LEAF staff will help you select the most appropriate species and planting locations. Prior to the site visit, we ask that you complete the following six steps.


1. Utility Clearance

We require clearance from all underground utilities including telephone, cable, hydro and gas. Copies of all CURRENT locate forms must be forwarded to us by fax or mail prior to booking a site visit. You must contact Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 to request a utility check for your property. Please note: they may not check all utilities listed above. Check your bills for the call-before-you-dig numbers that Ontario One Call does not cover.


2. Property Line Confirmation

LEAF does not plant on public property. Please consult your lot survey to determine where city property and private property meet. The City of Toronto may be able to provide planting services for city-owned areas. Call Toronto's information line 311 to contact the City Urban Forestry office in your area.


3. Authorization

We must receive a letter of permission from the Board of Directors or other management/ownership body in order to ensure that all planting activities are authorized. You can download the property representative form here.  It must be printed, signed and returned to LEAF by fax or mail prior to your site consultation.


4. Care and Maintenance Contact

You must create a maintenance plan in order to ensure that any trees and shrubs that are planted will be properly cared for.  You can download the Multi-unit/Business Maintenance and Care Plan form here. We require the name and contact information of the maintenance contact person so that we can conduct follow-up evaluations of tree health. Follow-up care, including regular watering and replacement of mulch as it decomposes, is essential to tree survival. Before embarking on your tree-planting project, it is essential that you determine who will take responsibility for caring for your new trees/shrubs.

The first step is to consult with the head of grounds maintenance to determine his/her level of participation in follow-up care. You may also ask a few residents to commit to caring for the trees. Consider the time commitments required for care when deciding the number of trees and shrubs that you wish to plant.


5. Consider your site conditions


Size of planting area

The size of your planting area determines the size and number of trees you can plant. The planting locations you choose must meet the following minimum space requirements. 

Site ConditionsShrubsTrees
Area of soft surface required3' x 3'15' x 15'
Distance from fence/property line5'5'
Distance from hard surfaces (deck/paving)3'8'
Distance from buildings with foundations3'10'
Distance from existing trees8'20'
Overhead wiresnot an issueavoid
Raised beds or container plantingnot recommendednever


Keep in mind the mature height and spread of the trees. Also think about current use of the space where you want to plant. Will there be any conflicting uses?

Light requirements

Is the tree location sunny or shady? Does it get sun for half the day? Select a tree that will thrive with the light conditions you have.

Soil requirements

Always consider drainage and soil texture when selecting your new tree. Many trees are suited to clay soil, while others prefer well-drained, sandy soil. Selecting the right species will mean your tree will be more likely to thrive.


Think about what characteristics you would like your new tree to have. Do you want berries to attract birds, or do you want a tree that will have a certain fall colour? Do you want your tree to provide shade or perhaps fast growth rate is important to you?


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