Tree Care and Tree Service in Toronto

Large Tree Removal Made Easy

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Cutting Down Large Trees in Toronto

Large Tree Removal in Toronto

We can assess your tree’s health and determine the best way to care for your tree and property. If removing the tree is the right choice, our arborists will work to safely remove your tree. If your tree requires a permit before removal, we will handle getting it for you. Our arborists will assess the tree, write a report and manage the application on your behalf.

Our tree company is fully licensed, insured and staffed by Certified Arborists. We operate in the City of Toronto and neighbouring areas to provide tree felling and removal quickly, safely and efficiently. Learn more about our tree company here.

Vista Tree provides clear and upfront pricing on all of our quotes. You’ll receive a written breakdown of the total cost based on your consultation with our qualified arborists. Whatever the tree removal situation you’re facing, we take a no-nonsense approach to the cost of tree removal.

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Let Us Solve Your Big Tree Problems

Affordable Excellence

At Vista Tree, we’re committed to providing exceptional value to our clients.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, our tree services are tailored to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

We provide options for tree care customized to your budget and discerning tastes.

Cost of Large Tree Removal FAQ

Our price guides explain all the factors influencing tree removal prices, divided up between the cost of large tree removal below and the cost of small trees (do not need a permit).

Vista Tree provides large tree removal services in Toronto by professional arborists. We work with homeowners and businesses to remove big trees, unsafe trees, take out trees for construction and emergency tree removal.

If you think your tree must come down, first call a certified arborist to get advice. Tree removal laws and bylaws are quite complex and strict, especially in the City of Toronto. A professional arborist in Toronto can tell you if your tree is healthy or dangerous and what to do about it.

On this page, we’ll discuss the factors that affect the price of removing a large tree in Toronto and some options to reduce overall costs from any professional tree care company.

Large tree removal job cost comes down to a few basic factors: the harder, more dangerous and more time consuming it is, the more it will cost. Consider what steps you can take to reduce your costs, and shop around to see what the best options are for your timeline and budget for removing a big tree.

Price Range and Factors Influencing Cost of Tree Removal

What is the price range for large tree removal?

For a tree over 30cm diameter at breast height, the cost for having us remove it will be over $1000 + taxes and the municipal permit fees required.

When we provide quotes for large tree removal, we include the cost for an arborist report and the permit fees for the city and manage the application for you. We also include the costs for doing the job and disposing of the wood. A full clean up is always included in our pricing.

Very large or very hazardous trees are going to be significantly more than the minimum cost above. Smaller to medium size trees that require a permit will be in the range of 00 – 00. Read about the cost of removing trees that don’t need a permit.

We have a great guide on how to know when you need a tree permit, or you can read more about the cost of city of toronto tree permits and arborist reports.

Are hazardous trees more expensive to cut down?

The bigger and “badder” the tree, the greater the cost, generally speaking. Arboriculture is an exceptionally dangerous industry with one of the highest rates of critical injury and death in North America – surpassing that of police, fire and construction. Prices for big or dangerous trees reflect this reality.

Trees are considered “unrated structures”. Unlike buildings, no engineer can tell you what load a branch or tree can take. They’re living things, not steel, so this makes sense.

When an arborist climbs into a tree or works on it from a bucket truck, they’re using a combination of science, practical experience and formal training to make judgements about how to manage the tree and their own safety. Cutting into a tree that has fallen over can release a huge amount of energy and cause it to roll, shift or snap back and hit you. An unbalanced load rigged from a tree or picked up by a crane, such as a section that was heavier than anticipated can cause serious problems.

Professional companies invest in employees by offering formal training through colleges like Humber, on the job training from journeypersons to apprentices and ongoing skill development through external trainers on topics like advanced rigging and aerial rescue. This investment is a protection for employees, but for clients as well. The costs of training and insurance in an industry with this level of risk are very high but they are well worth it when compared with the alternative.

Hazard costs are one of the reasons storm damage is more expensive to “clean up” than regular tree work. It involves a heightened level of risk for the whole crew, as well as an element of speedy response.

How does access to the tree influence the price of removal?

When a large tree is hard to access, one of two options exist. Option one: Use big equipment to lift it in large sections over obstacles. Option 2: cut it into much smaller pieces and get them to an accessible point. The first option involves expensive, specialized equipment but can often get the job done faster. The second option doesn’t involve expensive equipment but is much more time consuming. Sometimes either option is a possibility, sometimes only one option is either due to restricted access or hazards present in the tree or site.

The biggest influencing factor for which you can choose if either option is potentially viable will still come down to access. Cranes take up a lot of space. The require open areas free from obstruction by communication or powerlines – or at least enough space to move around them. Lastly, they may require permits to close the street which are very costly.

The bigger the tree being removed, the more likely that equipment like a crane will be useful to do it cost effectively

Timeline for Tree Removal

How soon can I get my big tree cut down?

Unlike with small tree removal, tree pruning or hedge trimming, large trees can’t come down quickly because they need permits and permits require reports. After an arborist report for tree removal is written up, it is sent along with an application to the municipality where it is reviewed. When the permit is approved, a payment is scheduled and processed, and then the physical permit is issued a few days later.

This process takes 3-6 weeks on average, with some permits approved and issued in as little as two and other situations taking much longer. If you already have a permit, it is just a matter of scheduling.

How long does it take to remove a large tree?

Aside from the time it takes to apply for and receive a permit, your tree removal will take an average of 1-3 days depending on how large and difficult it is. Most removals we complete are done in 1-2 days, larger projects have been 3-6 days on average where there were multiple trees or significant dangers.

Can I cut costs by keeping the wood or skipping cleanup?

We don’t offer discounts for leaving wood on site, and we won’t quote a job without cleanup (with a few exceptions, farms / estates). Leaving wood on site is not much faster or easier for us than removing it. When we remove a tree, it creates a huge mess that can take many hours to clean up. Leaving wood on site for use in a personal fireplace is certainly something ew can do, but leaving a large amount of wood is impractical.

Wood takes a lot of time, energy, skill and equipment to break up safely and properly. Cutting it into small enough pieces for home use and stacking takes even longer and makes an even bigger mess, as every large piece must be cut again and again to make it smaller. This generates saw dust, expends fuel and chainsaw chains, and takes a long time to do. While the disposal cost may be “saved” the true cost of providing this service is likely to be similar, meaning we can’t offer discounts for it.

As for just cutting the tree and not cleaning up at all, very few homeowners are prepared for how large trees are when they are on the ground and how heavy and difficult brush and wood is to manage. We can’t provide quotes for skipping clean up as a professional company – in an urban context this is just not a good idea, and not something we are comfortable doing.

Where does the wood go after a large tree removal?

Most frequently in Toronto, your wood is going to be turned over to be processed for firewood or it will go to a dump site where major disposal companies grind it into the mulch you’ll buy for your garden a few years later.

Sometimes it will be processed for reclamation into lumber or live edge pieces, but this is quite rare. The issue is that urban trees have many defects and foreign bodies embedded in them – fungus, old mails from 100+ years ago and other issues make it not so ideal for repurposing. It does happen, but less often than you’d think.

Small waste and garbage bin companies will often dispose of wood as subcontractors, as well as big disposal companies are involved in the process.

The cost for dumping wood is very high, roughly $120 – $200 a ton. A medium to medium-large oak tree could be 24,000 – 40,000 lbs, or 12-20 tons. Worst case scenario, it goes to a regular garbage dump where it is buried along with other waste and becomes contaminated.

How to Save Money on Tree Removal

Will getting an exemption for my large tree removal save me money?

Sometimes a big tree is extremely hazardous and the city issues an exemption that allows it to be cut down without going through the permit process. This can save the cost of the permit, planting and/or payment in lieu.

However, when an exception is made, the owner has a very short period of time (often only 72 hours) to remove the tree following the issuance of the exemption. Since this is a very short timeline to work on and is very hazardous work, the removal costs will likely be higher.

You should always get quotes in advance of applying for an exemption, especially in the busy season. It may require other work to be cancelled, for which you’re more likely to pay a premium cost.

What is the biggest way to save money on large tree removal?

  1. One of the biggest ways to reduce your potential costs is to deal with your trees proactively, and find a company willing to work with you to manage and mitigate risk over time. We have a lot more advice on how to reduce your short term and long term costs as a property owner, and steps you can take. At the end of the day, hazard trees are bad for you because of cost and us because of risk.
  2. Get the work done in the slow season, winter.

What are some other factors that impact the cost of removing a big tree?

Another factor that influences cost that homeowners are often unaware of is the volume of property that could be damaged. A stone staircase may be an obstacle in terms of accessing the tree, but it may be unlikely to be damaged. An underground sprinkler system under the tree, a shed – all of these are “targets”, and have to be worked around which complicates the job of removal.

Anything that is easy to break or damage that can’t be moved is an obstacle to work as well as at potential risk for damage. Professional tree care companies work with heavy pieces of wood over structures and objects all the time, but accidents can happen. When there are more things in the way of the job – especially if they are valuable – the potential risk to the company for insurance costs increases.

Sprinkler systems can’t be moved, greenhouses, sheds, pools, fences – the list goes on. When a company comes on site their general liability insurance will cover accidents and damage from any work undertaken by their employees. The more there is to damage, the more time they will likely take in preparing the site, doing the job and being mindful of your property. This increases the cost directly through more hours of work, and indirectly through the potential insurance risk in case of an accident.

Large Tree Permits

How much does a tree removal permit cost in Toronto?

The city charges approximately $138 in 2024 for a single tree removal application, double that if it is a “shared tree” with a neighbour or an application for removal associated with construction. It costs approximately $395 to apply to remove a city tree. Construction trees cost more, and pricing is available on our tree permit cost page.

The city also charges $585 for a payment in lieu if another tree is not planted in replacement. The exact species, size and placement of the tree are dependent on the city, not the homeowner.

My tree is dangerous and I think it should be cut down right away, can I get an exemption and avoid the permit fees and replacement costs?

Likely, no. I know this is likely not the answer you want to hear, and you may be able to find another random website that will tell you otherwise. We are going to give you a few tips to help, but its with the caveat that it may not work. We spend a lot of time dealing with the city, and want you to be prepared too. You can read more about it here

City Compliance Order

I was issued a City Compliance order and told to remove my tree – what should I do?

If you receive a City compliance order to remove your tree, the best thing to do is immediately get a few different quotes for the service. Since these orders usually have deadlines, getting a few quotes as quickly as possible will give you more wiggle room with regards to pricing and schedule. If you do not comply with a city order, you may face further fines. Alternatively, the city may come and do the work itself and charge you for it. This usually results in significant bills. The more time you have to schedule the work, the better the rate you’ll be able to negotiate.

City Compliance order trees are generally more expensive than regular tree removals, as the city only compels owners to remove trees when they have become a significant hazard. This means greater likelihood of injury or death for crews, a more difficult job, more likelihood of something going wrong and so forth.

Neighbour Trees

I think my neighbour should help pay to remove my tree, how do I do that?

Neighbour problems come up a lot in tree work. Sometimes the issue is that the tree is shared between neighbours and at least one neighbour wants to split the expense. Sometimes the issue is around access for workers, or loss of a treasured tree. Whatever the problem, removing big trees is an exercise not only in skilled labour but also project management. The more complex the issue surrounding the neighbour, the more likely it is to have a direct impact on the project.

If a neighbour is not willing to split costs this will increase your overall cost. If a neighbour restricts access to workers, this may mean having to use expensive equipment like a crane to reach the tree when a simpler solution would’ve otherwise been fine.

Being proactive in advance is the best way to deal with neighbour problems around tree care and maintenance, whether it is a big tree removal or any other tree care service. This is especially true if it is a neighbour tree you’re worried about.

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Difficult People: Problems With a Neighbours’ Tree

What do I do about problems with a neighbour tree? In the close quarters of many Toronto neighbourhoods, along with larger spaces in the city and in GTA suburbs, neighbourly disputes are common. Everything from garbage bins to lawn maintenance to loud music can be a thing to argue about, and problems with a neighbour …

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When Do You Need An Arborist Report? Part 1

What are Some Reasons Your Property Needs a Certified Arborist Report? You may have heard the term “arborist report”, or been told you need one for some planned work. But what is an arborist report, and when do you need one? We’ll look at a few situations where you’ll require an arborist report. In some …

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Climate Change-Resistant Tree Care

Between wildfires, heat records and excess rainfall, climate change is a big topic this summer. What does climate change mean for your trees, and how can you conduct climate change-resistant tree care? Trees are a key part of our climate and ecosystem, so there are many ways they can impact climate change. There are lots …

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Why Choose Winter Tree Work?

Can you do tree work in the winter? Lots of people think tree service companies stop work in the winter. Some do, but many are still out there working! Don’t worry, it’s not too cold for us: we’re active and busy, and have winter gear to keep us warm. Winter is a great time for …

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Invasive Trees in Ontario Yards

Meet the invaders: Here are the most common invasive trees found in Toronto One of the first things we learn about trees as children is that trees are our friends: they benefit the environment and provide oxygen. But not all trees are created equal! Trees brought to Ontario from other locations and climates are called …

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Why Should I Bother With Tree Stump Removal?

Stump Grinding 101 So you’ve had a tree removed, or perhaps inherited a tree stump or several from a previous resident. Tree stump removal is an extra expense. Is it worth removing your stump? There are a few ways to get rid of a tree stump, but stump grinding is the method we recommend in …

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Tree Removal Knowledge Centre

Certified arborist inspecting giant silver maple tree for tree permit for construction project
Toronto skyline through city park photo scott webb pexels
Arborist assesses tree size for permit application in toronto
Toronto home with "for sale" sign

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Vista Tree Management is the top Toronto tree service, delivering exceptional work by Certified Arborists. We don’t just care for trees, we manage them to make nature work for you – whatever your vision.

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Great Reviews - Toronto Tree Service

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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