Tree Planting Programs

Choices for tree planting

Brought to you by – the Friends of Wilton Creek Watershed and Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council

Updated January 25, 2022

Why plant trees?

Eastern White Pine

Why do landowners want to plant trees?

  • To fix carbon dioxide in biomass (the trees) and in the soil, while decreasing it in the atmosphere. Climate change now makes this an urgent need.
  • To grow lumber for sale or for a legacy.
  • To get firewood from selected trees, pruning, or fallen trees.
  • To protect an area, e.g., with a windbreak or shelterbelt.
  • To provide habitat for animals. Increasing forest corridors is particularly important.
  • To give aesthetic pleasure.
  • To increase forested areas and provide places for forest walks.
  • To become eligible for a tax break on forested land.

                 Tree Programs

The 50 Million Tree Program 

Ontario adopted a United Nations initiative which aims to plant fifty million trees as a strategy to fix carbon.  Forests Ontario has planted more than 34 million trees through this program, producing over 17,000 hectares of new forest.

Landowners with the space to plant a minimum of 500 trees (about 0.5 hectares) may qualify for the 50 MTP.

The program is for landowners who must have sufficiently deep soil, at least 1.25 acres (0.5 hectares) of tractor-accessible land, and space for 500 trees. Hand-plantings for small areas are occasionally acceptable. Eligible project types include afforestation, riparian, windbreak, and restoration planting.

80% of the planting cost is paid by the program.

The program includes:

  • a site visit
  • preparation of a planting plan
  • native seedlings
  • planting
  • grass and weed control
  • follow-up survival assessments.
  • Landowner costs range from $0.30 to 0.50 per seedling, depending on the species and numbers to be planted.

Site visits must be arranged in the fall, and seedlings are ordered by February 1st for spring planting.

The eligible forested land may qualify for a reduced tax rate.

The program is managed by Forests Ontario: (Landowners may register a property at this website.) The process is handled by a local forester.


Wilton Creek Watershed: the Program Delivery Agent is Rick Knapton at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Contact: 613-389-3651 or

Salmon River, Napanee River and Prince Edward County Watersheds, and Quinte area: the Program Delivery Agent is Stephen Pitt at 613-532-0701 or


The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) is a long-established program, managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  It has been responsible for large areas of managed forest in our region, and the focus is on increasing forest stewardship by landowners. MFTIP requires a Forest Management (site-specific) Plan made by a Plan Approver. A minimum of 10 acres (4 hectares) of forested land is required.

Plan Approvers, mostly foresters, are approved and listed by the Ministry and are independent agents who charge landowners directly; they are listed online by region. See more about the program here:

The Plan Approver (the forester) will come for a site visit and explain how the program works. MFTIP requires return visits by a forester after 5 and 10 years, and the landowner becomes eligible for a 25% rebate on the residential tax rate for the planted area. 

Plan Approvers for MFTIP:

Lennox & Addington and Prince Edward Counties, contact: Stephen Pitt at 613-532-0701 or

Lennox & Addington, Prince Edward, and Northumberland Counties, contact: Frank Taylor at 613-354-2410 or

Quinte area (south and central Hastings), contact: David Smallwood at 613-438-1947 or

The Natural Edge Program ( is a shoreline re-naturalization program for owners with a waterfront, not only for lakes or large rivers, but for internal shorelines such as creeks and tributaries. The support is from Watersheds Canada (a charitable organization out of Perth) and from Quinte Conservation and Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.

The full program – available in the Quinte Watersheds only (the Moira, Salmon, Napanee and Prince Edward County watersheds), includes:

  • a site visit
  • a customized planting plan
  • native trees, shrubs and wildflowers
  • the planting labour
  • landowners pay only 25% of the total cost of the project.

In the Cataraqui watershed (including Wilton Creek watershed):

A Starter Kit is available: the cost is $250 and includes a site visit, planting plan, 50 plants (35 bareroot, 10 potted, 5 wildflower), tree guards and mulch. Landowners can pick-up the Starter Kit, and can do the planting themselves or pay staff $5 per plant plus mileage.

The aim is to restore natural vegetation along shorelines, and local demonstration sites are being created on public lands.


Watersheds Canada: Chloe Lajoie at 613-264-1244 or

Locally: Maya Navrot (Quinte Conservation) at 613-968-3434 ext 131 or

And: Holly Evans (Cataraqui Conservation) at 613-546-4228 ext 233 or

Helpful Organizations

Forests Ontario is a non-profit organization that runs workshops, provides seedlings, and is an agent for many government programs.  For example, last year they planted 400 trees at Lemoine Point Conservation Area. Seasonal over-the-counter sales of seedlings are available.

Contact: Stephanie Chamberlin, Forestry Manager at 1-877-646-1193 or Visit

Tree Canada is a registered charity which can supply schools and organizations with trees – including fruit and nut varieties.  Contact  Visit

Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority: Each spring, landowners in the area can place a minimum order of 500 seedlings, and individual species can be ordered in multiples of 50. People can go together on their orders. Contact Rick Knapton, forester at 613-389-3651 or

Friends of Lemoine Point is a group of volunteer supporters of Lemoine Point, a CRCA property in Kingston that houses their forest workshop and nursery.  They have an annual spring sale of native plants including trees and shrubs. This is an excellent source of affordable seedlings and larger plants. Contact: 613-389-3651 or Or visit

Native Plant Nursery: A similar excellent source of local stock is Beate Heissler’s nursery in Frankford: Natural Themes Native Plant Nursery. Contact: 613-398-7971 or Visit

The Farm Tax Credit program:  Landowners who are actively farming may be better off maintaining the Farm Tax Credit program on land newly planted with trees.

For information, see and and . Consulting with a tax advisor is recommended.

­­­­­­ TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is a national charity that supports a range of environmental initiatives on public land including schoolyard greening, park revitalization, community gardens, etc.

What local support is available?

Some municipalities subsidize tree planting in public parks and along roads. Some municipalities offer a Community Trees program. See

The Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council (LASC)

is a non-profit organization that works with the public to promote responsible land care and stewardship of our natural resources. Since 1995, LASC has worked with schools, community/environmental interest groups, and landowners – improving habitat, educating students and landowners, planting trees, and more. LASC maintains strong ties with like-minded groups, such as local ‘Friends of’ groups, the Ontario Woodlot Association, and Conservation Authorities.

In 2019, the Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council and the County of L&A planted 80 mature trees to replace large trees that had been removed for the installation of a solar energy project.  Individual landowners have taken responsibility for caring for these large trees until they become established.