Residential ReLeaf

Residential ReLeaf

family plants tree

Our Residential Re-Leaf program allows homeowners within the City of St. John’s to apply for a $150 voucher towards the purchase of a tree to plant on their property.

St. John’s is fortunate in that it has many tree-lined streets and an abundance of greenspace.  There are however many areas in the city where tree cover is sparse.  In these instances, there is often little to no City-owned land available to plant trees.  The Residential Re-Leaf program aims to enhance the streetscape and increase the presence of trees in these areas by encouraging property owners to plant trees on their property. This initiative also helps the City achieve its goal of enhancing the existing urban forest by planting trees in residential areas throughout the city and educating residents on the benefits urban trees provide.

Residential Re-Leaf began in 2019. In 2016, in partnership with Tree Canada and TD Green Streets, the City of St. John’s initiated the Community Roots tree planting program.  Through this program 161 trees were planted on residential properties throughout the City.

Requirements
In order to obtain a tree purchase voucher, you must:

  • Own the property where the tree is to be planted or provide written permission from the owner.
  • Ensure you have a suitable planting location that provides sufficient room to support mature tree growth and will not present any future sightline issues or utility conflicts.
  • Trees must be planted adjacent to the street either at the front or the side of the property.
  • Attend a tree care information session hosted by City staff.  After completing the session, participants will be given a $150 voucher to go towards the purchase of a tree from a participating local nursery or garden center. 

Apply
If you’re able to meet these conditions and would like to apply you’ll need to submit an application, which is available by clicking here.  Applications will be processed on a first come first served basis and must be received by May 17, 2019.  Applications can be submitted through either of the following methods:
 

Email: bmercer@stjohns.ca  In Person: 25 Blackler Avenue, Municipal Depot,
8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday 
Regular Mail:                                
Municipal Arborist
City of St. John’s
P.O. Box 908
St. John’s, NL
A1C 5M2 

Commonly Asked Questions

Who can participate in the program?
This program is being offered to all residential property owners within the city of St. John’s.

What type of tree can I buy?
Different tree species possess different characteristics or attributes.  Perhaps the most obvious example of this is trees with needles and cones, known as coniferous trees, vs. those with broader leaves that fall off in autumn, known as deciduous trees.  Coniferous trees are great for blocking wind or providing privacy.  Deciduous trees can provide shade during the summer but allow light through during the winter months.  Within these two broad categories there are many other distinctions that you should be aware of before choosing a tree.  Selecting the best species for the site is the most important step in planting a tree.
 
Here is a list of the trees available through the Residential Re-Leaf program and some of the key features and site requirements of each.

Participating Nurseries
Vouchers can be redeemed at either of the following, participating nurseries or garden centres.  Each of these businesses offer a wide variety of trees, shrubs and other garden supplies.  Their staff are knowledgeable of the characteristics of the species available and willing to provide advice in selecting a tree for your property. 
 

Holland Nurseries   
401 Torbay Road           
St. John’s
709-682-3912
Murray’s Garden Centre
1525 Portugal Cove Road
Portugal Cove – St. Philips
709-895-2800
Pat’s Plants  and Gardens   
787 Main Road
Bay Bulls
709-334-2987
Rise and Shine Nursery and Garden Centre
829 Main Road
St. John’s
709-747-4463 

Where should I plant?
Choosing the correct planting location may take some time and consideration but planting the right tree in the right place is the best step you can take to ensure success. Prior to purchasing your tree you’ll need to finalize the planting location.  In doing so, you’ll also need to consider the following:

  • In accordance with the program requirements, trees must be planted adjacent to the street either at the front or the side of the property.
  • Your tree will grow.  Be aware of the mature size of the species you’ve chosen, both in terms of height and spread, and ensure the location provides sufficient room, to accommodate mature growth.
  • Locate utilities both above and below grade. Applicants are responsible for ensuring it’s safe to dig in the chosen location. Utility locate requests can be submitted on-line, free of charge, via the following link www.clickbeforeyoudig.com . Overhead utility lines must also be considered when choosing a planting location.  Further information regarding trees and power lines is available on Newfoundland Power’s website and can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Snow removal and storage can have a detrimental impact on trees.  Therefore, all trees must be set back a minimum of 1. 5 m from the curb/sidewalk to avoid damage during snow removal and to provide space for storage.
  • Orientation of the property. Most trees can withstand full sun exposure but not all are tolerant of shade.  Be sure to check the favored site conditions for the species you’ve chosen.  Also, trees planted in the right location can help save you money.  For example, coniferous trees can help block cold winter winds, lowering your home heating costs. Deciduous trees can provide shade during the summer months, helping to keep your home cool.

Don’t be alarmed if your tree doesn’t look like this.  But it should be planted in a similar fashion.

How do I plant my tree?
At the information session each applicant will be provided with all the necessary information on choosing their planting location, species and on how to plant and care for their tree.

It’s recommended that all applicants have their planting location chosen and their hole pre-dug before picking up their tree. This will ensure that once the tree is picked up and transported home that the planting site is ready. Please ensure that your planting hole is clearly identified when left unattended to avoid any safety concerns.

What if I cannot physically plant my tree?
It’ll be up to you to determine if you’re able to plant your tree. If you’re not, you could enlist the help of a friend or family member or hire someone to plant the tree for you.

What will this cost?
The initiative itself is free to all successful applicants. Each voucher covers up to $150.00 (including tax). You can also purchase a more expensive tree however you’ll be responsible for all costs in excess of the $150.00 provided by this initiative.

How many trees can a person/household apply for?
There is a limit of one tree per property.

What size trees are being supplied?
In the nursery trade there’s generally two methods for describing the size of a tree.  For deciduous trees, size is determined by measuring the diameter near the base of the tree. Coniferous trees are a little different, their size is identified by height. 

The vouchers being offered cover the value of a tree up to $150.00, including tax.  The cost of a tree is generally determined by a combination of size and species. For $150.00, applicants will likely be able to purchase a tree that is approximately 35 – 40 mm in diameter or in the case of coniferous trees, 100 cm tall. While this may seem small to some, this is a great size for planting on residential properties.   When trees are planted, they initially focus their energy on growing roots and establishing themselves in their new home.  Smaller trees generally have a higher percentage of existing roots at the time of planting and therefore require less effort to become established.  Smaller trees are also easier to transport and plant.

Will the City remove trees to facilitate planting?
The City of St. John’s will not remove healthy trees in order to plant new or different trees. However, trees that are either dead, diseased or hazardous may need to be removed and should be reported to the City by contacting 311.

How do I care for my tree?
Once your tree has been planted it’ll need your help to adjust to its new home.  Watering, mulching and providing protection during winter greatly increases the likelihood of tree establishment. Visit our tree planting page for more advice on tree care.