Tree Planting Program

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Green your space

The City of Thorold provides an Urban Street Tree and Park Planting program where applicable. This program is designed to enhance our neighbourhoods and parks providing green space and shade, as well as, improving air quality for our community and visitors. Trees are planted in parks, on public boulevards, road allowances fronting residences and in circles where tree do not currently exist. Tree planting is on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Once your request is submitted, a City worker will arrange a visit to your property to determine the best type of tree to plant in your location. Planting generally takes place during two seasons; Spring and Fall. The deadline for the Spring planting season is April 1 and the deadline for the Fall planting season is August 30. Depending on the demand, you may have to wait until the next planting season. Planting is also dependent upon weather conditions during these time frames. For instance, we avoid planting in extreme heat. If you are in a brand-new neighbourhood, tree planting will begin once the subdivision is completed and assumed by the City of Thorold.

Please note: You are not guaranteed a tree if the location is not conducive for planting. For instance, there may be space constraints, underground services and/or overhead utility and electric lines that impede on the tree's growth.

Please read through the variety of trees below and choose your two favourite species of tree and then fill out the online form and submit at the button below >>>

Planting a Tree Form


 Smaller Decorative Trees for Tight Areas

Eastern Red Bud

This small sized tree reaches 6-9 m (20-30 ft) in height at a medium growth speed. It grows best in either full sun or partial sun with shade. It blooms in a display of rosy pink flowers in April. It features heart-shaped leaves that emerge a reddish color, turning dark green as summer approaches and then yellow in the fall. It makes a bold landscape statement, with its irregular branching and graceful crown. This tree can grow in a variety of soils, including; acidic, alkaline, clay, loamy, moist, sandy, and well-drained. Eastern Red Bud is native to North America with cousins in Europe and Asia.


Wildlife Value 

The early blossoms draw in nectar-seeking insects, including several species of early-season butterflies. Northern Bobwhite and a few songbirds, such as chickadees, will eat the seeds. It can be used for nesting sites and nesting materials, and it also provides shelter for birds and mammals.

Eastern Red Bud Flowers

Eastern Red Bud LeavesEastern Red Bud Tree


Chinese Elm

This small to mid-sized fast-growing shade tree grows 9-12 m (30-40 ft) tall with an equal spread and develops a broad, vase-like shape with a pendulous, weeping branch habit. It is semi-deciduous, losing its leaves in late December, but retaining its foliage in milder climates. The leaves are glossy, delicate, and dark green with an alternating leaf arrangement. The foliage turns a yellowish-brown before falling from the tree in cold weather. It has inconspicuous flowers in late summer followed by decorative green fruit. The Chinese elm has beautiful grayish-green, mottled bark that sheds with age, displaying varying colors. This tree grows best in full sun and is adaptable to most soil types as long as they are well-draining. Chinese Elm is native to China, Korea, and Japan.


Wildlife Value

This tree has very low wildlife value because it produces little or no fruit, and what is produced does not persist on the tree.


Chinese Elm Tree BarkChinese Elm LeavesChinese Elm Full Spring


Common Hackberry

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 9-15 m (30-50 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun. The Common Hackberry is easily distinguished from Elms and some other Hackberries by its cork-like bark with wart-like protuberances. The leaves are distinctly asymmetrical and coarse-textured. It produces small fruits that turn orange-red to dark purple in the autumn, often staying on the trees for several months. It prefers rich moist soil and can easily withstand strong winds, pollution, heat, salt, and tough soils. It is native to North America from southern Ontario and Quebec, through parts of New England, south to North Carolina, west to northern Oklahoma, and north to North Dakota. 


Wildlife Value

The Common Hackberry is one of the best trees for providing food and shelter to birds and small animals. It is host to at least five different species of butterfly, including the Tawny Emperor, the Snout Butterfly, the Morning Cloak, the Question Mark, and the rare Hackberry Emperor. Its fruits are attractive to many birds (especially in the winter), including Cedar Waxwings, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and robins. The leaves also provide food for many caterpillars.

HackberriesHackberry BarkHackberry Tree


European Hornbeam

This small sized slow-growing shade tree grows 4.5-6 m (15-20 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ovate with sharply and doubly toothed margins and a pointed tip. The leaves are dark green in summer and turn yellowish in autumn. The flowers bloom in April and are not particularly showy. Fruit is a ribbed nut (let) that is borne at the base of a leafy bract. Leafy bracts hang in clusters. Fruit matures in September through October. The bark is a mature wood which is beautifully fluted and a handsome slate gray. The European Hornbeam typically grow in sandy soil in full sun. European Hornbeam is native to Europe, Asia Minor and southeastern England. The species is most dominant in Southeastern England and Western France. 


Wildlife Value

The European Hornbeam will keep its leaves all year round, providing shelter, roosting, nesting and foraging opportunities for birds and small mammals. European Hornbeam is the food plant for caterpillars of a number of moth species, including the Nut Tree Tussock. Finches, tits and small mammals eat the seeds in autumn.

European Hornbeam LeavesEuropean Hornbeam FlowersEuropean Hornbeam FruitEuropean Hornbeam Tree


Japanese Tree Lilac

This small sized tree reaches 6-9 m (20-30 ft) in height at a medium growth speed. It grows best in full sun (6 hours daily). Japanese Tree Lilac produces large clusters of small creamy-white, fragrant flowers. This tree prefers moist well-drained soil although it will tolerate alkaline soil, dry sites, and road salt.


Wildlife Value

The flower on this tree attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and insect pollinators.

Japanese Tree Lilac FlowerJapanese Tree Lilac


Kwanzan Cherry

This small to mid-sized tree reaches 9-12 m (30-40 ft) in height at a fast growth speed. It grows best in full sun. The Kwanzan Cherry tree produces an amazing profusion of deep pink double flowers 6.35 cm (2½ inches) in diameter from April to early May. It features yellow, orange, and copper fall color leaves. It is a fruitless tree and has a shortened lifespan of 15–25 years. This tree can grow in a variety of soils, including; acidic, alkaline, clay, drought, loamy, sandy, well-drained, or wet.


Wildlife Value

This tree has very low wildlife value because it produces little or no fruit, and what is produced does not persist on the tree.


Kwanzan Cherry BudKwanzan Cherry BlossomKwanzan Cherry Tree Fall


Ornamental Pear

This small to mid-sized tree reaches 9-15 m (30-50 ft) in height at a medium growth speed. It grows best in full sun. This tree blooms clusters of white flowers. It flowers in early spring. In summer, the shining foliage is dark green and very smooth, and in autumn the leaves commonly turn brilliant colors, ranging from yellow and orange to more commonly red, pink, purple, and bronze. Small, red-brown fruit persist through much of the winter. This tree adapts to moist as well as dry soil conditions. Moist, well-drained soil is best. It tolerates pollution and dryness. They are also resistant to fire blight, pests, and other common diseases. 


Wildlife Value

The dank smell of the Ornamental Pear Blossom attracts honey bees and flies, specifically, Hover Flies. In the winter, the berries attract birds who disperse the seeds throughout the area to start more saplings.


Ornamental Pear Tree BlossomsOrnamental Pear Tree LeavesOrnamental Pear Tree


Medium Sized Shade Trees

American Sweet Gum

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 15-20 m (50-65 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun. It features glossy green star-shaped leaves throughout the summer. It produces beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple in the autumn. This tree can grow in a variety of soils, including; acidic, clay, drought, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and wet. American Sweet Gum is native to North America.


Wildlife Value

American Sweet Gum seeds are eaten by Eastern Goldfinches, Purple Finches, sparrows, mourning doves, Northern Bobwhites and wild turkeys. Small mammals such as chipmunks, red squirrels and the Eastern Gray Squirrel also enjoy the fruits and seeds.


American Sweet Gum Leaf

American Sweet Gum Leaf 2American Sweet Gum Tree


Black Gum

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 15-20 m (50-65 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun. It blooms greenish-white flowers which grow in bunches or individually on long, hairy stalks in late Spring. It grows fleshy, blue-black fruit with an inner stone. This tree grows best in loamy, slightly acidic soils, but is tolerant of clay, gravel and sand. The Black Gum is native to Southern Niagara near Lake Erie.


Wildlife Value

Black Gum fruit is a good food source for many species, including fox, Pileated Woodpeckers, ducks and wild turkey. The White-Tailed Deer and beaver eat Black Gum twigs and leaves. Flowers attract bees and insects. Larger trees can have cavities that wildlife use for shelter.


Black Gum Tree LeavesBlack Gum Tree FruitBlack Gum Tree



Japanese Zelkova

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 15-24 m (50-80 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun to partial shade. The Japanese Zelkova is a good street and shade tree that has an appealing vase-shaped form with a rounded crown. Green leaves turn yellow, copper, orange or deep red to purplish-red in fall, putting on a showy display. The peeling bark on older trees exposes orange patches, which can be quite impressive. It is a very adaptable tree, and will tolerate clay, loam, and sand, providing the soil is well-draining. It is native to Japan, Korea and Taiwan.


Wildlife Value

This tree has very low wildlife value because it produces little fruit, and what is produced does not persist on the tree.

Japanese Zelkova LeavesJapanese Zelkova Tree FallJapanese Zelkova Tree


Kentucky Coffee Tree

This medium-sized, moderately fast-growing tree that eventually reaches 20-25 m (65-82 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun. It grows best in well-drained soils, including acidic, alkaline, loamy, sandy and clay soils and is drought tolerant. Kentucky Coffee Tree is a unique tree with large, woody pods and very large leaves made up of smaller leaflets. With its bold form, contorted branching, unique bark and decorative clusters of large pods rattling in the wind, Kentucky Coffee Tree is an exceptional winter ornamental. Leaves emerge in late spring a striking pink-bronze color. As the beautiful, large airy leaves mature they become dark bluish-green above. The light, airy shade (semi-shade) of this tree makes gardening under it possible. This tree's yellow fall color contrasts nicely with the clusters of dark, maturing pods. It is native to Southwestern Ontario.


Wildlife Value

This tree provides nesting sites for birds. The seeds are toxic so do not benefit wildlife.


Kentucky Coffee Tree Leaves Kentucky Coffee Tree PodsKentucky Coffee Tree Full


Little Leaf Linden

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 9-15 m (30-50 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun to partial shade. It produces clusters of yellowish flowers that hang down on a long stalk attached to a leaf-like wing. These flowers give off a very noticeable, pleasant fragrance. It blooms in the summer, after most trees have finished. The leaves are heart shaped with fine teeth on the margins. Their color shifts from light green to glossy dark green to yellow throughout the seasons. This tree offers great shade due to a dense canopy. This tree grows best in loamy, moist, and well-drained soils. It does not tolerate wet conditions, severe drought, pollution, or salt spray. The Little Leaf Linden is native to Europe and Asia.


Wildlife Value

The flowers are rich in nectar and attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The tree's softwood creates nesting sites for cavity-dwelling birds.


Little Leaf Linden BlossomLittle Leaf Linden LeavesLittle Leaf Linden Full Tree


Shademaster Honey Locust

This medium-sized, fast-growing tree reaches 9-13 m (30-43 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun. Thorns can cover bark which becomes furrowed and ridged with age. It forms a graceful vase to oval-shaped outline of its canopy. These pinnately compound, green leaflets are very light and airy which provide great dappled shade. Greenish white flowers emerge in the spring with the leaves. Long seedpods form in the late summer. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow and the seedpods turn brown, falling to the ground. This tree grows best in moist, well-drained soils, loam or clay but also tolerates a range of soils. Shademaster Honey locust is native to parts of Southwestern Ontario near Lake Erie. 


Wildlife Value

White-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits, opossums, crows, starlings, Bobwhite Quail, and raccoons will eat the bean pods and it is a good source of nutrition for them in early fall to winter. Thickets of this tree can also provide excellent wildlife cover since the thorns will help keep predators out. The flowers are a good source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. The Honey Locust is a host plant for several moth and butterfly caterpillars.


 Shademaster Honey Locust FlowersShademaster Honey Locust LeavesShademaster Honey Locust



 Larger Shade Trees

Bur Oak

This large, slow growing tree reaches 22-30 m (72-98 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun because it is intolerant of shade. Once Bur Oak is established it is difficult to transplant. This tree can grow in a variety of soils, including sandy or silty loams and heavy clay.


Wildlife Value

This tree produces yellowish-green flowers which attract songbirds, upland ground birds, and water-birds. Small mammals such as chipmunks, red and gray squirrels enjoy the acorns in the Fall.


Bur Oak Acorns

Bur Oak Leaves Bur Oak Tree


Common Maple 

This large, slow growing tree can reach 27-38 m (89-125 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun and provides ample shade. Maple trees offer a richly colored, distinctive element to the scene in fall when their leaves turn vibrant shades of crimson, gold, and yellow, and some varieties are well known for their ability to produce delicious Maple syrup. Most maple trees are adaptable to many soil types, including clay. They prefer a well-drained but moist soil of average fertility. Maples can be found across the country but thrive particularly in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic provinces.


Wildlife Value

Maple trees provide important habitat and food sources for wildlife. Birds, squirrels, and other animals feed on the seeds, while deer and other herbivores browse on the foliage. The tree's dense canopy also offers shelter for various bird species.

Green Maple LeavesMaple KeysRed Maple Tree


Ginkgo Biloba

This large slow growing tree normally reaches a height of 20–35 m (65-115 ft) with some specimens in China being over 50 m (165 ft). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood, and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes Ginkgo's durable, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow and then fall, sometimes within a short space of time. The Ginkgo Biloba prefers full sun and grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained although it will tolerate alkaline soil, clay soil, dry sites, occasional drought, and road salt. The species is native to China.


Wildlife Value

There is little to no wildlife value as the Ginkgo is generally a seedless (male) cultivar, so it does not attract birds. The female Ginkgo produces a fruit which is known to bring an unpleasant smell with it, (similar to vomit) making it industry standard to sell male cultivars.


Gingko Biloba Flower

Ginkgo Biloba LeavesGinkgo Biloba TreeGinkgo Biloba Tree Fall


London Planetree

This large-sized, moderately fast-growing tree reaches 30 m (98 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun to partial shade. The London Planetree is noted for its exfoliating bark and large trunks. The outer layer of bark is a standard brown color that peels away in strips to reveal a creamy-white, smooth bark. The lobed leaves are a medium green color that turn yellow/brown in fall. In fall, inconspicuous flowers produce fuzzy fruit balls that remain until winter. The fruit balls disperse into white tufts that carry seeds. This tree grows best in moist, well-drained soil, and wet soil. It tolerates alkaline soil, clay soil, dry sites, occasional drought, occasional flooding, and wet sites. The London Planetree is native to London, England and most of Europe.


Wildlife Value

The dense foliage offers excellent nesting and roosting opportunities for birds. Additionally, the seed balls, while not a primary food source, are eaten by some birds during the winter months.

London Plaintree BloomsLondon Plaintree BarkLondon Plaintree Full


Red Oak 

This large-sized moderately fast-growing tree reaches 30 m (98 ft) in height. It grows best in full sun and it is intolerant of shade. Leaves have 7 to 9 pointed lobes separated by deep, rounded notches. It prefers well-drained loams and slightly acidic soil. In the fall, the leaves of this tree are a brilliant red colour. Red Oak is native to East of Lake Superior and across Central and Southern Ontario.


Wildlife Value

It produces yellowish-green flowers and acorns which attract songbirds, upland ground birds, and water-birds. Small mammals such as chipmunks, red squirrels and gray squirrels enjoy the acorns in the Fall.


Red Oak AcornsRed Oak FlowersRed Oak LeavesRed Oak Full


Tulip Tree

This large, fast-growing tree reaches 30 m (98 ft) in height. It prefers deep, moist fertile soils and and sun or partial shade. It is intolerant to flooding and also sensitive to drought or heat. It is tolerant of Junglonase, the chemical emitted by the Black Walnut tree. It blooms unique tulip-shaped flowers that have 6 yellow and orange petals, borne upright at the ends of twigs. The Tulip Tree is native to the Carolinian Forest of Southern Niagara.


Wildlife Value

It attracts songbirds and small mammals. It is also the larval host for Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.


Tulip Tree FruitTulip Tree FlowerTulip Tree


White Oak

This large-sized, slow-growing tree reaches 35 m (115 ft) in height.  It grows best in full sun. It prefers well-drained loams and slightly acidic soil. It grows bright green leaves with paler green undersides. The leaves turn red-purple in the fall before falling off. Leaves have 7 - 9 rounded lobes separated by deep, rounded notches. Acorns take one year to fully grow and drop off in the fall once they are ripe. The White Oak is native to Southern Ontario.


Wildlife Value

The acorns are one of the best sources of food for wildlife and are gathered, hoarded and eaten by birds, hoofed browsers and rodents. Leaf buds also are eaten by several bird species, and all parts of the tree are a favorite food for deer.

White Oak LeavesWhite Oak AcornsWhite Oak Tree Fall




Caring for your Tree

Once a tree is chosen and planted, you will be required to care for the tree. The City will provide instructions on caring for that particular tree so that it thrives in it's environment. Below are some general tips to follow:

  • Keep lawn mowers and string trimmers away from the base of the trunk to avoid damaging the bark
  • Water, but do not over water your tree. Provide a deep watering twice a week during dry periods
  • Please leave the wood chips in place. Wood chips protect the tree from damage and reduce water loss allowing water and nutrients to penetrate the soil more easily
  • Do not pile soil or grass clippings over the mulch
  • If additional mulch is needed, do not mound the mulch towards the trunk like a pyramid
  • Do not encourage your children to climb the tree
Cutting, Trimming, Pruning or Removing the Tree on Public Property

Property owners are not permitted to trim trees on City property in front of or behind their homes. Any concerns about a tree's health or concerns for public safety, such as low lying limbs over the sidewalks or rood can be reported to

Tree removals will be determined by arborist. If it is identified for removal, the homeowner will be provided a letter. There will be a scheduled date of removal based on priority and may change due to other emergencies within the City. Depending on the size of the tree and available staff resources, the tree may be removed in two or three stages. These are as follows:

  1. The crown of the tree may be removed first, leaving the trunk.
  2. The trunk may be cut down to the ground level in one visit. It the trunk is left standing, the City will be back to remove it at a later date.
  3. The crew will then return to grind out the stump, remove the grindings and backfill with soil and seed. 

Once all completed, the property owner can request a new tree as outlined above.

Homeowner Alert

Roots from a tree can clog or damage house laterals when the pipes are not maintained. Homeowner's should know the location of their sewer house lateral and have a 4" cleanout installed if one does not already exist. The replacement cost for the house laterals damaged by tree roots can vary from $1,000 to $5,000. Routine maintenance of the sewer house lateral can prevent these costly repairs.

Learn more at the button below >>>

Sewer House Lateral vs. Tree Roots

Have a complaint about a mature tree? 

Perhaps a tree is covering a stop sign or it's roots are breaking through a sidewalk. Please let us know through an online form and we can schedule City Hall staff to come investigate and resolve the issue.

Click the button below to Report a Concern >>>

Report a Concern


Contact Us

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