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Why are there separate by-laws for public and private trees?
The Public Tree By-law was developed to regulate the planting, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs on City-owned and maintained lands in Mississauga. It also regulates the pruning, trimming, removal or damage of City-owned trees.
The Private Tree By-law seeks to preserve trees on private property (residential and commercial) in Mississauga to help sustain and maintain Mississauga’s tree canopy. It also describes the rules that govern tree ownership in Mississauga and the responsibility of tree maintenance.
The existing by-laws are outdated. The Public Tree By-law hasn’t been updated since 1975 and the Private Tree By-law was last updated on December 12, 2012.
The City has documented significant increases in damage and destruction of public trees over the past several years. To reflect changing times and enhance the protection and safety of all trees in Mississauga, both by-laws needed to be updated.
Updating the by-laws will also ensure they reflect current best practices and urban forestry standards.
The City’s Forestry Section is responsible for selecting tree species, location and planting of street trees on municipal property.
Decisions to replace trees are based on standards designed to promote a wide variety of trees – including native species, where possible – and to discourage planting of the same tree species. The City also enforces the necessary spacing guidelines between trees and municipal/private infrastructure, including underground utilities.
Trees are selected based on their size at maturity, complete shape and form to minimize conflicts between their anticipated growth with existing trees, hydro wires, signs, light standards and other structures.
Trees play a vital role in the fight against climate change, including lowering temperatures, providing shade on hot days, providing habitat for wildlife and making Mississauga beautiful by adding charm to neighbourhoods. Trees are also an important component to a healthy ecosystem by filtering pollution, controlling flooding and storing carbon.