Durham Renews Residential Tree Planting Program to Combat Climate Change

September 8, 2021 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHITBY, ON - Based on the overwhelming success of the 2020/2021 tree planting program, the Region of Durham is pleased to continue to support the LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) Backyard Tree Planting Program. Residential, multi-unit, or commercial property owners located in the Town of Ajax, City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Township of Scugog, and the Town of Whitby are encouraged to participate by putting down some roots!

Thanks to the successful partnership between Durham Region and participating area municipalities, LEAF will continue to provide support to restore and improve properties by planting native trees and shrubs. LEAF is committed to protecting and improving our urban forests through planting, education, and stewardship. They help property owners choose and plant the right trees, while offering valuable resources to ensure proper long-term care of their trees.

Through the full-service program, property owners receive a consultation with a certified arborist, a 1.5 to 2.4-metre tall tree and full planting service, for $150 to $220 per tree. This low price is possible because the program is subsidized by the Region and participating municipalities. COVID-19 health guidelines will be followed during Arborist consultations so that residents of Durham can take action on climate change, while staying safe.
To apply to the Backyard Tree Planting Program, visit the LEAF website or call 416-413-9244 for more information.



“The planting of native trees across Durham Region has many environmental, health, and wellness benefits, including mitigating climate change. When we invest in a tree and green space, we invest in our quality of life. Continuing to take action today, will greatly benefit our community in the future.”

-  John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer

“Trees provide a multitude of benefits to individual property owners and the wider community – they provide shade and privacy, help manage stormwater, improve air quality and contribute to wildlife habitat. We are excited to continue to work with Durham residents to plant the right tree in the right place. Working together to protect and enhance the urban forest today will continue to benefit our communities in the future.”
-   Erin MacDonald, Acting Executive Director of LEAF



  • Since declaring a climate emergency on January 29, 2020, Durham Region continues to develop community action plans in partnership with local area municipalities and other key stakeholders including LEAF.
  • Through the declaration—brought forward through the Durham Region Roundtable on Climate Change—Durham Region joins the Government of Canada and more than 400 Canadian municipalities to have declared climate emergencies. Most of these organizations are implementing programs to help reduce their contribution to global carbon emissions.
  • The benefits of planting native trees and shrubs include:
    • Providing essential habitat for wildlife.
    • Reducing stormwater runoff by capturing and storing rainfall.
    • Reducing greenhouse gases and clean our air all year round.
    • Reducing energy costs by providing shade, privacy, and shelter.
    • Restoring outdoor green spaces to live, work and visit.
    • Increasing property value.
  • Participation in the Backyard Tree Planting Program includes:
    • A 30-minute consultation with a LEAF arborist.
    • Full planting service OR a do-it-yourself option.
    • Tree care resources.
    • Follow-up tree care advice online or by phone.
  • LEAF plants native species that are well-suited to local climatic conditions and provide essential habitat for wildlife. 
  • Native shrubs are also available. 



The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Liam Hatch – Communications Coordinator
905-668-7711 ext. 2181 or liam.hatch@durham.ca