Thank you for your interest in protecting and improving the urban forest in your neighbourhood.

Trees and shrubs are a vital resource in our urban areas. They not only provide direct benefits to those residents who plant them in their yards (by providing shade and privacy, increasing property values, providing energy conservation savings, etc.), but also improve the quality of life in our communities overall (by reducing stormwater runoff, filtering pollutants from the air, sequestering carbon, etc.)

In Toronto, the greatest potential to increase canopy cover is on residential property (Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto’s Urban Forest, 2010). A recent study undertaken by York Region echoes these findings, as the residential low land use category offers the greatest opportunity to plant new trees in the municipalities of Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan (York Region Urban Forestry Study, 2012).

As an active community group, you can help to raise awareness about the importance of the urban forest and spread the word about the urgent threat that Emerald Ash Borer poses to our canopy. You can also encourage your neighbours to plant more trees and shrubs by informing them about the various programs available to them, and/or by offering financial incentives to those homeowners who wish to participate in LEAF’s Backyard Tree Planting Program.  For more information, see below.


LEAF’s Backyard Tree Planting Program

As part of your outreach activities, your group may wish to share information about tree planting programs that are available to residents in your area.  

LEAF’s subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program offers a convenient, accessible and affordable way for homeowners to get new trees for their yard. Our goal is to get the right tree planted in the right place and to ensure that participants know how to care for their trees so that they can enjoy them for years to come. Participants in our program will receive the following:

  • 30 minute yard consultation with an arborist
  • 5 to 8 foot tall native tree
  • Full planting service
  • Tree care guide

Trees purchased through LEAF’s subsidized Backyard Tree Planting cost $150-220 + HST each, depending on the species (this price includes the consultation and full planting service as well). The full cost of this package is $300-400 and the difference is paid by our funding partners.

LEAF also offers a wide variety of native shrubs, as well as Native Garden Kits.

Should you wish to share information about our program with residents in your area, we will be happy to provide you with our Backyard Tree Planting Program brochures to distribute.

Please note that LEAF’s products and services are only available to residents of Ajax, Toronto and York Region. 

For more information about our planting programs, please click here

You may also wish to share information about municipal planting programs that are available in your area (such as the City of Toronto’s Free Front Yard Tree Planting Program).


LEAF Gift Certificates – Incentives for Backyard Tree Planting

In addition to sharing information about the importance of the urban forest and available planting programs, community groups may wish to offer residents a financial incentive to plant trees in their neighbourhood. One way in which this can be accomplished is by purchasing LEAF gift certificates, which can be distributed to homeowners as an incentive to plant new trees or shrubs in their backyards.

While our prices are already subsidized, you may wish to offer homeowners further incentive to plant  by offering an additional $50 off per tree (for example).  Note: we do not recommend that community groups subsidize the full cost of the tree, as we have found that when homeowners make a financial contribution towards the purchase of their tree, they are more likely to invest their time towards caring for it and ensuring that it thrives for years to come.

Your organization or group should determine any conditions you want to apply to the use of gift certificates. Such conditions may include (but are not limited to):

  • Dollar amount of incentive
  • Minimum purchase amount
  • Geographic location of individual redeeming the certificate (e.g. for residents’ groups)
  • Limit of one gift certificate per household/individual
  • Limit of one gift certificate per every $x spent with LEAF (e.g. for every $200 spent, get $50 off)
  • Any restrictions on the types of products that can be purchased using the gift certificates (e.g. trees only)

 For more information, please contact us today!