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©2015 Erin MacDonald/LEAF
The trees along Danforth Avenue have been experiencing a fresh new lease on life thanks to the local residents and businesses taking part in an Adopt-a-Street-Tree Project. Their tending and care has given these trees the attention they need to establish themselves and grow for years to come.

The Danforth Adopt-a-Street-Tree (AAST) project is the first pilot project in a joint initiative of LEAF and the City of Toronto. The aim is to pair a city-owned street tree with a local business or resident who will give it the care it needs, mainly through regular watering, to help establish its roots and remain healthy. 

The Danforth pilot began in 2015 and each year since then, LEAF has assessed the health of the trees. In 2016, 27% of the 161 trees in the project area were considered in “Good” health – this number has since risen to 71% in 2017. What an incredible improvement over such a short period of time! 

In Toronto, there is a high mortality rate for street trees, with the average tree living for only seven years. The extra care given to the trees through the AAST program is aimed to give support during this critical time while the trees establish their roots. As the trees grow, adopters will gradually be able to take a step back as a lush, healthy canopy is formed. 

There are challenges that arise with these efforts, however, and the Danforth AAST adopters have had their fair share. Water availability, pest management, and physical damage to trees are all problems that continue to put a strain on trees. However, adopters have been resilient in the face of these challenges and the health of the trees is a proven testament to the dedication of these volunteers. 

Imagine, travelling along Danforth Avenue with a continuous green arch reaching over the road, dappling the sunlight and waving cheerfully in the breeze? Our care for these trees will ensure that Danforth, and hopefully many more streets in Toronto, will have this characteristic in the near future.

©2017 Aidan Curran/LEAF

The success and health of the Danforth trees would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, and our project partners including Danforth East Community Association, Danforth Mosaic BIA, Danforth Village BIA and Danforth Village Residents Association.

There are several trees on the Danforth still looking for an adopter! Check out the adoption map for available trees. More information about this project can be found on the Danforth Page of our website.

Join LEAF on Tuesday October 10th from 6:30p.m. - 8:00p.m. to learn more about the Adopt-a-Street-Tree program and how you can care for street trees in your own community! 



Aidan is LEAF’s Programs Assistant.

Our Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program is undertaken in partnership with the City of Toronto and supported by Live Green Toronto and the Canadian TREE Fund.


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