Introducing The Roots Initiative
Neighborhood Tree Giveaway
Planting and Growing Resilience with Native Fruit Trees
Let’s plant more native trees to help grow and nurture a greener community! Together we can care for Toronto’s tree canopy ensuring it is healthy, fruitful and resilient.
If you’re a current fruit tree owner or a Torontonian who has the space and time to take on growing and caring for a native tree, listen in as we have some exciting news for you! Not Far From the Tree will be hosting a FREE Native tree and shrubs giveaway on Saturday May 7th from 8am to 1pm during Evergreen’s Saturday Farmers’ Market!
The Neighborhood Tree Giveaway Program, supports the City of Toronto’s goal of reaching a 40% tree canopy cover by 2050. Below Find out more about our urban tree canopy and ways you can further protect our trees, young and old, here. A well cared for native edible or non-edible tree is an amazing asset to the community for many years to come. The City of Toronto provides all trees, which are native to Toronto’s seed zone and suited for our urban environment. Learn more about each tree and shrub available below.
Edible Native Fruit Plants
An adaptable large shrub/small tree, with clusters of white flowers, an attractive red fall colour and nutrient packed, flavourful berries.
Blueberry/almond-flavoured berries make great pies/preserves/snacks. Prune out suckers or let colonize.
A small to medium fast-growing shrub, with large fragrant rose-like flowers, suitable for various conditions. Red berries resemble a large, flat raspberry with many drupelets, and are fuzzy to the touch and tongue.
Non-Edible Native Plants
A large shade tree with yellow-green leaves turning an attractive yellow-orange or red in the fall. Slow growing and long lived.
Maples are among the first trees to bloom in spring making them an important pollen source for pollinators coming out of dormancy.
This non-fruit tree is beneficial to proliferating the urban canopy and supporting your fruit tree by attracting pollinators!
A large shade tree with dense foliage, heart shaped leaves and fragrant flowers. Leaves are nutrient rich and make great mulch.
Flowers bloom in midsummer when few other trees are blooming, making them an important food source for pollinators.
A popular small tree, with very striking purple/pink flowers in the spring and heart-shaped leaves.
Flowers bloom before leaves emerge, providing an important early source of pollen for pollinators. Leaves are used by various species for nesting material.
A wide, large shrub with clusters of white flowers and interesting peeling bark. Leaves turn coppery-bronze in the fall. Very tolerant of urban conditions.
Flowers attract pollinators. Seed capsules attract seed-eating birds.
A hardy shrub with small yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, tolerant of various conditions.
Attracts bees, butterflies and other pollinators that make use of the plant’s nectar and pollen.
For all Fruit Trees: Full sun, protected from wind with good air circulation. East exposure helps to dry dew. Avoid bottom of hills (frost pockets) or hilltops unless protected by windbreak or building. Plant where falling fruit will not be an issue, nor under wires or over services.
Non-fruit plants are a great pollinator source while increasing urban canopy cover.
Adopting a fruit tree is a bit like adopting a pet! It needs attention, love, and is a long-term commitment. A well cared for fruit tree is a valuable asset to the community, but a neglected tree can spread disease and decimate other fruit trees in your neighborhood. Not Far From The Tree is committed to maintaining the long-term health of Toronto’s urban orchard. We ask that you only register for a free fruit tree if you’re able to commit to the following:
You’ll be pleased to know that native edible and non-edible trees and shrubs are low maintenance and very resilient once the plant’s roots are well established! However, caring for a newly planted young fruit tree does require attention and support. Before selecting your tree, please ensure you:
- Have the appropriate growing space to allow for a healthy shrub or tree to grow to maturity
- Provide at least 4 hours of care during each month of the growing season (every year!)
- Monitor your tree for pests and disease every year, and provide treatments if necessary
You will be able to pick up your tree or shrub(s) at the Evergreen Farmers Market on Saturday May 7th between 8am and 1pm. All plants will come in 1 or 2 gallon pots and approximately 1-3ft tall. Trees must be planted immediately once received, so please be ready to plant them that day. There are no restrictions on how many plants each individual may take home!
Please note this Giveaway has been closed.
PLEASE NOTE: Because funding for this program comes from the City of Toronto, this program is limited to residents of Toronto and any trees ordered must be planted within the City of Toronto.
Gingko Picking Update