Residents get their palms soiled with Timber for Guelph

Volunteers gathered at Kortright Hills Natural Area to plant native trees and shrubs during the organization’s first fall community planting

Helping hands got a bit dirty during an event hosted by Trees for Guelph.

On Saturday morning, volunteers gathered at Kortright Hills area to plant native trees and shrubs, like silver maples, tamarack, oak and dogwood.

The event marks Trees for Guelph first fall community planting session, and organizers note a good turnout despite the change in temperature. The crowd of people planting include high school students, families, neighbors and members of Girl Guides.

“We have people here from 80-years-old to four and five-year-olds,” said Martin Litchfield, vice-president of Trees for Guelph.

Litchfield said the area, which is the size of a few hecatres, or two and a half acres, is part of a long-term plan for replanting in the area. On Earth Day, volunteers planted along the Hanlon Creek.

“We’re trying to keep the areas fairly small, and next year we’ll come back and plan a little more,” said Litchfield, adding watering and mulching are also done when volunteers return to the site.

Litchfield adds they chose to plant in only part of the area as another part is part of a storm water management system.

“This project incorporates storm water management and regeneration of the area.”

Trees for Guelph also partnered with the City of Guelph on this project. The planting is part of the city’s goal to re-green Guelph’s tree canopy coverage by 40 per cent.

Lisa Mactaggart, communication coordinator for Trees for Guelph, said the plants are being added after the city cleared the site of buckthorn, an invasive plant species.

“We have to keep control of the site,” said MacTaggart, noting the trees and shrubs being planted are also different sizes to promote growth.

Since 2022, Trees for Guelph has planted 7,500 native trees and shrubs in 30 different sites with 25 different schools. Litchfield said anyone who comes to one of their events will learn how to plant trees, the importance of mulch and water, conservation and urban forest planning.

Trees for Guelph will be hosting two more planting sessions this fall. For more information, go to

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