Native Tree Starting Kits – ALL RESERVED FOR FEBRUARY 2022
We’re providing free tree starting kits to Hamilton residents to help us grow our urban forest!
Green Venture’s Canopy for Community program engages Hamilton residents in native tree seed growing, community tree planting, and increasing awareness of urban forest benefits. Generously supported by the Canadian Tree Fund, Hamilton Community Foundation. Grow your own native tree species! Kit includes 4 native tree seeds, soil, growing pot, and tree planting and care instructions.
NO GREEN THUMBS NEEDED: Just follow the easy step-by-step instructions and you’re good to go! When the time is right, we hope to invite you to plant trees at one of our planting events to grow Hamilton’s canopy cover!
Read more about Canopy for Community.
Check out our last years’ trees:
What is a native tree?
A native tree is one that occurs naturally in local forests. Native trees are important for providing food and shelter for our wildlife, manufacturing oxygen for both animals and humans.
Learn More About Native Trees Below
About Red Oak Trees
Red oak (Quercus rubra) or wiisagi mitigomish (Anishinaabemowin name) is a native tree that is found in a wide range in North America, including east of Lake Superior and across central and southern Ontario and as far east as PEI and south as Mississippi.
Red Oak Trees Grow Very Tall! How Tall?
Up to 30 metres – and they can live for a very long time – up to 400 years! Red oak leaves are dark green and have sharp, pointed lobes (usually 7 to 9) with bristly tips. Acorns (mitigomin) from the red oak are rounded, about 2 cm long and have a scaly but smooth cap that looks like a little beret. The bark of the red oak is smooth and dark gray when the tree is young, but deep ridges develop as the tree gets older.
Photo Source: University of Guelph
About Pin Oak Trees
Pin oak (Quercus palustris) – also known as swamp oak – can be found along Lake Erie but has been planted beyond this region as an ornamental tree.
Photo Source: GrowIt BuiltIt
Pin Oak Trees Can Live Up to 300 Years!
Pin oak trees can grow up to 18 metres high with a canopy cover size of 12 metres and under ideal conditions, they can live up to 300 years or more! Pin oak has dark green spiny lobed leaves (5-7) – the fewest number of lobes of our point-toothed oaks – that turn bright red during the fall season. The acorns are small (0.9-1.3 cm long), short-beaked at the tip, and have a shallow, saucer-shaped cup with tight-fitting scales that are reddish-brown. The bark of the pin oak is thin, smooth greyish-brown with reddish inner bark.
Photo Source: Connon Nurseries
About White Oak Trees
White oak (Quercus alba) can be found throughout most of the eastern United States and southern Ontario.
Photo Source: Ontario.ca
White Oaks Can Grow 35 Metres High and Live Up To 450 Years!
White oak trees can grow up to 35 metres high and can live for several hundred years – the oldest documented white oak lived to be over 450 years old! White oak leaves are usually widest above the middle (10 – 20 cm) with 7 to 9 rounded lobes – bright green on top and are paler green underneath. White oak acorns are 1.2 to 2.5 cm long with a broadly bowl-shaped cup. White oak bark is pale gray with usually long reddish scales.
Photo Source: Oakville News
About Shagbark Hickory Trees
Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) can be found from southern Ontario along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec.
Photo Source: Arbour Day Foundation
Shagbark Hickory Nuts Are Edible!
Shagbark hickory is a medium-sized tree – grows up to 25 metres high – and can live up to 250 years old. Shagbark hickory leaves are made up of 5 (sometimes 7) leaflets that are green on top, and paler and hair underneath. Their nuts are globular shapes, usually found in pairs and solitary and are edible. The bark is dark gray with long loose plates giving that shaggy look.
Photo Source: Ontario.ca
About Bitternut Hickory Trees
Bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) is the most abundant and widespread of Canadian hickories – found in southern Ontario and southern Quebec.
Photo Source: Illinois Wildflower
Canada’s Only Native Pecan Hickory!
Bitternut hickory can grow up to 25 metres high and live up to 150 years old. Their leaves are made up of 7 to 11 leaflets that are long-pointed, narrow, and finely toothed with a shiny dark green upper surface and paler, hairy, and dotted beneath. It produces globular and bitter nuts that are inedible. The bark is greenish-gray, with grayish-yellow irregular vertical lines that produce narrow fissures (small tears) and scaly ridges as it matures.
Photo Source: Landscape Ontario
About Kentucky Coffee-tree Trees
Kentucky Coffee-tree (Gymnocladus dioicus) – a species at risk plant – is rare throughout its range as it is scattered throughout southwest Ontario (only 20 locations in 2000).
Photo Source: University of Utah
Kentucky Coffee-trees Are Also Known as “Naked Branch”
Kentucky Coffee-tree can grow up to 25 metres high and is fairly short-live – about 100 to 150 years if healthy. Kentucky Coffee-tree has the largest leaf of any native tree (up to 90 cm long) and is doubly pinnately compound with small and oval leaflets (70 leaflets). The name “Gymnocladus” is the Greek name for “naked branch” as it leafs out very late in the spring and falls early during autumn. Their thick brown pods are large 12 to 20 cm long that remain on the trees through the winter. The bark is dark gray with thin scaly ridges curling outwards along their edges.
Photo Source: Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association
Start your tree seeds indoors now.
Share what you learn about growing native trees and all their benefits as they sprout through the months on social media and join our Facebook Page #GVPlantsTrees! (Use the hashtag #CanopyForCommunity
For more information: