Trees Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I report tree branches near or obstructing power lines?


    If the tree is on City property (including the boulevard in front of your house) please call the Municipal Service Centre at 905-356-1355.  Our phone lines are operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.


    If the tree is on private property (your front or back yard, school yards, etc.), you should contact the utility company directly.  They will need the address or approximate location of the tree (e.g. nearest intersection or landmark), and your contact information.


     Hydro One  1-800-434-1235

    If you notice a tree that's interfering with our power lines, please call our hotline at 1-800-434-1235. Contact us if the tree poses a potential threat to human safety or meets any of these hazardous conditions: 

    • If the tree or branches are smoking, sparking or burning on a hydro line.
    • The tree is an immediate hazard to the line (split, leaning, hanging over, uprooted).
    • The tree is leaning on a hydro pole.
    • Do not attempt to prune or chop down a tree near lines yourself; a tree falling onto a power line could cause serious injury or death.

    Bell/Cogeco 1-844-225-5550 (24/7) 

    Telephone/Cable wires are easily confused with hydro wires.  Branches touching the wires are not a hazard, but if the insulation is also broken or damaged, service could be disrupted.

    NPEI (7447 Pin Oak Drive, Niagara Falls) 905-356-2681

    NEVER trim limbs or cut trees in or around power lines. Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc will be happy to connect you with a qualified, insured professional.

    Categories: Municipal Works, Trees

  • Private Property Trees - Can I trim a tree branch that overhangs onto my property?

    Here are some points to consider when dealing with trees on adjacent private property:

    1.       Whoever owns the tree is responsible for maintenance of the tree;

    2.       You cannot trespass onto your neighbour's property;

    3.       You cannot damage your neighbour's property (in this case a tree);  

    4.       You have the right to maintain your property in a safe condition;

    5.       In Ontario, a tree with a base growing on the boundary between two properties is common property between the owners of the two properties.  Therefore, if the tree has two owners both neighbours must agree to the maintenance of the tree.  These "boundary trees" are regulated by the Ontario Forestry Act Section 10 which makes it an offence to injure or destroy a tree growing on the boundary between adjoining lands without consent of the land owner.

    It is therefore best for property owners to come to an agreement between themselves with respect to trees overhanging property lines. If they are unable to reach an agreement with their neighbour and want to determine their legal rights, they should contact a lawyer. The act of pruning trees on neighbouring private property affects private property rights and is a civil issue between private property owners.  Trimming overhanging branches of a tree belonging to someone else is not usually an issue between neighbours. However, if trimming overhanging branches without permission contributes to the death of the tree the owner may be entitled to bring legal action against the neighbour that caused the injury. This is why communication and agreement ahead of any work is important.  

    The City has no jurisdiction with respect to such issues. It is recommended to discuss this matter with your neighbour and also ensure that all work is performed by a qualified expert.

    Categories: Municipal Works, Trees