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Planting Trees and Shrubs

Fuel storage project

To help landowners naturalize their property and provide multiple environmental benefits including helping reduce the impacts of climate change, increasing wildlife habitat, helping control erosion and flooding, improving air and water quality, and decreasing home energy costs. There are four categories of tree and shrub planting:

  1. Reforestation – planting in large blocks of land
  2. Riparian (buffer) – planting along shorelines (tributary, creek, stream, lake, etc)
  3. Windbreaks – planting along edges of fields and roadways
  4. Community Projects – working with community groups to naturalize areas

What projects are eligible?

  • Reforestation and windbreak projects are only eligible on properties of at least two (2) acres in size
  • Reforestation projects on floodplains, marginal or fragile croplands, or groundwater recharge areas.
  • Planting buffer strips along watercourses, wetlands, or other water bodies
  • Installing tree windbreaks to prevent wind erosion
  • Community-led tree and shrub planting projects that support the health of Lake Simcoe

Project Details

Landowners within the Lake Simcoe watershed may qualify for grants of 50% of project costs for eligible projects to a maximum of $10,000 depending on the project. Additional funds may be available from other environmental grant funding sources. LSRCA Stewardship Technicians will ensure that you are made aware of all grant funding programs available to you. Each tree planting category has a different LEAP funding rate and cap:

  • Reforestation – 50% up to $10,000
  • Riparian (buffer) – dependent on width of buffer; 50% for < 5m, 60% for 5-20m, 75% for >20m, to a maximum of $6,000
  • Windbreaks – 50% up to $6,000
  • Community Projects – 50% up to $6,000

Additional funding can be available for site preparation. Examples of site prep include: mowing, brush-hog area, spraying, plough &disking, cultivating, applying cover crop, staking, etc. Site preparation is highly recommended as it provides the trees the best chance of survival.

What costs may be covered?

  • Site assessment and planting design
  • Trees, shrubs and planting costs
  • Establishment of cover crops on tilled land when in conjunction with tree planting
  • Portions of site preparation cost

What isn't covered?

  • Taxes
  • Commercial stock, fruit trees, or trees established for Christmas tree production
  • Machinery or equipment owned and used by the applicant, family dependents or the applicant's business
  • Large nursery stock, as used for landscaping. Seedlings and bare root stock are preferred
  • Labour of applicant, family dependents or the applicant's business
  • If you have an outstanding violation with the LSRCA, you may not be eligible for funding
  • Work that proceeds prior to funding approval does not qualify for funding assistance.


  • If LSRCA services are not utilized, it is recommended that a private consultant with membership in the Ontario Professional Foresters Association be retained.
  • The participant/partner is responsible for the care and maintenance of trees and shrubs after planting. This includes taking reasonable measures to protect the plantation from livestock, fire, insects, rodents and disease.
  • Landowners must place a minimum order of $500 (before grants are applied,) if ordering trees from LSRCA.
  • Livestock must be excluded from the planting area.
  • LSRCA staff may perform periodic inspections of the site, typically 1, 3 and 5 years after planting, with prior notification to the landowner.
  • Safe working conditions and access must be provided to the planting crew, including the removal of debris.
  • The landowner is responsible for providing access to the planting area. If access is not available from the landowner's property they are to arrange an access point from an adjoining property.
  • The Authority is not responsible for the failure of a tree or trees to become established. While every effort is made to ensure that the plant material is of the highest quality and the trees are property installed, environmental conditions and/or poor maintenance practices may result in some mortality which is beyond the control of the Authority.
  • The nursery stock is NOT INTENDED FOR LANDSCAPE PURPOSES. Plantings are intended to accomplish several environmental benefits including naturalization, the reduction of erosion from wind and water and the improvement of wildlife habitat.
  • The nursery stock is not to be moved on the property or removed from the site and resold, or intentionally damaged by landowner or tenant.

How to Apply

Please print the following documents:

  1. Project Guidelines (PDF)
  2. Conditions and Agreement Form (PDF)
  3. Applicant Information Form (PDF)
  4. Project Profile Form (PDF)

Please contact a Stewardship Technician to verify program eligibility and to answer any questions/concerns you may have about the program and/or the application process. This is a voluntary program and all calls are confidential.

Tree and Shrub Species Available