Toronto Tree Service FAQ

Caring for Trees on The Scarborough Bluffs

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Trees in Toronto » Tree Species of Toronto » Caring for Trees on The Scarborough Bluffs

Caring for Trees on The Scarborough Bluffs

Scarborough residents know: this part of the city is special, which is why you want an arborist in Scarborough who knows the area! Scarborough’s neighbourhoods, especially along Lake Ontario and the Bluffs, can have their own special considerations for tree care.

The weather in Scarborough is often a few degrees cooler than in the centre of the city. That’s partly due to proximity to the lake, as well as large areas of green space and many mature trees that bring the temperatures down. Neighbourhoods like Cliffside, Cliffcrest, Birch Cliff and Guildwood especially see the lake effect on temperatures.

Scarborough Weather and Your Trees

Scarborough gardeners already know that they should stick to a different growing zone than residents in downtown Toronto when picking their plants (while central Toronto and most of the GTA is Zone 5, Scarborough residents do best picking plants suited to Zone 6).

Scarborough soil contains a lot of clay. This makes water drainage slower. However, clay soil retains moisture well and has a lot of nutrients. Moisture-tolerant trees do best in soil with a lot of clay. If your trees and plants are having growing issues, an arborist can conduct a soil test in your yard. We can give recommendations on soil amendments if needed to provide a better growing environment for your plants.

Common Scarborough Trees

With so many trees in Scarborough, you can find a diversity of common Toronto and GTA trees here. Some of the trees common in Scarborough include sugar maple, red maple, silver maple, white ash, black oak, white oak, bur oak, American beech, hawthorn, ironwood, bitternut hickory, and black walnut.

Manitoba maple and Norway maple are also common. However, these are not native Ontario trees and are considered invasive species here.

Crabapples are one of the more common tree species in the area. They were commonly planted during postwar residential development in the area. However, crabapples are not a very long-lived tree. Many of these trees are now coming to the end of their lifespan and need removals or extra care.

Scarborough is also home to many large trees that are focal points in their neighbourhoods. Like this American elm in West Rouge, one of the city’s largest, a rare survivor of Dutch elm disease in the second half of the 20th century.

There are also well-loved oaks, northern catalpas, spruces, and other large trees across Scarborough. Many of these large trees remain from the time when Scarborough was farmland. Since Scarborough still had lots of farming into the 20th century, many of these large trees remain where other parts of Toronto saw large farm trees removed.

The Cliffcrest Scarborough Village SW Residents’ association is so devoted to their large trees, they’ve started a ribbon campaign to mark some of these trees. Assisted by students at Bliss Carman Senior Public School, large, majestic trees have been marked with ribbons so neighbours and passersby can identify them. You can view a map of these trees on the residents’ association website.

Scarborough Tree Removal

For tree removal requests, we’ll conduct an assessment of your tree and the problem. In many cases, it may be possible to preserve a tree with pruning, pest treatment, or cabling. If removal is the best option for your tree, we’ll guide you through the process.

This includes submitting a Toronto tree removal permit application for your tree. Once your removal permit is approved, we will safely remove the tree and remaining debris from your property.

Tree Care on the Scarborough Bluffs

Trees backing onto the Bluffs, or onto ravines in the Rouge or Guild areas, especially need consideration when it comes to removals. Tree removals, or construction and landscaping work, in ravine areas require special permits by Toronto bylaw.

Pest Management in Scarborough

Scarborough yards tend to see many of the same pest issues and diseases as the rest of the city. But a few that are particularly prevalent here include:

  • Cedar mites
    • These microscopic mites are prone to sucking out nutrients from cedars, junipers, and cypresses. They can cause branches to yellow and die off. Cedar mites can be treated in the spring or fall to prevent reinfection.
  • Gypsy moth/ LDD moth
    • One of the biggest concerns for homeowners, gardeners, and conservation authorities in Ontario, this moth causes defoliation on plants. The caterpillars eat the leaves of over 400 tree and plant species, including oak, sugar maple, elm, birch and poplar. 2021 has seen particularly bad infestations in the GTA. If you notice signs of the caterpillars or defoliation, call an arborist right away — LDD moth caterpillars can cause severe damage in a day or two.
  • Cedar leaf miner
    • Cedar leaf miners also feed on cedar branches, causing yellowing. They affect eastern white cedar trees. The adult leafminers appear in June and July, laying eggs in July and August. Damage over several years can cause branch and stem death.

If you have confirmed or suspect a major pest infestation on your trees, it’s important to have a professional come diagnose and treat the issue before it gets worse.

We Care About Scarborough Trees

Trees are one of the great things that give Scarborough so much character. Keep your property beautiful by caring for your trees. We know Scarborough trees. If you have a tree issue, contact Vista Tree Management for your free consultation today!

author avatar
Michael Co-Founder
Michael is a Certified Arborist and founder of the company. He holds a Certificate in Urban Arboriculture (Honours) from Humber College, Certificate in Project Leadership from Cornell, has post-graduate studies in Urban Forestry and Arboriculture from Oregon State College of Foresty and holds a BAH in Ancient History with a minor in Business. In addition to being an ISA Certified Arborist, he is a TCIA Certified Tree Safety Professional, Tree Appraisal Qualified by Arboriculture Canada and holds a Landscape Exterminator license. Michael sat on the Board of Director for the Ontario Commercial Arborist Association in 2022 and 2023. He worked at some of the top arboriculture companies in Southern Ontario before starting Vista Tree Management. Before that, he was an award-winning Executive Director in the nonprofit sector and published marketing consultant. On the rare days off, Michael can be found at home with his family - a loving wife, two daughters and two cats in Central Toronto.
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Vista Tree Management provided an excellent service of removing a large tree from a backyard of my property in Toronto. The whole process of quoting, and doing the job was very efficient, clearly explained and provided as promised. Their price for the serviced was very competitive.
My parents used their service to cut a tree down in their backyard. This tree was in such an awkward position where it was interfering with 2 other neighbors. James ensured me that the service would be done in a very professional manner and no damage would be done. Im glad to say he was right and had a group of 6 hard working individuals made the job done safely and efficiently. I would highly recommend this company for anyone needing tree removal.
Everything went smooth, from the initial assessment visit to the email communication to the job getting done! Thank you guys for your professionalism and quality work!!
Vista is an excellent company to deal with. The owners went above and beyond expectations to help deal with a unique situation. The guys who did the work were not only professional but also very polite. I will be using them again to help with other work in the future.
We are very happy with all the work Vista Tree Management accomplished on our property.  James was very professional and gave us excellent advice concerning the trimming of our 12 foot cedar hedges and the pruning of our mature silver maple trees.  The crew was very friendly and hard working, they did a tremendous job on the work required and they did an excellent job with the clean up.  We would highly recommend Vista Tree services to our family and friends.  We will definitely use them again for all of our future projects.
John & Sonja
They just did my front lawn, and boy, did they leave a lasting impression!

They were straightforward with the plan - clear and precise, ensuring that I was well informed of the process and outcome. The execution was meticulous and exceeded my expectations. Moreover, the cleanliness post-service was remarkable, leaving no trace of debris or disruption.

They were on time and was the epitome of friendly and cheerful—felt like I had friends over for a garden party!

Overall, their service was excellent at every stage. The inquiry, consultation, customer support, day-of service, follow-up, and payment process were all seamless.

I had peace of mind and very happy with Vista. I highly recommend them to those in need of reliable and thorough tree management service.
I can’t say enough positive comment about James and Vista Tree. We were “ghosted” by 2 other tree management companies last fall. James came by and provided separate quotes for two very large trees on our property, both of which were a challenge to severely prune. They were a hazard and had to be addressed. The quotes were delivered the next day after assessment. The team was here on two separate days (April 30 and May 7). They were efficient, professional and most importantly safe. Hollis, the arborist who climbed the trees was friendly and communicated everything he was doing to the trees as well as any changes he made once he was up in the tree. The other members of the crew (Syd and Pete, I can’t remember the others) were professional and friendly. They cleaned everything up and were open to any suggestions we had regarding disposal of the wood. I would highly recommend this company. We will be having them back again to do more work, in the fall.
Leaside neighbours take note!! Exceptional and professional service from start to finish. The team at Vista Tree Management responded to an urgent and critical situation. They were efficient, skilled and courteous. They handled the tree removal with precision and left our backyard immaculate. I highly recommend this team for your tree removal needs. They beat the competition by $1000+
James and his team did a great job pruning and trimming our old silver maple. James answered all my questions, provided expert advice and had his team do the work shortly after. The workers were professional, cleaned the space well, and were really efficient. Would definitely recommend Vista Tree management!
James was great! Very professional and you can definitely tell he knows what he’s talking about. They provided a quote in a timely manner booked us in for the tree pruning within a few days afterwards. The job was done quickly, professionally and the crew was friendly and polite. They cleaned up everything once the work was completed. Highly recommend!
Safe, fast, personable team - did a great job with tree trimming and removal! Note: the removal of a tree was not on the original scope and they still made it happen!
By the end of the day, I wouldn’t have even known they were there.
Very Happy with the professional advice and service we received from Vista which was promptly done. The follow-up to ensure we were happy with the work was appreciated.
Highly recommend! Michal came by first to take a look at things and provide the estimate. He’s obviously passionate about what he does and I learned a ton about my tree that I had no idea about! He gave me the confidence I needed to schedule the work. James and the “J-Crew” arrived on the scheduled day and were super friendly. The team did an amazing job with trimming my large overgrown maple and a fantastic cleanup job. My yard looked better than before they arrived. Will definitely have them back for future maintenance! Thanks Vista!
Great service from a great crew of people! The team was amazing from consulting on best ways to tackle the project, safely removing the trees and making sure the job was done to satisfaction. Would highly recommend and definitely use them again.
These guys are incredibly professional and by far the best arborist that have visited our home. And we've had many!

What impressed me the most was throughout their only concern was safety for my family and our property. With that and that only in mind they made all the cuts and changes that were required. When they left, I felt the most relief I felt about the trees in our backyard in a long time.

Truly appreciate your hard work and will highly recommend you in the future!
After doing a fair bit of research into Toronto-based arborists, we decided to go with Vista, and are very happy we did! From my first meeting with Mike when he came to give us a free quote, I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism. Mike and his crew were punctual on the day they came to prune the deadwood from our very large Red Oak tree, answered my questions, and worked for 7 hours straight to get the job done. We were impressed from beginning to end, and wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again!
These guys are the best! Very professional, easy to work with and very nice people.
James was amazing in communication and and arranging everything. He is a wonderful person and professional. I had 4 different companies for the quotes and Vista Tree were the best by every criteria I had in mind. After the work was done they cleaned the whole territory even the mess that was here before them. I would definitely recommend them and will call them again when I need any tree work done. Thanks!

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