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New Take Root program offers free trees to Guelph residents

City of Guelph plans to grow 1,000 trees in 2023 as part of the municipality’s One Canopy Strategy
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A provincial grass-roots organization called Forests Ontario is partnering with the City of Guelph and Trees for Guelph to roll out Take Root, a program providing residents of the city with access to no-cost, native trees for their homes and neighbourhoods, making tree planting accessible for all.

Residents of the City of Guelph can visit the new Take Root website at

In cooperation with the city and Trees for Guelph, Take Root plans to distribute 1,000 trees this year.

To be eligible, you must be a resident of Guelph and own the property, or have permission from the property owner, to plant a tree. 

"Our Trees for Guelph team will be utilizing our 33 years of tree planting and environmental education expertise to implement this Take Root residential planting program in Guelph,” says Martin Litchfield, vice-president at Trees for Guelph, in a news release. “We are excited to work with the City of Guelph and Forests Ontario and be the hands-on, local delivery component of this wonderful program."

“We think the Take Root program is a very tangible way to promote and provide livable, green communities in and around Guelph,” says Gene Matthews, general manager of parks at the City of Guelph. “We need to plant more trees in Guelph, and Take Root is a way to engage our community and make that happen.”

“Giving residents access to the right tree, for the right place, and at the right price, is only the start,” says Rob Keen, registered professional forester and CEO of Forests Ontario. “By working with our partners to share our knowledge about planting and caring for trees with the community, the Take Root program can help create a healthy, thriving network of interconnected, urban green spaces.”

The Take Root program was designed to help municipalities like the City of Guelph:

  • Engage local communities and provide them with the resources needed to properly plant and care for their urban forest cover.
  • Empower local communities to act by providing training and knowledge in becoming stewards of the urban forest for the long term.
  • Enable local communities to participate in urban planting events and contribute to increasing a healthy urban forest cover in their neighbourhoods.
  • Provide an equitable program where everyone has an opportunity to a low- or no-cost native tree or shrub.
  • Enhance environmental co-benefits through activities that will help create healthy, resilient forests as well as improve the physical and mental well-being of residents and their communities.

Residents of the City of Guelph who are interested in learning more about the Take Root program can visit or e-mail Forests Ontario Program Coordinator Amy Howitt at [email protected].