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Urban Tree Canopy Project

We’re enhancing the District's urban tree canopy by giving free trees to homeowners, and plants or shrubs to people living in apartments and condos, as part of our Urban Tree Canopy Project.

A more diverse and healthy urban tree canopy will help us take action against climate change and increase biodiversity and wildlife habitat.

On this page:

Our 2023 application period is closed. The next Urban Tree Canopy program will start in Summer 2024.

How the program works

If you own or rent a home in the District, you can apply to receive three trees and/or three shrubs for free, depending on your available space.

To request your free plants, fill out the online form at the bottom of this page before September 22, 2023. 

All plants are available while supplies last. We'll be providing substitutions if any plant species run out.

After you submit your request

You'll receive a confirmation email after submitting the online form. We'll also email you approximately two weeks before the plant pick up days with more information about pickup times and parking, etc.

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Choosing the right plant

If you have a yard

You can choose any type of plant you like, but if your yard is small or you have limited space, we suggest choosing shrubs or a smaller tree.

Additionally, if you live in a wildfire development permit area (DPA), ensure you choose fire resistant plants.

See if you live in a Wildfire DPA

If you have a balcony

You can only choose shrubs.

If you're a school or have lots of space

Email us at iwantatree@dnv.org to discuss getting an appropriate number of plants for your available space.

Get help choosing the right plant

If you'd like to know more about the native plants we're offering, and which ones are suitable for your yard or balcony, refer to our plant information sheet. 

Download the plant information sheet

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Planting and caring for your trees or shrubs 

Erika Nassichuk, environmental protection officer at the District, shares tips on planting new trees.

Where to plant

Caring for your plants

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Benefits of urban trees

Expanding the urban forest canopy provides many environmental and health benefits, including:

  • Providing shade and temperature regulation for nearby buildings
  • Capturing and storing carbon
  • Intercepting and absorbing rain, which reduces runoff into the storm sewer system 
  • Stabilizing soils
  • Providing food and shelter for wildlife and habitat connectivity
  • Filtering air pollutants
  • Improving mental and physical well-being 

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Program history

We invited residential property owners to participate in the inaugural Urban Tree Canopy program in 2021. 

In 2022, we expanded the program so those living in apartments or condos could receive a plant or shrub for their balcony. This year’s program offered a variety of tree and shrub species: cedar, fir, dogwood, shore pine, big leaf maple, willow, Nootka rose, woolly sunflower, tall Oregon grape, and Douglas aster.

To date, District residents have received 689 trees and shrubs to plant and help grow our tree canopy. 

The Urban Tree Canopy program is run in partnership with Coast Salish Plant Nursery and the Wild Bird Trust.

Funds from the environmental compensation fee account were used to run the program.

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Reaching our climate action and environmental health goals

We're taking action in six key areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity, and improve our resilience to climate change.

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