Have you ever stopped to think how the Ganaraska Forest and other large forest tracts came to be?
In today's busy world we tend to take things like forests for granted. We enjoy their beauty, recreational opportunities, cooling effects on hot days, and their timber products, but we never think of the men, women and youth of the past that had the foresight to plant the trees that give us our forests today.

With the help of Edmund Zavitz (1875 - 1968), many local families planted thousands of trees on private lands across Northumberland County and the Regional Municipality of Durham. The original impetus was to control soil erosion on barren lands such as the Oak Ridges Moraine and to mitigate downstream flooding in settlements such as Port Hope. In order to help property owners plant trees and shrubs, and build their family legacy, the GRCA offers different options.

Tree & Shrub Seedling Program

Participating in the GRCA Tree Seedling Program allows property owners to purchase and plant bareroot native tree and shrub seedlings. Seedlings can be ordered in late fall through winter for a spring delivery. The minimum order is 25 seedlings/bundle per species.

The total cost includes the cost of the seedling, an administrative fee and HST. View the GRCA Tree & Shrub Seedling Order Form (PDF)

To find out more about the GRCA Tree Planting Program or to arrange for your free site visit, contact the Conservation Lands Coordinator.

Funding for tree planting may be available, please see the Clean Water-Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program.


Full Service Tree Planting

If you would like to increase the number of native trees and shrubs on your property, but are unable to plant them yourself, let the GRCA do the hard work for you. 500 or more native trees and shrubs can be planted for a fee. A planting plan is developed with your property goals in mind. The total cost to plant a tree varies, and on average costs $2.50 per seedling. Costs include planting stock, hand or machine planting, an administration fee, shipping fee, site preparation, one-time post-planting tending and HST. Seedlings are either hand planted or machine planted, depending on site conditions.

To find out more about the GRCA Tree Planting Program or to arrange for your free site visit, contact the GRCA Conservation Lands Coordinator.

Funding for tree planting may be available, please see the Clean Water-Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program.

Trees for Rural Roads

In the middle and late 19th century, farmers planted native maples, taken from their woodlots, along their property edges and on their lane ways. This gave rise to an important element in the rural landscape-lines of stately maples alongside roads and separating farmer's fields. The legacy of maple trees is embedded in many people's memories and part of the rural aesthetic.

These century (and older) trees are now succumbing to old age, exposure to wind, insects and disease. They are often not being replaced and that part of the rural/cultural landscape is now in jeopardy.In 2014, the Municipality of Port Hope began implementing the program, as well. Since this time, over 2,000 trees have been planted on rural municipal roads.  In 2022, the Township of Hamilton started implementing Trees for Rural Roads, over 150 trees were distributed throughout the Township.

Trees are provided to approved applicants to be planted next to a municipal road on private property. Applications are available from January to March of each year, and trees are available for pick-up late April/early May.

To learn more about the program, or to apply contact the GRCA's Conservation Lands Coordinator.

In order to restore trees along rural roads, the Municipality of Clarington offers the Trees for Rural Roads program to all municipal rural residents/property owners. Since 2012, over 8,000 trees have been distributed and planted along municipal roads on private land in Clarington.

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Landowners in the Ganaraska Region watershed could have a piece of the world’s largest living memorial while paying tribute to Canada’s veterans and fallen heroes.

Eligible landowners can receive a subsidy that could cover between 80-90% of the planting costs. Trees provide a wide variety of benefits such as habitat for wildlife, sequestering carbon, and stabilizing soil.

How can you participate in this unique opportunity?
The campaign is looking for properties within 30km of the Highway 401 that have 2.5 acres of open land for tree planting.
Contact April Stevenson, Tree Planting Stewardship Manager with Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign today to find out if your property is eligible!

Durham Trees

T TREE planting for future forests
R RESILIENT to mitigate the impacts of climate change
E ENSURE a healthy future for the surrounding community
E ENHANCE natural connections across our watersheds
S SAVING our planet, one tree at a time

Recognizing the numerous benefits of trees, this climate action initiative is a nature-based solution, with the goal of increasing forest cover in the Region by over 30%. So, if you've ever thought about adding trees to your property—for whatever the reason—there's no better time! To find out more about tree-planting on your land, visit the TREES website at www.DurhamTREES.org

Contact GRCA’s TREES’ program lead Pam Lancaster or phone 905-885-8173, ext 322