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Protecting Mississauga’s Tree Canopy with Updated By-laws

Environment | February 3, 2022

Yesterday, Council approved an updated Public and Private Tree By-law that will take effect April 1, 2022. The changes will ensure that the City’s tree by-laws meet current urban forestry standards and help protect Mississauga’s tree canopy.

Last summer, the City engaged with the public to seek feedback on proposed changes to its Public Tree By-law and what they would like to see changed in the Private Tree By-law. The Public Tree By-law regulates tree planting, maintenance and removal on City-owned and maintained properties. The Private Tree By-law regulates tree removal and protection on private property.

“The City is taking stronger action to protect Mississauga’s tree canopy,” said Jodi Robillos, Commissioner, Community Services. “The updated by-laws will not only protect more than 300,000 trees on City streets and parks, but will also extend to trees on private properties. The City recognizes the importance of trees for the environment of large urban cities like Mississauga. They provide shade and habitat for wildlife, while filtering pollution and controlling flooding.”

Public Tree By-law Updates:

  • Clearer definition of “City tree” and “shared tree” – both fall under the Public Tree By-law
  • Prohibiting the storage of materials, equipment or anything that would affect the health of a tree’s roots
  • Requiring approval for work within the tree protection zone and prohibiting any grade (ground) changes
  • Prohibiting liquid, gaseous or solid substances to be in contact with the tree’s root system
  • Prohibiting the removal of any woody debris (e.g., branches) that has fallen or been cut down by the City in a natural area
  • Prohibiting tree planting on public land – a tree planted on public land becomes subject to the Public Tree By-law

Private Tree By-law Updates: 

  • A permit is required for the injury, destruction or removal of any individual tree 15 cm (6 in) in diameter or greater – a tree measuring 15 cm (6 in) in diameter is typically a well-established, semi-mature tree that contributes to the overall health of an urban forest
  • A permit may be refused based on the health of the tree
  • Trees located in interior courtyards will no longer be exempt from the tree removal permit process
  • Permit holders for tree removal will be required to notify the City when they begin planting replacement trees – replacement trees ensure the recovery of removed trees that are healthy based on their size
  • Tree replacement is required for every 15 cm (6 in) of diameter of the tree removed – for example, when a tree with a diameter of 45 cm (18 in) is removed, three replacement trees are required
  • Replacement trees cannot be injured or removed without a permit 

The City will also amend the Fees and Charges By-law to include the new permit fees for tree removal – $304 for one tree removal permit and $109.86 for each additional tree removal permit.

To learn more about changes to the tree by-laws, read the corporate reports for the Public and Private Tree By-law updates.

Learn more about trees in Mississauga: mississauga.ca/services-and-programs/forestry-and-environment/

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City of Mississauga Media Relations
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905-615-3200, ext. 5232
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