City wants residents to participate in Street-Side Tree Planting program

By Staff

January 18th, 2024



The City of Burlington is relaunching its Street-Side Tree Planting program for the 2024 year. Burlington residents can now submit a request to the City to have a tree planted on the right-of-way in front of their house, on City property.

A street with a right of way that already has a tree.

Getting involved in the Street-Side Tree Planting program is easy, hassle-free and just three steps:

  1. Contact us! Residents can call the City at 905-335-7777 or email and mention that they would like to participate in the program.
  2. Forestry Investigator Visit: An investigator will visit to assess the property and help select the right tree.
  3. Planting: If the right-of-way is a good candidate for a tree, staff will add the address to the list of planting locations for the upcoming planting season.

Requests for 2024 tree plantings are accepted between January and April. Residents can indicate the tree species preference at the time of submission. Staff will try to accommodate resident requests; however, species choice is not guaranteed.

Scheduling of tree planting will be determined by the location, suitability and availability of the chosen tree species, as well as the current number of requests.

To learn more about the City’s program and other forestry initiatives, visit:

  • Protecting and improving the natural environment and taking action on climate change is one of the four main focus areas in Burlington’s Plan from Vision to Focus 2022-2026. The Street-Side Tree Planting program supports the City’s objective to establish sustainable, low-carbon and climate resilient communities through growing and sustaining a healthy tree canopy. This program is a great way to integrate more tree canopy coverage in existing neighbourhoods and is one of the ways the City is working towards it’s goal of increasing Burlington’s tree canopy to 35 per cent by 2060.
  • In 2022, the City of Burlington planted over 4,000 trees, with 2,450 trees being planted through Community Supported planting Initiatives.
  • In 2023, the City of Burlington planted approximately 3,600 trees, with 2,100 through the City’s Street-Side Tree Planting program and 1,500 trees being planted through community supported planting initiatives.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward adds her comment: “Protecting and improving the natural environment and taking action on climate change is a focus area in the City’s Vision to Focus four-year work plan. The City is committed to using a climate lens for our work. City programs like the Street-Side Tree Planting program are a great way to support this focus area. This program helps us engage residents in a collective way to build a greener and more climate resilient community for today and for future generations.”

Can’t wait for the photo op; the Mayor planting a tree outside her house.


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3 comments to City wants residents to participate in Street-Side Tree Planting program

  • Michael Hribljan

    I’ve been giving some thought to tree planting and net benefit in terms of CO2 in an urban environment. I look at this from a mass balance perspective in terms of carbon, what are the inputs and where does the carbon go?

    To plant a tree in an urban environment requires the arborist driving to the site, confirming the tree, delivery of the tree by a contractor, excavation and installation, all these activities add carbon to the environment. One pick-up truck for example will add 6,000 kg of carbon per year.

    The carbon uptake for a young tree is about 6 kg/yr and 22 kg/yr for a 10 year old tree. Simply put it will take 1000 new trees to off-set the carbon of one pick-up truck, but the benefit is this uptake occurs year after year which is good. But wait there’s more.

    Carbon adsorbed by a tree goes into above ground and below ground growth. The leaves that are shed in the fall are part of the carbon cycle.

    Now ,we use various machinery to collective leaves and move them to the curb, just think about all those landscaping trucks driving around town in the fall, emitting carbon to undertake this work.

    The city then collects those leaves at curb side using heavy diesel powered equipment – more carbon into the environment.

    Those leaves are then transported to the regional landfill site and composed. The leaves collected are mixed with household green bin waste and composted aerobically.

    Aerobic composting breaks down organic material through a biological reaction in a moist/wet condition with oxygen and releases CO2, water and heat (an exothermic process).

    This is a complex mass balance of carbon, and it’s not immediately obvious to me that when you plant more trees in an urban environment, that you actually generate a net reduction in carbon when all inputs are considered – quite simply put urban tree planting and maintenance requires many different energy inputs.

    I’m an advocate of composting and many environmental initiatives, and have worked in the field for 35 years. My point is that we need to look at the math and science to ensure what we are doing makes sense from a holistic carbon balance.

    There are some benefits to urban tree planting, aesthetics and wildlife.

    I’m not convinced about as a method to reduce carbon when all the inputs and outputs are considered.

    There are also risks to power distribution, damage of private property, transportation (a collision with a tree is a very serious).

    I also think a grassroots program (a tax reduction for residence that plant trees on their property and maintained by the property owner) would be more productive than a city/tax subsidized program – look at what was achieved prior in Burlington.

    Here’s video report on urban tree planting that I found quite interesting.
    City Taxes and Trees (

  • Joe Gaetan

    “An investigator will visit to assess the property and help select the right tree.”
    Really and at what cost??? Does any one know?

  • Nice to see they are putting the increased property tax dollars to good use.