The Veteran Tree Incentive Program has been renamed the Tree Canopy Conservation Program. The name was changed to better align with our goal of retaining canopy cover in the Forest City.
The City of London's Urban Forest Strategy sets out a target of 34% tree canopy cover by 2065. To achieve this goal, trees within city limits must be planted, and existing trees must be managed in a way that extends their life. The Tree Canopy Conservation Program provides funding to residents to assist with managing mature trees on private property. Eligible trees must be 50cm or greater in diameter, and all work must be completed by a qualified arborist.
Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible for the program?
If you are a resident or property owner in London with a tree 50cm or greater in diameter, you may be eligible for the Tree Canopy Conservation Program. Furthermore, all proposed work must be completed by a qualified arborist as per the City of London’s Tree Protection By-law.
How is ‘qualified arborist' defined for this program?
Applicants must hire a qualified arborist as per the City of London’s Tree Protection By-law to complete all eligible work. The Tree Protection By-law defines an “Arborist” as: “an arborist qualified by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture; a consulting arborist registered with the American Society of Consulting Arborists; or a Registered Professional Forester.” Please note that a utility arborist may not be considered a qualified arborist for this program. The City will not award funding if the proposed work is not completed by a qualified arborist.
What is Diameter at Breast Height (DBH)?
The measurement of the diameter of the tree taken at 1.4 meters above natural ground level. To calculate diameter, divide the circumference by Pi (3.14).
What type of work is eligible?
The goal of this program is “to defer the removal of the largest trees to the latest possible date while allowing for successional planting to catch up”. This can include types of pruning, fertilization, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) & cabling/bracing practices. When in doubt, please ask City staff to confirm whether the proposed work for your tree(s) might be supported by the Tree Canopy Conservation Program.
Typical examples of eligible work may include:
Pruning that does not meet Good Arboricultural Practices where a permit for “Injury” is required. For example, retrenchment pruning of a veteran tree.
Pruning to Good Arboricultural Standards, where no permit is required. The pruning should aim to preserve the tree for longer “as is, where is”. Pruning only for aesthetic appearance may not be eligible.
A one-time intervention that aims to achieve a long-term benefit for the tree. This could include cabling, bracing or propping of old limbs still attached to the tree, fertilization, or integrated pest management.
Routine care that occurs on a regular basis, such as fertilizing, may not be eligible.
There is an eligible tree on my property. How do I apply?
Applications can be submitted from the online application form located at the bottom of this page. If you require a paper copy of this application, please contact us at 519 661-5783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications for the Tree Canopy Conservation Program will be considered strictly on a first-come first-served basis until all available funds have been spent.
You will be required to submit a quote or contract to support your request, which will be used to determine how much funding you may receive through the program. City staff may visit your property to verify your application. City staff may request photographs of the tree to avoid a site visit or in-person meeting. If you are approved for a Tree Canopy Conservation Program award, you will receive an offer letter from the City’s Forestry team. You are responsible to pay for the work or materials, and then submit your paid invoice, receipt, or other evidence to Forestry by a date specified in the City’s letter. No Tree Canopy Conservation Program award will be offered or paid without paperwork to substantiate all claims. A Tree Canopy Conservation Program award that is not claimed by you by the date indicated in the City’s offer letter may be cancelled and re-awarded to another applicant.
I can’t afford to pay for the entire job upfront. Can you pay direct to my contractor?
No, the Tree Canopy Conservation Program is strictly for property owners and will not be paid to contractors. Your contract is between you and your contractor. The City will ensure any award is processed as quickly as possible.
Can I apply for money to pay for work already done?
No. Retrospective applications are not eligible and will not be considered for the program. You should not commence any work before assistance has been approved by City staff.
Can I use the Tree Canopy Conservation Program to pay for work required by an Order of the City?
No. If you have received an Order from the City to abate a safety concern under the Property Standards By-law, or an Order made for any other reason, it is not eligible.
Will everyone getting assistance from the program receive the same amount?
No. The City will determine how much assistance to offer subject to availability and on a case-by-case basis. The maximum amount available is $1,000 per eligible tree. Most awards will be less than $1000 to ensure that the City assists as many property owners as possible.
I applied and I don’t think the City awarded me enough. Can I ask for more?
No. You may only apply once a year. The City may award any amount up to $1,000 per tree. That does not mean everyone will get that amount, nor that they will all receive the same amount for the same type of work. The City may exercise discretion to award higher amounts or lower amounts based on how much tree canopy cover occurs in that Ward, or the City may implement another way to direct more assistance to where it is most needed. If you are successful in receiving an offer under the Tree Canopy Conservation Program, that is your final offer.
I am receiving assistance from the Tree Canopy Conservation Program. How will it be paid?
By cheque, mailed to you at your home address.
How to apply
To apply for assistance under the Tree Canopy Conservation Program please complete the application form.
You will be required to provide:
1. Your name, telephone number, e-mail, and mailing address. You must reside within the City of London, Ontario.
2a. What do you propose to do? There are check boxes on the application form that identify the type of work that we can approve. If the work you are proposing is listed, please check all that apply. If the work you are proposing is not listed, please select Other and explain. If the work you are applying for is considered an injury to a tree and funding is awarded, a permit under the Tree Protection By-law will be issued at the same time.
- Different approaches used to provide physical support to trees to allow reaction wood to develop and prevent failure.
- Subsurface injection of a water-soluble fertilizer. You must provide details about volume, product, and nutrient composition.
- Pruning completed in a way that mimics natural decline in veteran trees. In some instances, this type of pruning may be considered an injury to a tree, but is a useful method to retain veteran trees for longer when they are in a late stage of life.
- Pruning of live branches to achieve a desired structure. This is not for aesthetics; the goal is to achieve a form that will allow the tree to grow for future years and maintain strong branch attachments and a dominant leader.
Crown clean and deadwood
- Pruning that removes dead, cracked or broken limbs from the tree. This reduces the risk of limb failure as well as reduces the spread of decay, disease and insect infestations throughout the tree.
Integrated pest management
- Integrated pest management is a method that combines both preventative and control measures for managing pests to a tolerable threshold.
2b. Arborist's quote (the total cost inclusive of tax). You will be required to upload one of the following: a quote, work order, contract, or other suitable evidence. Supporting documentation will be used to determine how much assistance you may receive through the Tree Canopy Conservation Program. It should include the arborist's information, what services or materials are being supplied, to whom (i.e., you), the cost, and the date the work was quoted. The arborist's assessment, quote and other supporting documentation should not be more than 6 months old.
3. Information about the arborist completing the work, including their name and phone number.
4a. Information about your tree(s) – tree species, location of the tree, and the tree trunk's diameter in cm when measured at 1.4 meters above natural ground level (which must be 50cm or greater).
4b. A photo of the tree(s). If you have more than one, show one tree in each photo. Each photo must be labelled (e.g., T1, T2, etc.) and must clearly show the tree.
4c. OPTIONAL: You can include a sketch plan, a survey, or an aerial photo that shows where each tree is located on your property. You can use London City Map with the aerial imagery layer turned on to create a .pdf plan of your property showing the exact location of the tree(s).
What happens next?
If your application is missing required information, City staff may ask you to submit all missing information by a specified date. Your application will be placed on hold until it is accepted as completed, and it will not be admitted to the “first come, first served” queue.
Two site visits to your property may be necessary by City staff to: (i) verify your application, and (ii) review the completed work. Photos of the tree(s) on your property may be taken and kept by the City. City staff may request that you supply “after” photographs of the tree(s) to avoid a site visit.
If you are approved for a Tree Canopy Conservation Program award, you will receive an offer letter by email or regular mail from the City’s Forestry team. You are responsible for organizing the work, paying for the completed work or materials, and submitting a copy of your paid invoice or receipt to Forestry by the date specified in the City’s letter. Awards will not be offered, or paid, without acceptable paperwork to substantiate all claims.
An award that is not claimed by you by the date indicated in the City’s offer letter may be cancelled and re-awarded to another applicant, and the City shall have no further obligation to you under the TCCP. If you need more time, please contact Forestry before the date specified in the letter and request an extension. Extensions are provided in weeks, not months.
That’s it! If City staff need anything else, they will contact you. Thank you for helping grow and preserve our Urban Forest!