Trees & Ravines

Street Tree Planting

A small tree growing on a front lawnThe City of Toronto owns a portion of land between roadways and private property, known as the public road allowance. Urban Forestry plants and maintains trees on this land to help grow Toronto's urban forest and to reach the City's goal of increasing the tree canopy to 40 per cent.

A property owner can submit a tree planting request for the City-owned road allowance in front of their home or business. 

Submit a tree planting request online or by phone:

Online

By phone: call 311

The City's Urban Forestry staff will visit the site to confirm the right tree species and determine the ideal planting location. The actual planting will take place during the next available planting season (planting in spring or fall).

Tree Species

A street lined with trees on both sidesSpecies available for planting on the City's road allowance are listed in the Street Tree Planting Brochure.

More information about the species listed in the brochure is available in the following tree pages.

ExpandTrees Native to Southern Ontario

ExpandTrees Native to Europe/Asia; Hybrids and Cultivars

Benefits of Trees

ExpandEcological Benefits of Trees

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, trees provide the City of Toronto and its residents with numerous ecological benefits. Trees improve local air and surface water quality, make urban environments more hospitable and contribute to improved public health and well-being. The City of Toronto’s trees provide habitats for a wide range of resident and migratory species of wildlife, as well as hundreds of native plant species. Trees also benefit the City through noise and wind reduction, protection from ultraviolet radiation and the shade they provide helps to moderate extreme temperatures and reduce the urban heat island effect.

ExpandBenefits to Pollinators

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male parts to the female parts of a the same or a different flower, depending on the species. This critical act fertilizes the flower resulting in the development of fruits and seeds.

Pollinators are organisms, such as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and beetles that use pollen and/or nectar as a food source. Pollen grains stick to pollinators and are transferred from flower to flower as the pollinators feed on pollen and nectar.  Some plants have evolved with pollinators and can only reproduce with this pollinator-assisted pollen transfer.

All trees benefit pollinators. some tree species produce flowers that are used by pollinators as a food source.  Pollinators may use tree leaves as nesting material and the tree canopy as a resting place. Pollinators such as bees will also collect resin and sap produced by trees to seal their nests. 

Trees benefit pollinators by providing nesting sites, pollen, and nectar.

ExpandCarbon Sequestration

Carbon Sequestration is the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Through photosynthesis, trees convert carbon dioxide taken from the air into sugar, cellulose and other carbohydrates used for growth. As trees grow, they sequester carbon and then store it in their wood over the long term. The rate of carbon sequestration varies by species, tree size, growing site and climate. Younger trees have been shown to have higher rates of carbon sequestration while older trees are able to sequester greater volumes of carbon. However, a more pertinent factor to consider is that any tree will provide air pollution and carbon sequestration benefits and the most benefits are achieved when trees are healthy. It is estimated that trees in Toronto sequester approximately 46,700 metric tons of carbon per year which equates to a value of $1.1 million.

Information on carbon sequestration and storm-water interception has been calculated using i-Tree Design, V6.0 software tool, provided by USDA Forest Service, available at: https://www.itreetools.org/index.php

Please note that using a different tree information (tree size or condition) or a different carbon sequestration model will provide results that do not match the provided numbers. 

An easy to use Tree Benefits Calculator is provided on LEAF web site under Resources.

ExpandStormwater Interception

Trees help with storm water management by intercepting storm water with their crowns and by  taking it up through their roots. This helps to limit soil erosion and demand on storm water treatment operations, and improves the quality of surface waters. Toronto’s trees play a vital role in the ability of the city’s ravine areas to withstand the pressures of storms by stabilizing steep slopes, reducing the amount of runoff entering the ravines, and improving the quality of water that does make it into the ravines. This helps to limit the amount of costly valley infrastructure repair that needs to take place following large-scale erosion and the steepening of slopes.

Information on carbon sequestration and storm-water interception has been calculated using i-Tree Design, V6.0 software tool, provided by USDA Forest Service, available at: https://www.itreetools.org/index.php

Please note that using a different tree information (size, condition) or a different carbon sequestration model will provide results that do not match the provided numbers. 

An easy to use Tree Benefits Calculator is provided on LEAF web site under Resources.


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