Free tree giveaway a big success!

Great to see this initiative (that came form staff and was expanded by Budget Committee) has been so successful so far.

City’s Free Tree Giveaway a success

Oct. 27, 2017 – Eleven hundred new trees are taking root throughout St. Catharines thanks to the first year of a pilot project making new trees available to residents to plant on their property.

The City gave away nearly 500 new trees to residents at its second free tree giveaway of the year on Saturday, Oct. 21. The event offered four types of trees to St. Catharines residents who agreed to plant and maintain them on their property. Between two free tree events this year the City helped residents plant about 1,000 trees on private property.

The City had about 100 trees left over from its recent free tree giveaway, which will be planted in select City parks significantly affected by the Emerald Ash Borer.

“We had two very successful free tree events so we know the community values trees,” said Ilyse Norton, development horticultural technician. “We are working hard to plant new trees to replace what we’ve lost to the Emerald Ash Borer and encourage residents to do the same. Our plan was to make it easier for residents to access new trees to plant at their homes and it is working.”

The current tree cover, or urban tree canopy, took a hit over the last three years with more than 3,000 mature trees removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer. The current urban tree canopy is estimated to cover about 15 per cent of St. Catharines. The City is working on doubling the urban tree canopy to 30 per cent by the year 2030.

The City launched the free tree giveaway to encourage more tree plantings on private property to supplement the 1,000 trees planted this year along boulevards, in parks and on other City land. The City is studying the results of the free tree giveaways and will make recommendations for future events.