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Tree Planting and Watering


new trees being planting on a subdivision boulevard

How do I request that a tree be planted on my street?

Property owners may request that the City plant a tree on the City boulevard.  Requests are evaluated by staff taking into account overground and underground constraints, sightlines and existing trees.  Whenever possible, a new tree may be planted in the next planting season, ie. Spring or Fall.  While every effort is made to accomodate each specific request for the type of tree planted, it may be necessary for City staff to decide the type of tree planted in accordance with City policies and standards.

To initiate a request, please contact us through the Service London link provided below:

Replacement and Infill Trees

The Infill program can be divided into 3 areas: Replacement of trees, Request for new trees, and Pro-active infill of trees.

Replacement – The City of London tries to replace all trees that have been removed due to construction, storms, or poor health. This normally takes place within one year of the tree being removed. Each site is assessed to determine if there is room to replant. The size of the tree to be planted is based on the amount of available soil and the presence of utilities, both above and below the ground. This assessment is based on the City of London’s guidelines for planting trees linked below. The largest tree possible is always the first choice when planting. Homeowners are notified in advance and it is possible for them to request a specific tree from our list of approved trees, included in the link below.

Request – Homeowners in the City of London may request to have a tree planted on the boulevard in front of their house. The City will assess the site and consult with the homeowner as to the type of tree suitable for that site. All requests will be added to the work order system and will be planted within one year of the request.

Pro-active – The City of London actively plants on open boulevard spaces throughout the city.  It is our commitment to reforest any boulevard space unless it is going to be utilized as open space.

New Subdivision Trees

In all newly built subdivisions, the developer is responsible for the planning and cost of tree planting. They submit a plan to the City of London for approval and upon acceptance, receive authorization of assumption with regards to the trees. Within one year of assumption, the City of London will use that plan and tender a contract to have all the trees planted within that subdivision and invoice the developer for that amount. This allows the City to retain control of the quality of planting and enable them to accurately inventory the trees and follow up on the 2 year warranty on the trees. The trees are planned according to a block system where no more than 3-5 species are planted in a row, with both side of the road matching to create a uniform canopy over the road. The selection and placement of species is based on the City of London’s guidelines for tree planting. There is little room for the request, by homeowners, of specific trees that are not on the plan, but it may be possible to switch species depending on where in the block the homeowner lives.

City staff watering a newly planted tree on a subdivision boulevard.

Summertime Water Conservation Tips

Water your trees, gardens or lawn early in the morning or in the evening to reduce loss due to evaporation. As a rule, most lawns and gardens require little more than two to three centimetres of water per week. To calculate the water being applied using a sprinkler, use a rain gauge or put a margarine container (with a 2.5 cm mark on the inside) out on your lawn to help track water usage. Timing the length of watering would allow you to gauge how long watering is needed to achieve your watering goals.  For newly planted trees, watering a 1 square metre area with 2.5 cm of water equates to a 5 gallon bucket of water.  Simply apply the water slowly around the tree or create a small hole in the bottom of the bucket to allow the water to drain over time.  Re-think how much lawn you need.

Naturalize your yard using native plant species to minimize maintenance, reduce costs and increase water efficiency. Selecting plants for their drought tolerance, and/or ability to thrive without regular maintenance in the climate conditions where they will be grown - xeriscaping - can reduce landscape water use by 50 to 75 per cent.

Water your lawn for longer periods once or twice a week rather than watering every other day. This will allow water to soak into the soil and get to the roots of plants better.

Your trees, lawns and gardens only needs 2.5 cm (one inch) of water per week to stay green, and rain water counts.

Remember, rain barrels conserve rain water not subject to the Outdoor Water Use Regulations. The water is also better for your plants.


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Tree Planting FAQs

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  • When does the planting season begin?

    We plant in the spring and fall. Spring planting normally starts sometime in April and continues until the end of June. Fall planting normally starts sometime in September and continues until the end of November.

  • Can I choose what type of tree is planted?

    You can request a certain type of tree, but there are no guarantees. City staff and planting contractors will determine the type of tree best suited for the location. The City prioritizes native species, and will take into consideration the type of soil, other species of trees in the area, hydro wires, streetlights and available stock. 

  • Can I plant a tree on City Property?

    No, homeowners are not permitted to plant on City property.

  • Will I receive a notice before planting begins?

    Yes, a notice is mailed out to adjacent homeowners in advance of planting. If you do not wish for a tree to be planted follow the planting notice and contact the Forestry office.

    • Example of Notice
  • What size of tree does the City plant?

    We plant 50mm caliper trees.  Studies have shown that this size of tree establishes well, without going into “transplant shock”.  A larger tree will take longer to re-establish it’s root system and start growing again.

  • Do I need to water the newly planted tree?

    Yes, homeowners are encouraged to water the newly planted tree once a week. Please see the information on watering above.

  • Why are there markings on my lawn?

    The markings on your lawn mean we plan to either remove the stump, if one exists or we plan on planting a tree on City land adjacent to your property.