Be-LEAF it: trees available at deep discounts

If you’ve embraced outdoor living amid the pandemic or would like to beautify your property, you’ve got it made in the shade, thanks to a program that offers trees at deep discounts. 

The subsidized trees are available through Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) to York Region residential, multi-unit and commercial property owners.

There are two different service options property owners can participate through. There’s the Full Service tree planting, priced at $150 to $220 per tree, or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tree planting, $100 to $170 per tree. HST is extra.

The fee includes expert advice from a LEAF certified arborist through a one-on-one consultation, access to over 50 species of native trees and shrubs and delivery or planting service.

The biggest difference between the two is that LEAF staff will do the planting through the Full Service option and is only available for backyard projects. The DIY program is available for front, side and backyards and the planting is done by the property owner.

After planting, LEAF will provide follow-up tree care advice either by phone or online so your trees stay healthy and thrive.

The non-profit is able to offer such extensive and high-quality service to York Region residents for approximately half the cost thanks to a partnership with York Region.

“York Region subsidizes the program so that program participants across the Region pay only about 50 per cent of the cost, which ranges from $100 to $220 per tree, depending on the program and species chosen,” LEAF executive director, Janet McKay says.

Markham residents are able to enjoy further discounts thanks to an additional partnership with the City of Markham.

Endorsed by Markham’s Trees for Tomorrow initiative, Markham property owners pay $50 for each evergreen tree and $100 for each deciduous tree chosen from a select species list. HST is extra.

“The program supports our environmental and sustainability objectives and allows for the enhancement of our tree canopy that offers wonderful benefits to our community,” Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti says.

After losing numerous ash trees on his property due to the emerald ash borer, Markham resident David Wannop has planted 10 trees over the past two years using LEAF’s DIY program.

“The arborist helped me pick out the right trees for my property and the trees were delivered right to my door. I came home from work and there they were. It was seamless,” he says.

“Our program offers customized arborist advice to anyone that participates in our program,” McKay says. “We take soil type, light and available space into consideration, and match them to participant preferences for things like tree size, shape and fall colour.

“We’re here to help make good, long-term decisions about what to plant where, so that both trees and people are happy in the long run.”

The program operates on a first-come, first-served basis with limited numbers of trees available in each area. So don’t delay, apply today.

To learn more about the details of the program and to access free tree care tips and resources, visit www.yourleaf.org. You can apply for the program, sign up for a free e-newsletter and find links to LEAF social media channels so you can stay up-to-date on the most recent news and offers.

 

Photo: Adriana Rezai-Stevens, certified arborist and LEAF Residential Planting Programs Field Coordinator, shows off a Black Cherry Tree which is one of the 50 species of native trees and shrubs offered at subsidized rates for York Region residents through the LEAF program.

 

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