Cost of Removing Small Trees in Toronto

Small Tree Removal Cost

How much does it cost to remove a small tree?

Small trees are those that don’t require a permit to remove. On this page, we’re going to discuss the factors involved in small tree removal prices. 

If your tree requires a permit, you’ll have to read our other page costs of large tree removal.

Below, you’ll find general information and FAQs about theist of taking out a small tree, and then our complete small tree price guide.

You can also read about our Fair Price Guarantee.

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Cost of removing a small tree: FAQs

Yes! We will come and let you know exactly what the small tree removal cost for you would be, the timeline and process involved. We provide written estimates through our online client portal allowing you to view your quote, request changes and schedule work.

We never work without a written contract in advance of the job clearly stating the scope of work.

Very small / tiny trees: you can wrap your hands around the trunk and your fingers touch on both sides. For example, a sapling or tree with a trunk about 4-6 inches wide at your chest level. Most shrubs and hedges will also fit this category.

Small trees: A tree with a trunk that is smaller than a telephone pole at chest level, but bigger than the very small tree size specified above.

Small and very small trees don’t require a permit to remove in the City of Toronto and most of the GTA. This means you can cut them down at any time.

The five biggest factors that influence the cost of small tree removal are:

Unless there are specific circumstances such as the tree being city-owned, you do not need a permit to remove a small tree on your property so long as it is smaller than 30cm diameter at breast height. 

The tree permit process in Toronto only applies to trees over a certain size or in select other circumstances

Generally speaking, when you get a quote for removing a small tree you’ll be paying for having the tree safely cut down and all the debris removed. We include the cost of clean up and disposal of the wood in the cost of the job. 

If you’re looking to have the stump removed as well, this can be included or not depending on your preference. 

For us, a “small tree” is small enough not to need a permit to remove. That means it is smaller than 10 inches diameter at about 4-5ft off the ground.

The average cost to remove a small tree would be anywhere from $350+tax to a max of $1800+tax. Since you don’t need a tree permit for a small tree, it is cheaper than the cost of removing a large tree.

Absolutely! We’re proud to be Certified Arborists with great insurance to protect our clients, staff and business.

Our Insurance:

  •  We have $5 million in liability insurance (certificate available).
  • WSIB coverage for all our staff (certificate available).
  • Extra insurance for any accidents on the site or on the road.

Our Certifications and Training:

What we Aren’t:

We accept cash, cheque, e-transfer and credit card. No matter what your form of payment, we charge tax on every job.

We like to accommodate smaller tree removal jobs in between our large removals. This gives our crew a variety of work and a rest in between hard jobs. As such, smaller work tends to be booked faster than bigger work. 

However, professional tree care companies book out work weeks in advance. If you need it done ASAP, there may be a few options available for scheduling. That said, you’re unlikely to find a reputable tree care company who can do the job well, fast and cheap during the busiest months of the year.

How much is it to cut down a small tree?

Here’s some quick answers to the most common questions we get from buyers like you on how much it costs to remove a small tree in Toronto

Below, you can read a much more detailed explanation of all the factors that go into pricing small trees for removal.

If you’re looking to know about what we do, click here for all of our tree care services!

Small Tree Removal Price Guide

Small tree removal costs in Toronto can be more complex than you might realize. In this price guide, we’re going to discuss some key aspects affecting the cost of taking out small, individual trees.

We’ll discuss how location impacts price, taking into account the accessibility challenges that may arise during the process and potential hazards that can increase overall expenses. Additionally, we’ll delve into the volume of wood to be cut and removed as well as timing factors influencing costs.

Lastly, neighbour relations play a significant role in determining small tree removal cost. We will discuss how neighbours can impact your costs and project. By understanding these crucial elements surrounding the price of small tree removal in Toronto, you can  make an informed decision on your tree needs.

Table of Contents:

Location and Access Problems Can Increase Cost

The location of a small tree significantly impacts its removal cost. For instance, a job cutting down two 40ft tall spruce trees in an open backyard with easy truck access may be cheaper than removing a 20ft Honey Locust that is only accessible through narrow alleys or buildings. Considering how difficult it is to get to the tree will give you an idea about potential expense that might be involved in having it removed.

Additionally, limited truck access because of parking restrictions or construction projects also affects pricing since crews must move debris further than usual.

Accessibility challenges

Trees located close to valuable items such as sheds, greenhouses, or delicate landscaping features require extra care. Arborists need to take additional precautions and use specialized techniques to avoid causing damage, which may result in increased costs. Whatever can be moved should be, and the remainder securely protected.

  • Stucco, glass and other sensitive building materials: If stucco and glass has to be worked around, this could increase costs as additional precautions must be taken to protect them and there is added risk of insurance claims for damage.
  • Gardens and your plants: Delicate plants nearby may require extra care from professionals while working around them, which adds up in terms of time and effort invested by crews. Some companies will not protect your plants, so be sure to ask in advance.
  • Pools: Removing small trees around pools shouldn’t be a problem unless there is no easy access to the tree from the pool deck. 


Hazards That Increase Small Tree Removal Costs

Trees with rotting branches or those that are dead pose more risks during removal, which leads to higher costs due to unpredictability and increased safety measures required by arborists when handling them. Significant site hazards like active construction zones also contribute towards additional expenses.

dangerous tree rot in small tree impacts cost

Significant Site Hazards

  • Rotting Trees: Internal rot in trees makes them unstable and more likely to fall unexpectedly during removal. This instability requires professional arborists to take extra precautions while working on the tree, leading to an increase in overall cost.
  • Dead Trees: A small dead tree not only mars the landscape, but also can be a safety risk if left unattended. The structural stability of a dead tree is weakened, making it prone to breaking and toppling. 
  • Active Construction Zones: If your small tree is located near an active construction zone or other high-risk areas, crews may need additional permits or clearance before they can begin work. This could lead to delays and added costs for your project.
  • Nearby Power Lines: When trees are close to power lines or utility infrastructure, special care must be taken during removal to avoid damage to property or injuries. In some cases, utilities companies may need coordination before starting work on trees near their installations – adding time and expense into the process.
  • Hazardous terrain: If the tree is located in a hard-to-reach area, such as on steep slopes or near bodies of water, crews may need to use specialized equipment and techniques to safely remove it. This can increase the overall cost of your small tree removal project.

Key Takeaway: 

Cutting down small trees in Toronto can be costly due to hazards such as rotting branches, dead trees, and significant site hazards like active construction zones or nearby power lines. These risks require specialized equipment and techniques from experienced professionals who know how to handle precarious situations safely.

Volume of Debris to Removed

The amount of wood to be cut and removed from a small tree directly affects the cost. More wood means more time, effort, and disposal expenses. Leaving firewood on site or skipping cleanup might not necessarily save on costs. 

Impact of Leaving Debris On Site

There are two versions of “leaving the wood”. One is the tree being removed, the site cleaned up, brush chipped and wood neatly cut and stacked on site. This takes about as much time as chipping the wood from a small tree and results in little to no cost savings.

The other version is simply cutting the tree and leaving it “as is” where it came down. This is very fast and easy for arborists relative to cleaning up, but it is a terrible idea in an urban environment.

  • Still takes time: Leaving all the debris on site is relatively fast and easy for arborists, but not for the unlucky homeowner. Trees look much bigger when they’re cut up and left in a pile on your property.
  • Limited Savings: Leaving debris behind doesn’t always result in lower prices because arborists carefully stacking brush is more time consuming than chipping it. If you’re only interested in keeping some of the wood, the cost saving are likely negligible.
  • Potential Hazards and Appearance: It’s important to remember that leftover debris creates hazards and attracts pests (rodents, insects, etc.). The appearance of a site that is not cleaned up after a job is also poor – branches, saw dust, wood and debris can be a significant eyesore.

Key Takeaway: 

When removing a small tree in Toronto, the volume of wood to be cut and taken out affects the cost. Leaving all the debris on-site may save some money but can create hazards and significant issues with appearance, safety, animals, neighbors and city by-laws around property maintenance. Most professional arborist companies will not agree to leave it all for these reasons.

Timing Factors Influencing Small Tree Removal Costs

Timing is everything when it comes to small tree removal costs. The season, urgency, and scheduling preferences can all impact the final price. 

Busy Season Impact

During peak seasons like summer and fall, tree service companies are in high demand. This can lead to higher costs as professionals have limited availability and need to accommodate a larger number of clients. 

To avoid paying premium prices, consider scheduling your tree removal project during slower periods such as late winter or early spring. 

Rush Service Considerations

If you need urgent tree removal, be prepared for additional expenses associated with rush services.

Last minute jobs can result in extra fees for emergency work. Before opting for rush service, weigh the pros and cons carefully – it might be worth waiting a few days if possible.

Neighbour Relations

Removing trees near shared spaces or property lines can be costly if you have poor relations with your neighbours. Avoid delays, cancellations, and additional expenses caused by neighbour disputes by proactively addressing these issues before work begins.

Challenges with Shared Trees and Spaces

Trees that straddle the boundary between two properties are considered “shared trees” and may require consent from both homeowners before removal. If you have a strained relationship with your neighbour, obtaining their permission might be difficult or even impossible.

In such cases, it’s essential to consult an expert arborist who can guide you through the process of negotiating tree removal on shared property lines.


Key Takeaway: 

When it comes to taking out a small tree Toronto, having good relations with your neighbours is crucial. Shared trees may require consent from both homeowners before removal, and strained relationships can make this difficult. Proactive communication, empathy, hiring professionals like Vista Tree Management, and cost-sharing arrangements are all ways to avoid disputes and ensure a smooth process.

FAQs in Relation to Small Tree Removal Toronto

What size tree can be removed in Toronto?

In Toronto, trees with a diameter of 30 centimeters (12 inches) or more at chest height require a permit for removal. Small, unprotected privately owned trees under 30cm diameter will not require a permit and can be cut down at any time.

Can I cut a small tree down in my backyard in Toronto?

As long as it is under permit size and not protected, you may remove it at any time. If it is larger than that you should read about the costs of big tree removal or learn more about the tree permit process in Toronto.

What is the average cost of small tree removal?

The average cost of small tree removal is $350-$1800 in Toronto. 


The location of the tree, accessibility challenges, hazards posed by the tree, volume of wood to be cut and removed, and timing factors all play a role in determining small tree removal costs. 

During busy seasons, prices may be impacted, and rush services may cost more. It’s crucial to communicate with neighbors when shared trees or spaces present challenges to avoid any conflicts.

By understanding these factors, homeowners in Toronto can make informed decisions about their small tree removal needs and avoid any surprises.

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