The MW Environment Committee wants to sensitize residents to the importance of looking after our town’s trees on public land and private property. Some people think of trees as pests, but their benefits are invaluable in energy conservation and carbon dioxide absorption. That is why in today’s context of climate change and global warming, we must protect our tree cover. Researchers estimate that an urban tree can save five to ten times more overall carbon than a rural tree (Tree Canada). Trees can help reduce greenhouse gasses by absorbing CO2 and also by reducing the amount of fossil fuels we consume to heat and cool our homes.
Do you know that if trees are planted in the right places, you can reduce heating and cooling costs? You can save 10 - 15% of your heating costs by planting trees to act as windbreakers. If planted in strategic locations trees can shelter your house from the hot summer sun and lower the inside temperature considerably. They can also filter out dust particles from the air and act as noise buffers.
The MW tree by-law requires that you get an authorization from the Building Inspector in order to cut down any tree on private property with a diameter of more than 10 cm at a height of 25 cm. The permit, which is free, will be granted by the building inspector if the tree is diseased, is endangering the foundation of your home or is a public security hazard. Any contravention of this by-law is punishable by a fine of up to $300 and court costs and you may also be required to replace the tree.
You are encouraged to replace any tree that is cut down with a non-invasive species. Trees that are not recommended due to extensive root systems are quaking aspen, white poplar, Lombardy poplar, black cottonwood, willow, silver maple and American elm. For more information it is suggested that you consult an arborist or a forest engineer.
Regular pruning of trees will prevent them from growing out of control. If trees are trimmed by someone who is not properly trained, it may damage and even kill the tree. Public Works will remove branches for a small fee. For more information: Public Works at 514 485-8597.
submitted by: Jo Ann Goldwater
MW Environment Committee