Did you know…Mississauga prunes process to deliver better forestry services

By April 11, 2024April 17th, 2024Resources

The City is working to improve timelines, address the backlog of Forestry work orders and enhance the overall quality of forestry service delivery.

The City of Mississauga is taking significant steps to refine its forestry services by streamlining processes, eliminating the backlog of work orders and elevating the quality-of-service delivery in its forestry division. Last week, the City’s Forestry team presented a Corporate Report at the General Committee meeting, detailing the division’s strategy for enhancing service delivery. It focused on clearing the backlog of tree pruning, removals, and stumping work orders, developing a new tree maintenance contract and adopting a proactive tree maintenance approach.

“Mississauga has seen a substantial increase in both the demand for forestry services and the volume of trees under its care. Mississauga’s urban forest is growing, with nearly 300,000 street trees and more than a million trees across City parks, trails and natural areas. This steady growth has heightened the workload and demand for forestry services throughout the city,” said Nadia Paladino, Director of Parks, Forestry and Environment. “In the past decade, requests for service soared by 60 per cent, while the completion rate of work orders jumped by 144 per cent.”

Enhancing service timelines and addressing backlog

To manage this growth effectively, the City has embarked on initiatives aimed at enhancing service timelines and addressing the accumulated backlog. Efforts include the eradication of the current backlog, the initiation of a new tree maintenance contract, and the implementation of a proactive approach to tree maintenance.

Efforts to clear the backlog

To tackle the existing backlog, the City has deployed additional stumping crews, successfully clearing 3,573 stumping work orders between July 2023 and January 2024. This clearance sets the stage for the City to proceed with delayed tree planting activities this spring.

Improving customer experience in Forestry

The City is also improving the forestry customer experience. Residents are able to track and monitor the status and completion of service requests and work orders online in real-time through a new interactive tree map. This is accompanied by a number of improvements to internal processes and technologies that will reduce delays, accelerate turnaround times and enable the City to optimize the deployment of operational resources.

Boosting the City’s forestry capacity

A new contract for tree maintenance services has been developed and is anticipated to be awarded later in the spring. It will increase service capacity to address the backlog of tree removals and pruning and meet the growing demand for services.

Proactive tree maintenance

Mississauga is adopting a seven-year proactive maintenance cycle for its trees, aiming to bolster the health and resilience of the urban forest. This strategy is designed to extend the life and benefits of the trees, minimize maintenance costs and reduce the volume of maintenance requests in the long run. This proactive cycle will commence in the fall as part of the new maintenance contract.

Paladino highlighted that the City is focusing on strategic initiatives, including its new Forestry and Natural Heritage Master Plan, Forestry asset growth model and Forestry asset management plan to help ensure cost-effective and service-efficient decisions will cater to both present and future demands.

Climate change and Future Directions

A healthy and resilient urban forest is critical to fighting climate change and to sustaining a healthy and vibrant community for future generations. As a City, Mississauga is committed to doing its part towards securing a better future by transforming into a low carbon, sustainable and resilient city. An important part of the Climate Change Action Plan is the protection and preservation of trees.

On April 3, 2024, City Council passed its Parks, Forestry and Environment Future Directions plans that will help guide decision-making and set priorities for staff and Council as the City continues to build strong, resilient, healthy and active communities and environments.