Forests Ontario

Heritage Tree

Help us celebrate our heritage and Canada’s 150th by nominating a Heritage Tree! Forests Ontario is excited to announce that we will be working throughout the year to help communities find their Heritage Trees and will highlight some of the best stories from across the province.

What is a Heritage Tree?

The Heritage Tree Program collects and tells the stories of Ontario’s diverse and unique trees and brings awareness to the social, cultural, historical and ecological value of trees. Heritage Trees can be associated with a historic person or event, or may be growing on land that is historically significant. Candidate Heritage Trees are also assessed for size, form, shape, beauty, age, colour, rarity, genetic constitution or other distinctive features and/or as a prominent community landmark. The program, launched in 2009 in partnership with the Ontario Urban Forest Council.

Identification of these trees also enables Forests Ontario and community-minded organizations to locate potential native seed sources. Collecting these seeds will ensure the succession planting of legacy trees for future generations to enjoy.

All trees are assessed by Evaluators to confirm they qualify for Heritage Tree status. If you are interested in becoming an evaluator, click here for more information.

How do I nominate a tree?

Anyone can nominate a tree for the Heritage Tree Program – whether it is on their own property, their friends or family member’s property or in a public space,

  • To begin nominating a tree you will need to register as a nominator. A suggested $10 donation with your registration supports the program! Once you are registered you can sign in to start the process to nominate online.
  • Things to include:
    • Photos help to tell the story –include a few with your application!
    • Rationale for why this tree, or the land it is growing on, is historic. You can draw evidence from archives, newspapers, and even verbal records that you can Include in the supplementary document section of the nomination.Approximate measurements of the tree, the species, and location to provide to our evaluators.
    • A landowner consent form if the tree is located one someone else’s property that indicates that they agree to have their tree considered for Heritage Tree designation.

What happens after I submit my nomination?

  • Your application will be reviewed and you will be notified if the application is incomplete.
  • An evaluator will arrange a time with the landowner to inspect the tree. This can take several weeks to set up.
  • Evaluator forms are reviewed by Forests Ontario and nominators and landowners are notified of the results.
  • Landowners will receive a plaque to be mounted on the tree and a certificate recognizing the tree as a Heritage Tree.
  • Your Heritage Tree will be added to our website, and will also be featured on the Tree Bee (treebee.ca) website where your local community can learn more about your story.
  • Nominators and landowners will be provided with a one-year membership with Forests Ontario.
  • Forests Ontario will stay in touch with updates on the program and other opportunities as they arise!

Heritage Trees