Replacement trees for private property*


The blue spruce on my property has to be removed die to the dangerous leaning. Can I replace it with any tree of my choice? Like White Pine. Or there are some restrictions?
Is there any list of trees suitable for replacement on private property?



Replacing a tree on private property is a wide open choice. Unlike a simple plant, a tree lasts a life time with proper care. What is the cycle of the tree and will it be a messy tree? Will it block other elements of your garden in due time? Do you want an evergreen or a deciduous tree?

Before you pick a tree understand a few elements of your environment.

Is it a spot with sun or shade. Sun is considered 6 hours of sunshine a day. What type of soil is it? Acidic or Alkaline? Somewhat acidic I should think if a blue spruce has been growing before. Does the tree require a lot of water or can it tolerate drought?  Initially you must water often. 1 inch of water twice a week. A native specimen grows best in the city with natural pests and predators. Is the tree close to the road as salt is a factor in killing many of our trees.

Your tree is leaning and needs to be removed. When planting your tree remember how big it grows and plant accordingly. A small tree now can be near a home but what will happen as it grows. Roots can damage a foundation in time.

Prepare the soil properly before planting.Wait until the Fall or Spring to plant your tree. This heat is difficult on new transplants. Choice is probably better in the Spring and it would allow your soil to rest.

Note that within the City of Toronto, removal of private trees with a diameter of 30 cm or more requires a permit. Information on the permit process and suggested species for replacing trees can be found at the link below.

Trees in Toronto

You might also be interested in the LEAF organization’s Backyard Tree Planting Program which offers native trees to property owners at a subsidized cost. Click here to access information about the program on their web site.

Our Toronto Master Gardener guide on tree planting, also contains information on tree selection.  Click on the link below to access the guide.

Planting a Tree for Life: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide