The City of Toronto makes it a priority to replace every tree that is removed. Additional trees are planted on the basis of requests received, pro-active planting programs and budget. The majority of the plantings occur in the spring or the fall.

In general, large potted stock is planted in residential areas where homeowners are encouraged to assist in watering and protecting young trees. Small sized potted stock is generally used for volunteer plantings within parks. On arterial roads, commercial lanes, in active park areas and around schools, where condition are generally harsher, larger stock is used to ensure successful establishment.

The City of Toronto implements a limited watering program as required and as resources permit.

The City of Toronto is using Treegator bags on newly planted street trees. The Treegator is a watering bag that provides a slow, controlled release of water to the root zone of a newly planted tree. It is an alternative method to watering a tree instead of using a hose, a water can or a sprinkler. These methods do help get water to our trees but they take more time, they create water run-off and not all of the water applied actually makes it to the roots of the trees. The advantage of using watering bags is that the water is released slowly (so there is no runoff) and the water goes directly into the soil where it is available to the tree roots.

Providing water to a newly planted/transplanted tree is critical to its survival, especially during the first 2 or 3 years after planting. The bags are placed around the base of the tree and a zipper joins the 2 ends of the bag together. There is a flap at the top of the bag for filling the bag with a garden hose. It takes only a few minutes to fill the bag. There are many small holes at the bottom of the bags that allows the water to release slowly into the soil. Once filled, it can take up to several hours for the water to completely drain from the bag. The bags can be put around the base of the tree in the spring and then removed late in the fall when the ground begins to freeze. They should be filled every 2 to 3 days during the summer months depending on the temperature and the amount of natural rainfall.

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