If you have a tree on your property in Mississauga, this may be important to you

Published August 24, 2021 at 10:41 am

How often do you think about the millions of trees dotting Mississauga’s public and private green spaces? Whether it’s fairly often or not that much, the city wants you to have your say on new changes to its public and private tree protection by-laws.

Trees play a number of crucial roles – especially in the fight against climate change – by lowering temperatures, providing shade on hot days, providing habitat for wildlife species and more.

The bad news: Over the past several years, we’ve seen significant increase in the damage and destruction of trees for a number of reasons, including invasive species, urban redevelopment and severe weather events. In response, the City wants the Public and Private Tree By-laws updated to reflect the changing times and improve the way we protect our trees, as the existing by-laws no longer meet urban forestry standards.

If you aren’t familiar with these by-laws, the Public Tree By-law regulates the planting, maintenance and removal of trees on city-owned and maintained property, while the Private Tree By-law regulates the rules around tree ownership, maintenance and removal of trees on private property.

Some potentially big changes could be coming to these two by-laws. For example, if you remove a tree with a diameter of 45 cm (18 inches) on your property, then you may need to plant three replacement trees. The city is also considering a permitting process for public trees to prevent the damage and destruction of city-owned trees due to development.

How can you get involved? The easiest way is to take the quick online survey at the city’s website. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and is available until September 12, 2021.

If you want to get even more directly involved, you’re invited to share your thoughts at a virtual public meeting happening on Wednesday, September 15 from 6 to 7:30 pm. The meeting is open to all Mississauga residents, including property owners, business owners, Members of Council, the city’s Urban Forestry staff, community partners and developers.

To register for the meeting, click here.

Once the city gets feedback from the survey and virtual meeting, the updated tree by-laws will then go to Council for approval in fall 2021.

Over the last decade, the city has increased its efforts to preserve, enhance and protect its trees.

Mississauga is currently home to more than 2.1 million trees overall (covering 19 per cent of the city) and is working to plant one million more by 2032 through the One Million Trees program.

Mississauga’s forestry team is comprised of experts in aboriculture, invasive species, ecology and woodland and natural area conservation. They work together with residents to protect and expand the city’s green spaces for current and future generations.

 

The City maintains over one million trees along streets and in parks, woodlands and natural areas.

If you’re ready to play a role in protecting Mississauga’s massive urban forest, then take the survey today or register now for the upcoming virtual public meeting.For more information, visit the city’s website and follow Mississauga Parks & Recreation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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