Insider’s Look into Spring Preparations at LEAF!

It’s almost that time of year again – the snow slowly melts away and glimmers of new growth start to appear – spring is near! Here at LEAF, spring is on our minds for most of the winter and we begin to prepare for it well before it arrives.


Winter's ice is starting to melt


Our 2019 spring planting season begins in April. However, before we can launch into it, there are a lot of preparations to be done! We start this process by making sure we have enough supply of important homeowner resources, such as brochures, event listings, planting and care guides and tree care tips magnets so our clients can become well educated about planting and stewardship. Next, we work on hiring staff for office support and planting.


We also need to make sure we are well prepared for consultations! Our two planting programs, Full-Service and Do-It-Yourself Tree Planting, include consultations with a certified arborist. LEAF begins conducting Full Service site consultations in March, weather permitting, of course! Our arborists must prepare all the tools needed for the field before the first consultation date. A soil auger is used for soil testing, a measuring tape and stake to mark the planting locations and an iPad to show homeowners the various species options that will thrive in their yard conditions.


From left to right: stake, soil auger, measuring tape, iPad, hammer and clipboard


On the other hand, our Do-It-Yourself program remains active throughout the winter! Because the virtual consultation only requires the use of a computer and phone and are not weather-dependent, LEAF arborists conduct these year round. Virtual consultation makes it easy for homeowners to plan their planting project without having to leave their home!


LEAF arborist, Brenna, conducting a virtual consultation (January 31, 2019)


The winter is when we rekindle our relationships with local nurseries to order our stock for the upcoming season. Once delivered, our trees and shrubs are carefully labelled to show the name of each species. The wonderful volunteers and staff at LEAF work together to prepare these labels for each tree and shrub found in our inventory. Once the labelling is complete, our planting team organizes the trees and shrubs in order to make it easy to load them onto our trucks for deliveries and plantings. 


Getting the shrubs and trees ready


Now, there is just one more thing we need to do. Before we start planting we make sure to complete all underground utility checks through Ontario One Call. This step is really important as we want to make sure all plantings run smoothly and without any damage! Participants of our DIY program, who plant their trees and shrubs themselves, must complete this step on their own.


At this point, we’re ready to move into our planting season. The week before we start planting, we develop our planting schedules using ArcMap. We use this mapping tool to create the most efficient routes for our planting teams.


Residential Planting staff 

Spring 2019 planting season, here we come!


Natasha Keshavjee is an ISA Certified Arborist and the Residential Planting Programs Coordinator at LEAF.


The Backyard Tree Planting Program is supported by the City of Toronto, the Regional Municipality of York, Toronto Hydro, the Town of Newmarket and the Town of Ajax.


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