Does intensive tree maintenance increase microhabitat diversity in old urban trees?

The proposed research will take place in the City of Mississauga. A recent study by Gro?mann et al. concluded that heavy levels of tree pruning leads to an increased number of microhabitats, compared to trees pruned less often (2020). These trees are often called ‘veteran trees’ in North America, and are very important for urban biodiversity (CITE). They provide homes, food, and other resources to many plants, mammals, birds, and reptiles (CITE). Unfortunately, trees with these microhabitats are often considered a risk by the municipality to keep standing, despite their importance. The goal of the proposed research would be to verify the results of Gro?mann et al. to help increase the pool of knowledge on the relationship between pruning and microhabitats. This will help municipalities decide if and when a veteran tree should be removed.

The partner organization is expected to benefit by being 3rd author on the publishing of the results of this research in a peer-reviewed journal.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sandy Smith


Joshua Quattrociocchi


Urban Forest Innovations Inc




Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Toronto



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