Join a list for a free tree to be planted in front of your house

By Staff

August 25th, 2021



Burlington residents can now request trees from the City

Burlington residents can now submit an online request form to join a list for a free tree to be planted on the right-of-way in front of their house, on City property.

Each request will receive a site visit to ensure the right type of tree is planted to ensure the tree will have the best chance of survival.

Many of these trees are on city property. You can be the beginning of something like this – talk to your neighbours – make the whole street look great.

Requests for tree planting are accepted at any time throughout the year. You can indicate your tree species preference at the time of form submission. Staff will try to accommodate resident requests; however, species choice is not guaranteed.

• Applications that are received between Jan. 1 and May 31 will be reviewed for planting within the same growing season on a first in, first out basis

Some of the older trees in Roseland are going to have to be replaced in the not too distant future

• Applications that are received between June 1 and Dec. 31 will be reviewed for planting the follow growing season on a first in, first out basis

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 request a tree or learn more about the City’s forestry initiatives, visit

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11 comments to Join a list for a free tree to be planted in front of your house

  • Alfred


    A big hug in return.

    On the tree issue we are both hoping to reach the same goal. More trees. We are taking 2 different paths to get there. I believe the cost of planting more trees should be the responsibility of all the citizens of Burlington. The folks who have provided trees for our health should not be treated like criminals and given fines or ridiculous fees whatever. I really believe we would have more trees in the City if we simply all agreed to plant them without a by-law. I know for a fact that there were not a whole bunch of trees being cut down except for the deseased ash trees which gave people the impression that there was clear cutting going on in the City instead of explaining to the uninformed why these trees were being cut down. I know all the numbers. The exclusion of North Burlington (The tree zone). I know the story about that and the politics. Most people believe this area was included in the by-law. Oops secrets out. Leslie put your parachute away stay in the game this is fun. We are both on the same side. Drive by my home and you will see more trees and wildlife than you expected. Now as far as running for office David Barker would be my choice. He like you does not always agree with me, yet we share a great deal of mutual respect.

  • Denise W.

    I would not want another tree in my yard. They are now a total liability for the home owner. And Burlington declaring a climate emergency….what a load. As if that will do anything, but be an opportunistic appeal to a few demographics for vote. Such is politics…..yech.

  • Alfred


    You are absolutely right. The interesting thing is these fees go to paying the salaries of the forestry folks which they administer and set the fees. They will be laid off if they can;t extort enough money from the fine citizens of Burlington. Leslie seems like the kind of person who doesn’t care and likes to spend other peoples money and likes to tell people what to do. As long as its not her money being spent. Since Leslie is a numbers girl why does she not tell us how many trees were being cut before the by-law. The reason is it was only a handful. In a City with roughly 4 million trees. Smoke and mirrors folks, create a problem that doesn’t exist then pretend to solve it. The Mayor pretends she is a saviour. What is interesting, is the by-law deliberately excluded North Burlington. You know the place where all the trees are. I guess the fresh air that is created in North Burlington and moves with the air currents. Was sub standard or it would have cost the Mayor votes. You decide. Leslie all the data is in the staff report that council authorized. Please exclude dead, diseased or dying trees.(Not my first rodeo).Homework if you like. Carol your concern for trees appears very genuine. The problem is it causes concern where there is none.We have approx 340 Billion trees in Canada. God and mother nature are watering them just fine. Rainfall has a purpose. Sadly trees are dying at the hands of other trees. It’s called forest fires. Sometimes too many trees is not a good thing. James stay tuned….

    • Leslie

      Alfred/Albert, you never disappoint. My goodness you read an awful lot into my responses. For someone who is calling me out for my “assumptions”, you seem to have plenty of your own about me. If everything about this City bothers you so much, why don’t you run for office? Or move? You don’t really deserve any more of my time but I would like to offer you a hug because you always sound very upset and angry.

      Some of us are willing to nurture these trees, and we don’t have any development plans that would impact them. At some point in the future, we will move on and our property will change hands. If the trees are an issue for them, I guess they will have to do their research first.

  • Carol Gottlob

    That’s interesting, because I noticed several trees planted on the municipal portion of the properties in my neighbourhood, but I don’t see people watering them in this heat, and many will perish. Such a waste.

  • Leslie

    “Bait & switch”… give me a break.

    I cannot wait to receive our City trees next month. We are blessed to already be surrounded by mature trees, and despite the hours of raking I do every fall, I feel I also have a responsibility to help improve our biodiversity and plan for the future. Here are just a few of the benefits of our trees:

    Our backyard is never ridiculously hot – even during this heat wave;
    We hardly ever need to use our AC;
    Trees absorb pollution and stormwater, and produce oxygen;
    Several animal species have a habitat;
    They are a boost to our mental health and physical health;
    They help act as a noise buffer;
    and we get to appreciate their beauty as their leaves change in the fall.

    On the negative side, when new homes were built next to me, many of those trees & shrubs were removed, and now no one has privacy!

    I have NEVER ONCE thought my property value has decreased because of trees – in fact, the opposite is true (Google it!). And if you have enough money to buy a house in a neighbourhood with really mature trees, you probably don’t care about the cost associated with taking them down. Am I right?

    Given the choice, I’ll take trees any day, City owned or not.

    • James

      A friend of mine recently moved to Burlington, south of the QEW in one of those neighbourhoods with mature trees that you refer to. Nice large back yard surrounded by trees, he decided he wanted to build a swimming pool for his kids. One tree would need to be removed to do so, he didn’t figure that would be a problem. It wasn’t a city owned tree, it was just a privately owned tree in the middle of his back yard that was in the way of where the pool would go. He did the right thing, contacted the city and requested the appropriate permit. The cost to obtain the city’s approval to remove that 1 single tree in his own back yard was over $40,000!!! That didn’t even include the arborist fees to actually cut it down, or the pool permit fee or anything else. Over $40,000 payable to City of Burlington for a piece of paper that gives him permission to cut down a tree in his own back yard. I’m sorry, that’s just not right. You may not care about the cost associated with taking down a tree, but I’m fairly confident that most people do. We’re not talking about a few hundred dollars here, the financial impact is significant. This is one of those “it’s not an issue until it’s an issue” scenarios. In my friends case, needless to say his kids are not going to be getting that swimming pool he promised them.

      I love trees and the benefits that they provide too, but the city’s Tree By-law is a major problem and strips property owners of their reasonable rights. I encourage people to think long and hard about the unintended consequences trees now have in Burlington thanks to the powers that be.

      • Leslie

        James, I certainly can’t speak to your friend’s specific experience, but anyone in Forestry will tell you that the Private Tree Bylaw has had some growing pains and needs some finessing. It has evolved since its inception and some of the kinks are still being worked out. Speaking personally, I absolutely do care about the costs, and $40,000 just for “permission” to remove it sounds awfully exorbitant and prohibitive. I don’t know when your friend obtained his quotes but the current fee structure, according to the City’s website, is $390 for a non-development (i.e. a pool) application. If they don’t plant replacement trees on their property, they are charged $400 for every 10cm of diameter removed. My math skills aren’t great, but after that initial fee, the balance owing is as a result of a tree that’s almost 1000cm wide. That seems highly unlikely, so I’m guessing there were some other costs or logistical costs involved, perhaps because of the tree’s location? Or an accidental extra zero on the end of that quote? Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’m happy to learn more to understand the bigger picture. For comparison, Oakville’s Private Tree Bylaw fee structure is pretty similar.

        Hopefully it’s just a miscalculation or misunderstanding… and hopefully your friends end up getting both their pool AND a tree.

        • James

          Sadly it was not a miscalculation or misunderstanding, this was the number calculated by city staff. Mind boggling, I know. And I know there are others with similar stories, this was not a one off.

  • James

    OMG no!! Who in their right mind would want any additional trees planted on or in front of their property knowing that in the future if you want or need to remove it for any reason the City will require you to pay thousands of dollars to do so, or may not even allow it at all! No thank you. As a result of the insane tree by-law, and just before it came into effect, I cut down all large trees on my property while I could still legally do so. Only those trees under the specified diameter remain, and once they get close to falling under the by-law, they too will be cut down. Small shrubs only from now on. Maybe you like trees, who doesn’t, but think ahead. When it comes time to sell your house, you may lose buyers and inadvertently decrease the value of your property if buyers see that your property is handcuffed by existing large trees. Crazy, but true.

  • Alfred

    Just curious.

    If these trees are planted on the right of way. Why does the City have to ask permission, when they can just plant the trees there. Caution to those thinking of getting a tree. Once planted they are considered City trees. If for any reason you want to take down the tree eg. renovation, moving driveway, new home to be built. The cost would be 3 to 4 thousand and permission would have to be given by her Highness the Mayor. That would be for a tree only 1 year old. Trees that are larger could easily cost $20,000 and up. Don’t fall for the bait and switch. If the City gives you a choice. Trees in Burlington have now become liabilities not assets.