Guelph joined Tree Trust in 2022. Led by a group of volunteers, assisted by Guelph Urban Forest Friends, our objective is to provide conservation care for large, mature trees on not-for-profit, institutional, or commercial properties such as churches, schools, cemeteries, group homes and long-term care facilities. Many of these institutions do not have the resources to care for the large trees on their property.

Our work complements the care that the City of Guelph Urban Forestry Department provides for public and park trees.
Mature legacy trees are a huge, quiet, living presence in our city. They provide countless benefits to the environment and people over many years. We aim to ensure these trees survive for many more years by working with arborists who will provide specialized care for them. With your help through donations, we can rescue many of these magnificent trees from an early demise due to their declining health. These trees are a living legacy in our community and a large component of our urban forest canopy. Many of these awe-inspiring trees have outlived several human generations and may pre-date the founding of the city by settlers.

Guelph is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people today. While we undertake this work, we are acknowledging that we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. These trees are on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples.
Tree Trust Guelph is organizing local events where a legacy tree is worked on by a team of skilled arborists to ensure the tree is as healthy as possible. At these events the public will be invited to watch the arborists at work and learn more about tree care. There may be a tour of nearby trees as part of the event. Two new saplings will be planted at the same time as part of our carbon offset and to eventually replace the legacy tree.
We welcome community members’ support through donations to Tree Trust Guelph. You can submit suggestions for large trees, especially native, that we will consider adding to our list for care. In addition, we offer a qualified arborist’s advice on the health and maintenance of older trees on private property in return for a donation to Tree Trust Guelph.


Chapter News

Recently a small group of tree loving volunteers established a unique organization in Guelph – Guelph Tree Trust (GTT). This group is focused on the preservation of mature trees that provide a tremendous environmental value to both our community and the world. GTT is one of 7 chapters in Ontario of Tree Trust, a program of the Elora Environment Centre, a registered charity.

We are very pleased to announce as our first project Guelph Tree Trust will provide arborist care on Saturday April 29, 2023 for a magnificent old Black Walnut tree in Woodlawn Memorial Park. We are grateful for a generous donation from the Rotary Club of Guelph South which has made this work possible. This elder tree will receive the care it needs to ensure that the city will have the benefits of its huge canopy and root system for as long as possible. This legacy tree is estimated to be as old as the cemetery itself at 160 years. Details about this event will be announced closer to the time.

This Black Walnut Juglans nigra tree is one of over a thousand trees in the cemetery managed by Woodlawn Memorial Park. Many of these trees are old, very large and require special expertise to prune and maintain their health. Woodlawn Memorial Park is delighted to have the help of GTT to maintain this impressive tree. Rebecca Kit, General Manager of Woodlawn Memorial Park commented, “Woodlawn Memorial Park is pleased to be hosting Guelph Tree Trust’s inaugural event.  As a not-for-profit organization, we appreciate the efforts of the Tree Trust program to assist in saving our historical trees.  We have so many beautiful species of varying ages that make Woodlawn a truly unique Cemetery.  We hope to preserve these pillars of our past for future generations to enjoy. Guelph Tree Trust is making it possible for properties like Woodlawn to maintain trees that otherwise may be left to their demise due to a lack of resources.  The team and I are grateful to be chosen as the recipient of these much needed services.”

Preserving and ensuring the longevity of the existing tree canopy and legacy trees such as the Black Walnut in the cemetery is very important. One of these large trees does the environmental work of 260 saplings and has often grown to have a significant place in the history of the land and city. Through raising funds to pay a team of specialized arborists, who will work under the direction of the GTT arborist, Doug Steel of Full Circle Tree Care, GTT will provide the care needed to sustain valuable legacy trees in Guelph.

Guelph Tree Trust will announce details in early 2023 of the events that will be held when selected trees are being worked on by the arborists. At each event there will be opportunities to learn more about this process and trees in general at the event. At least 2 saplings will be planted nearby each legacy tree to ensure that its critical contributions are carried on by another generation of native trees. Funding for these saplings is provided by Sutherland Insurance.

(L to R)Myra Fair, Karen Harris, Catherine Goddard, Terry Schwan, Rhea Koch, Clare Irwin, Steve Ebels

We welcome your participation. For more information and to donate or volunteer please contact us at [email protected]. Tree Trust Guelph accepts online donations. And if you know of mature trees in Guelph’s parks and public spaces that need help, you can nominate them here.

Community Support

Meet Guelph’s Tree Trust coordinators

Growing up in Newfoundland Karen Harris developed a passion for the outdoors. Now a certified arborist
she continues to use that passion to help preserve our natural resources. Karen enjoys spending her free
time hiking, crafting, and spending time appreciating the outdoors.

Catherine Goddard is a long time gardener and naturalist who has recently retired and
returned to Guelph. She is glad to have found such a wonderful group of volunteers to
join who love trees as much as she.

For more information feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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