Skip to content

Not-for-profit Treemobile a growing concern in Guelph

Program delivers fruit trees, shrubs and veggie plants to your home
20160308 TREES

There's a lot more low-hanging fruit in Guelph these days thanks to a not-for-profit endeavour aimed at addressing local sustainability, quality food and global climate issues.

The Transition Treemobile has delivered over 300 fruit trees and 2,000 shrubs and vegetable plants locally since it got its start in Guelph five years ago.

Since then it has spread to Toronto and is in the process of starting up in Cambridge.

Last year saw 1,440 trees, shrubs, vines and plants distributed through the program.

You select items from an online catalogue and in early May volunteers deliver them. They will even plant them for you if desired.

Choices range from apple and pear trees to raspberry bushes, asparagus and strawberry plants.

The program is the brainchild of Virginie Gysel, who started the program through Transition Guelph five years ago when she was a student at the U of G. After moving to Toronto two years ago she started it up there.

"I was at a meeting of Transition Guelph and we were talking about food security. I said the only way to have it is to plant it," Gysel says of how the Treemobile got its start.

She says it's about local, delicious food that can be shared with others.

"People just really like the apples. Pears are easier, but people just love the apples," says Gysel of the most popular tree.

She thinks people like the idea of having apples that haven't been sprayed with pesticides.

"Our favourite is if people dig the hole before we get there then we plant the tree," Gysel says. "But we have a lot of seniors who don't own a shovel."

Transition Guelph is a grass roots volunteer organization that promotes local projects aimed at addressing local and global energy and climate change issues.

Several Transition Guelph projects revolve around local food collaboration, learning and skill building using local backyards and gardens.

"Our goal is to create a richer, more vibrant community through the re-localization of the services and resources that we need in order to survive and thrive in a world of long-term energy cost increases, climate change, and growing instability in the world economy," Transition Guelph's web site says.

Gysel says Guelph was a great place to start the Treemobile because of its size, large gardens and attitude towards the environment.

"We kept it small as a pilot project the first year but every year since we've pretty much doubled the number," Gysel says. "People just really seem to connect with what we're doing."

At the end of the distribution process, she says the Treemobile project has a grant system where surplus trees, shrubs, vines and plants are distributed to charities, churches and schools.

Delivery in Guelph is scheduled for mid-May. For more information on the program and pricing, go to