Life as a street tree can be tough

Healthy trees offer many environmental, economic and health benefits while also bringing beauty and nature into our neighbourhoods.

Trees that are planted in sidewalk beds and along busy commercial streets face challenging growing conditions which can limit their long-term health and survival. Stressors include:


  • drought due to limited availability of soil and water
  • compacted soils from garbage bins and foot traffic
  • physical damage from things like bicycle locks, heavy garbage bins, snow clearing and lawn mowers
  • dog urine
  • damage from road and sidewalk de-icing salt


Stressed out trees can’t provide us with the same environmental benefits as healthy trees. 

Simple acts of care can go a long way to help our street trees thrive. Regular care, such as watering and mulching can significantly improve a street tree's capacity to thrive. 

The urban forest is a shared resource, and therefore a shared responsibility. When City of Toronto staff, local residents and business owners combine their efforts, street trees have a better chance for successful growth and survival. 


The Adopt-a-Street-Tree program is a volunteer tree care program. The goal is to develop a collaborative approach to the protection and care of Toronto's street trees - some of the most vulnerable trees in our city. 


This program is currently funded (in part) by a grant from Live Green Toronto, a program of the City of Toronto, and by the Canadian Tree Fund


Adopt-a-Street-Tree Projects 

In 2015, LEAF and the City of Toronto (with funding from TD Green Streets) supported an Adopt-a-Street-Tree pilot project in the Danforth East community (Woodbine Ave to Victoria Park).

Learn more about the Danforth pilot here.

In 2016, LEAF and the City of Toronto  supported further development of the Danforth pilot and supported an additional Adopt-a-Street-Tree project in the Bloordale community.

Learn more about the Bloordale project here

In 2017, LEAF and the City of Toronto are supporting further development of the Bloordale pilot and are supporting an additional Adopt-a-Street-Tree project in the Junction community.

Learn more about the Junction project here

The Bloordale and Junction project are supported with with funding from Live Green Toronto and the CanadianTree Fund

Another great example of street tree stewardship is Bayview Buckets, established in 2011 by Tree Tender graduate, Helen Godfrey. 

In addition to these LEAF-supported projects, there are numerous community groups that have initiated street trees stewardship projects in their communities. 


Adopt-a-Street-Tree Manual

LEAF and the City of Toronto have developed an Adopt-a-Street-Tree manual to help guide and support communities with an interest in caring for their local street trees.

Volunteers Opportunities:

We are always looking for volunteers to help with our Adopt-a-Street-Tree projects! To get involved or to get more information, contact erin[at]

Adopt a tree and help it flourish:

To find out how you can adopt a street tree, email erin[at]