Tree Maintenance

Hydro line clearing program

Starting in January 2020, the Town of Oakville and its tree service contractor will perform hydro line clearing in north and west Oakville (Area 2).

To see the progress of hydro line clearing in your area, visit our interactive map.


Each year, the town and its tree service contractor perform hydro line clearing on behalf of Oakville Hydro to reduce safety hazards and power outages, while maintaining the health, safety and well-being of the town’s tree canopy.

If not properly maintained, trees can create power outages or hazardous situations by touching or even falling on hydro lines. In rare instances, trees growing too close to the hydro line will be removed as a last resort if the arborist cannot balance the clearance standard with acceptable pruning standards.

Hydro line clearing map

Hydro line clearing map

Trees are pruned on a four-year cycle following the Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA) industry standard of providing a minimum three-metre (10 foot) clearance between branches and primary power lines and one metre (three feet) for secondary lines. Crews will also prune trees to provide clearance from hydro poles and guy-lines. Our professional arborist contractors prune trees with these goals in mind:

  • Keep the structural integrity of the tree intact
  • Maintain the health of the tree with well-placed cuts that heal well and minimize sprouting
  • Promote regrowth away from hydro lines through directional pruning
  • Leave branches growing down and away from wires to continue their growth

In some instances, the town must prune privately owned trees if they have grown too close to the hydro line.

When hydro lines are located in rear yards, Oakville Hydro has an easement through the property which allows the arborist to access the tree.

Learn more about tree pruning around hydro lines and how you can help maintain your trees.

2020 rotational tree maintenance

Council approved the rotational tree maintenance program to proactively prune all 108,000 street trees in the town on a nine-year cycle.

The boundaries of the 2020 program are from Lake Ontario to Dundas Street between Bronte and Burloak and all street trees north of Dundas. Forestry staff inspected 10,196 street trees in this block and identified 6,564 of trees in need of pruning.

When crews examine the urban forest in a block pattern for possible hazards and tree health problems, there is a reduction in citizen calls for emergency pruning. Additionally, crews can often find problems that would not have been reported by residents, such as an insect that needs to be controlled. The block pruning method can also focus on certain tree species that may require more attention.

Tree health and structure can be greatly increased by regular pruning, especially when the trees are young. Immature trees that are left unpruned can develop many structural problems such as weak branch structure, crossing branches, and co-dominant leaders.

If regular pruning is planned in a systematic manner, crews and equipment can work much more efficiently than if pruning is only done by request. The cost is dramatically reduced.

Image of a laptop, mobile phone and tablet.

Image of a laptop, mobile phone and tablet.

Report a Problem

Report trees on town property that need pruning or appear to be dead or dying.

Report it now!