Urban Forestry Home
Some suggestions on what to consider when planting trees/shrubs on your property:
- Plant only within your property line. If you are unsure where the property line is, simply check your property survey, read the dimensions from the foundation of the house to the property line, then measure out the distance.
- In some cases in the front yard, the water shutoff (brown steel disc approximately 4 inches in diameter) may be visible. This is usually at the property/street line. From that point to the paved road is Town-owned land. (See Considering Planting Shrubs and Hedges on Town Property?)
- Look at the planting site and determine the overall available growing area, including distances from walls, driveways, existing vegetation, buildings, and overhead utility lines or obstacles.
- Look at the type of effect you wish to obtain by planting trees/shrubs, screening, seasonal colour, shade, wind reduction, fruit and wildlife attraction.
- Always call before you dig to have the utilities locations marked out prior to any digging. Utility locate contact information is usually on your gas, cable, electricity, water or phone bills.
- On the Oak Ridges Moraine, it is preferable to use native plant materials in the landscape to prevent displacement of native plants by invasive or non-native plants.
- Research the plant material that you are considering to plant. Check out the expected size of the tree/shrub and consider this in relation to the proposed planting area. Also consider the features of the plant, fruit type, seed type and size.
- Consider the plants ultimate size and width, growth rate, life expectancy, potential common pests or diseases and what maintenance is required.
- Plant on private property far enough away from walkways, sidewalks and driveways, so ongoing pruning away from these features can be minimized. (Know the ultimate size of the plant selected and plant accordingly)
- Don't overplant or crowd plant material, as planting too closely leads to reduced life expectancy and increases the maintenance requirements needed to keep plants healthy and attractive.
- Walk/drive around the neighbourhood for ideas. If you are ambitious, speak to homeowners for information on the plant materials they used.
- Try to envision what the plantings will look like in five, 10, 20 or 50 years from now and the future maintenance requirements.
- When visiting older neighbourhoods, view the landscapes and see how they may work in your yard.
- Visit your local library for books on landscaping or visit related Websites.
- Seek the assistance of local nurseries or private landscape companies for advice on selection and planting.