Be-LEAF it: you can help build urban forest

The reasons for planting trees and shrubs are many: not only do they increase your property value, they also contribute to a healthier environment. As fall planting season continues, the City of Markham offers another good reason to add greenery to your yard.

It has teamed up with York Region and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) to offer an additional 50 trees at subsidized prices after the first 50 trees were snapped up by homeowners in the spring and summer. Each residential property qualifies for a maximum of five trees at $50 (+HST) for each evergreen tree and $100 (+HST) for each deciduous tree.

The program is endorsed Markham’s Trees for Tomorrow initiative. Homeowners receive advice from a certified arborist, access to a selection of native trees at subsidized prices and have the option of full-service tree planting. LEAF will consider factors such as soil type, level of sunlight, location and the homeowner’s personal preference and will also provide a tree care guide and follow-up advice by e-mail or phone.

Multi-unit and business property owners in Markham can access a similar program through LEAF for trees at subsidized prices of $150 to $220 (+HST) per tree.

“This is an exciting partnership. I am proud of Markham residents who participated and I encourage more to get planting,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Together, we are fighting climate change. By planting a tree and adding to our urban canopy, we are significantly contributing to creating a healthier, greener world now and for future generations.”

Tree planting on public and private lands is “critical” towards achieving an urban canopy of 30 per cent, the City says. In addition to the benefits listed above, trees reduce energy consumption and storm-related flooding. LEAF arborists are booking appointments for consultations. Learn more at www.yourleaf.org or call 1-866-453-6504.

Photo of a young resident planting a tree during the Trees for Tomorrow’s annual spring planting on April 28 courtesy of the City of Markham.

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