how much am I looking at spending here?

The tree itself is around 3-4 stories tall, spans 50ft wide, and the trunk is around 3ft in diameter

This is in Toronto

Thanks
13 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1657 posts
749 upvotes
GTA
Firstly, is it on your property? If so, then you have to put in an application with the city for approval to cut it down. If you hire a tree cutting / arborist service, they can help you with the application process. We hired an arborist last fall to trim other trees and had them cut down a 90% dead cherry tree in our backyard and they were still hesitant because it was over 30 cm in diameter at the base.

From the size of the tree that you're talking about, I have a feeling that you may not be able to cut it down fully since it's healthy, but at least trim it back significantly without killing the tree.
Sr. Member
Sep 7, 2018
981 posts
1051 upvotes
You have to go through city. And if it's healthy then good luck
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
5233 posts
4274 upvotes
you need an arborist report first if you want to cut it down. any permit application to the city will require an arborist report.

based on your location, i assume you're in toronto. take a look at this, tells you exactly what you need to submit for a tree removal permit

as others have said, such a large (and presumably healthy tree) is not likely to be permitted unless it poses a safety concern to you. you can maybe trim it back if it interferes/too close to your structure and/or if it's gotten too large and casts too much shade

https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_813.pdf
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1370 posts
801 upvotes
ottawa
I would contact the city first to make sure you're able to take it down. In Ottawa trees larger than I think 50cm in diameter need to be approved by the city for removal. I wouldn't let the contractor do this unless they show you proof from the city, cause at the end of the day if they lie about it you're on the hook for the fines, which can cost tens of thousands to plant either a like for like or if the tree is really that big multiple trees in it's place.
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2019
213 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
exrcoupe wrote: Firstly, is it on your property? If so, then you have to put in an application with the city for approval to cut it down. If you hire a tree cutting / arborist service, they can help you with the application process. We hired an arborist last fall to trim other trees and had them cut down a 90% dead cherry tree in our backyard and they were still hesitant because it was over 30 cm in diameter at the base.

From the size of the tree that you're talking about, I have a feeling that you may not be able to cut it down fully since it's healthy, but at least trim it back significantly without killing the tree.
yea, on our property

oh, so the bigger the tree the harder it is to get approved?

would i still need an arborist for a trim?
yea i had a look, but wanted to get opinions of people with first hand experience heh
superscoots wrote: You have to go through city. And if it's healthy then good luck
:(
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1657 posts
749 upvotes
GTA
timofeewho wrote: oh, so the bigger the tree the harder it is to get approved?

would i still need an arborist for a trim?


yea i had a look, but wanted to get opinions of people with first hand experience heh


:(
Yes, I have these huge silver maples shading my backyard that are on my neighbour's property that shade our backyard and are reaching over our property. They are about 70-80ft tall and the branches grow over our house so we had them trimmed back, but not as much as we'd like, but according to the arborist's experience. They told me that we will have to keep that in check in a few years as the trees continue to grow. If you try to trim the tree yourself, you run the risk of injuring it significantly and/or killing it and then you'd be at risk of getting fined by the city for killing a huge tree like that.

As for getting a private healthy tree cut down, that'd be up to the arborist report and the city approval. Most arborists don't like cutting healthy trees down, so good luck.
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2019
213 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
StatsGuy wrote: you need an arborist report first if you want to cut it down. any permit application to the city will require an arborist report.

based on your location, i assume you're in toronto. take a look at this, tells you exactly what you need to submit for a tree removal permit

as others have said, such a large (and presumably healthy tree) is not likely to be permitted unless it poses a safety concern to you. you can maybe trim it back if it interferes/too close to your structure and/or if it's gotten too large and casts too much shade

https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_813.pdf
thanks! judging by what i've read so far, i think i might have to consider the trimming route so this tree lives to see another day lol

would i still need an arborist for this?
barqers wrote: I would contact the city first to make sure you're able to take it down. In Ottawa trees larger than I think 50cm in diameter need to be approved by the city for removal. I wouldn't let the contractor do this unless they show you proof from the city, cause at the end of the day if they lie about it you're on the hook for the fines, which can cost tens of thousands to plant either a like for like or if the tree is really that big multiple trees in it's place.
gotcha thanks!
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2019
213 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
exrcoupe wrote: Yes, I have these huge silver maples shading my backyard that are on my neighbour's property that shade our backyard and are reaching over our property. They are about 70-80ft tall and the branches grow over our house so we had them trimmed back, but not as much as we'd like, but according to the arborist's experience. They told me that we will have to keep that in check in a few years as the trees continue to grow. If you try to trim the tree yourself, you run the risk of injuring it significantly and/or killing it and then you'd be at risk of getting fined by the city for killing a huge tree like that.

As for getting a private healthy tree cut down, that'd be up to the arborist report and the city approval. Most arborists don't like cutting healthy trees down, so good luck.
i see

mind if i ask how much the arborist and trimming cost? just to get a general idea of the damage here

and is there such thing as a city approved arborist? last thing i want is to get a report and the city not accepting that report for whatever reason lol
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
2642 posts
1022 upvotes
Mississauga
Its a big tree.. probably 1.5-2K to trim it down from an arborist... I'm guessing closer to 2K.
I have a much smaller Russian Olive 25-30ft and they wanted $1200 to trim it.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1657 posts
749 upvotes
GTA
timofeewho wrote: i see

mind if i ask how much the arborist and trimming cost? just to get a general idea of the damage here

and is there such thing as a city approved arborist? last thing i want is to get a report and the city not accepting that report for whatever reason lol
We called 4-5 companies but only got quotes from 2-3 of them and ended up going with a friend's referral. The pricing ranged from $3000-4000. I think the biggest issue for ours is that they had to scale the trees manually since it was in our backyard and couldn't simply use a crane or something. We ended up going with a friend's company that came down from Uxbridge, so it was just under $2K.
[OP]
Member
Nov 13, 2019
213 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
TLSRULZ wrote: Its a big tree.. probably 1.5-2K to trim it down from an arborist... I'm guessing closer to 2K.
I have a much smaller Russian Olive 25-30ft and they wanted $1200 to trim it.
Alright, so do the arborists also do the trimming? Or do they just tell you how much you can trim and it's up to you to hire someone else to do the trimming?
exrcoupe wrote: We called 4-5 companies but only got quotes from 2-3 of them and ended up going with a friend's referral. The pricing ranged from $3000-4000. I think the biggest issue for ours is that they had to scale the trees manually since it was in our backyard and couldn't simply use a crane or something. We ended up going with a friend's company that came down from Uxbridge, so it was just under $2K.
Nice I see, so for a trim, is a permit from the city still necessary?

Are you in Toronto by any chance? Would love the # hehe
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1657 posts
749 upvotes
GTA
timofeewho wrote: Nice I see, so for a trim, is a permit from the city still necessary?

Are you in Toronto by any chance? Would love the # hehe
If you get a licensed arborist, no permit is necessary in Toronto. I'm in Scarlem. :) You just don't want to hire a guy from Kijiji with an axe/saw and hoping he doesn't screw up/kill your tree and then you're on the hook for it.

Check your pm.

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