TreeKeepers is a non-profit partnership between Tree City and the Environmental Youth Alliance working with the City of Vancouver to grow the urban forest.
Every TreeKeepers tree you plant becomes part of the urban forest which provides ecological, economic and cultural benefits. Do your part to help create the world's Greenest City by planting a TreeKeepers tree today!
Tree love is shared by everyone but tree knowledge tends to be low. We train Citizen Foresters to help neighbours plant and tend trees and Students in the Youth Branch are inspired to become urban forest stewards of the future.
The best thing you can do to green your city is to plant a tree. The second best thing is to help others plant more trees. Volunteers for public events to trained Citizen Foresters are always welcome to join the fun.
Each tree you plant helps make Vancouver a greener, cleaner and healthier city. Order yours online now for pick up later at one of eight distribution sites citywide. Deadline for orders is 5pm two days before the pickup date for each site, but don’t wait to order. We hate disappointing people but supplies are limited and every year some species sell out early. Once you’ve chosen your pickup site and completed your purchase, don’t forget to show up!
Flavourful dessert apple good for eating fresh off the tree or to store for up to 10 weeks. The medium-sized, bright red fruit which ripens around late September is sweet and aromatic. Developed at the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station in 1965 from heritage Jonathan and other apples. Has some resistance to some diseases rife in our moist and mild climate, including apple scab. Grafted onto M26 semi-dwarfing rootstock which grows to 3m-4m tall. It may need staking if grown in a light, loose soil. Prefers a well-drained and sunny location.
One of the most popular of the many Japanese Maples for its ongoing colour show with deep red-purple leaves turning brighter red in autumn, while also producing small purple flowers in spring followed by red samaras which ripen in autumn. A small, rounded tree which can eventually reach 5-8m in height and width, often with a multi-stemmed trunk which looks attractive even in winter. Spot lighting from beneath can add to its architectural interest, making this tree a prime feature of your yard or patio. Wants well-drained soil, tolerate some shade.
Compact tree grown for the beauty of its pale pink aromatic flowers which bloom from late spring to early summer. Excellent choice for those with limited space, the Leonard Messel Magnolia can be grown as a small standard-shaped tree by pruning off the lower limbs, or as a spreading shrub. Grows slowly to 5-8m high by 3-6m wide after 10 years. Plant in well-draining soil and consider a wide ring of mulch around (but not touching) the stem. Like us, magnolia trees are not happy to have their roots disturbed.
The exuberant hollyhock-like blooms from June to October look like some exotic that belongs in the tropics, but this cultivar is known to be hardy and easy to grow. Can be trained as a standard tree with a single stem or left to grow as a multi-stemmed shrub. More compact than other types of this species, it matures at a height of 2-3m. Flowers best in full sun but can handle some shade. Plant it where the butterflies can find it — they’re drawn as much as we are by the gorgeous flowers.
A classic variety producing large, tasty figs good for eating fresh, cooking, drying or freezing. Fruit has reddish-brown skin covering rose-coloured flesh. The Brown Turkey cultivar is believed to have originated not in Turkey but Provence, France. One of the most popular types grown by home orchardists around the world, Brown Turkey produce a large main crop (grown on this year’s new wood, unlike the earlier breba crop grown on last year’s overwintered wood), so it does best in a year with lingering summer warmth. No pollination required (the “fruit” is actually a shell containing tiny flowers). Suitable for a container on a sunny balcony.
Also known as the Italian Honey Fig, undoubtedly as a testament to its flavour, the green skin offers an appealing counterbalance with a faint tartness that contrasts with the sweet, amber-coloured flesh. Produces medium-sized fruit. Lattarula are considered a good choice for cooler, shorter summer season areas such as ours. No pollination required (the “fruit” is actually a shell containing tiny flowers). Suitable for a container on a sunny balcony.
A British Columbian gift to the world, Spartan was developed from 1926 at the Summerland Research Station and is now grown in Europe and elsewhere for its McIntosh-like flavour from crisp, juicy, white flesh. Medium-sized red apple over a yellow-green base that ripens around mid-October. There’s a good reason Spartan have been popular commercial apples for years, but of course store-bought produce can never match your own homegrown for freshness and flavour. Grafted onto M9 dwarf root stock which grows to 2m-3m tall. Needs staking to remain upright, especially once it's heavy with fruit. Prefers rich, loamy soil and a sunny location. Prefers rich, loamy soil and a sunny location.
Highly prized (and highly priced) for its sweet, crunchy explosion of flavour when eaten fresh, Honeycrisp was developed in the 1960s at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Medium-to-large apple with red-orange blush over a yellow-green background which ripens around early October. Because they have larger cells than most apples, Honeycrisp reward the eager eater with a juice-laden bite unlike any other apple. Grafted onto M9 dwarf root stock which grows to 2m-3m tall. Needs staking to remain upright, especially once it’s heavy with fruit. Prefers rich, loamy soil and a sunny location.
An elegant hybrid between the American Smoke Tree and its European cousins, the leaves emerge an iridescent green turning to red in spring before maturing to a deeper red burgandy. Later in fall they tranform to orange, red, purple and gold. Flowers come out in midsummer as frothy pink-purple clusters which suggest plumes of smoke, and explain the name. Can be grown as a standard tree with a single trunk or with many low-branching stems, eventually reaching a height of 4-6m.
The Smiling Forest Lily Tree is as alluring as its name suggests. A rare (for us) broadleaf evergreen, it blooms with large, pure white, 9-petal flowers that emit an intense tropical fragrance. The silvery-green leaves are attractive on their own, similar to other evergreen magnolias while lighter in colour than, say, Magnolia grandiflora. Appealing year-round as a small to medium-sized tree, it is the spring bloom in March-April than can make anyone stop and smile. May grow to height of 6-10m. Hardiness rated for Zone 7, which means it should be fine in our colder Zone 8, but you could choos to protect it in a severe cold spell. The flowers are said to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.
A broadleaf evergreen related to witch hazel, this tree grows to a manageable 3-6m tall with an equal spread, providing year-round greenery. The attractive leaves are narrow, pointed, densely arranged in a thick array of lustrous dark green. In February-March, the blooms emerge as small yellow puffs of flowers with long red anthers, offering a rare view of colour for the season. Native to central and western China. Plant in sun or partial shade, in soil that drains well.
A great tree for a small space, Japanese Stewartia get better each year as they mature into a gracefully-shaped network of branches with exfoliating bark that colours pink, red-grey and brown. The midsummer flowers are white and cup-shaped with yellow-orange centres. (The pseudocamellia species name tells you what flower they resemble.) Leaves are dark green during the growing season, turning to oranges and reds in fall. Grows slowly into a pyramidal shape 5-12m tall. A favourite tree among real tree aficionados.
An iconic tree of the Pacific Northwest, one that's valuable enough to have its own ecosystem named after it. While not appropriate for some yards due to their mature size, which over time may reach 20m x 20m, those with space and the inclination to create their own sanctuary (Garry Oak ecosystems are threatened in the wild) could use this tree as an anchor for a native habit garden replacing the lawn. Since they prefer warm and dry conditions (think of the Gulf Islands) they may grow more slowly and to smaller sizes in our cooler and wetter conditions…unless climate change and longer drought periods leave them feeling right at home here.
Also known as Violette de Bordeaux, this fig was cultivated in the gardens of Louis XIV at Versailles. Medium-sized fruit with purple-black skin and red flesh. Some claim the Negronne has the sweetest flavour of any fig. Well suited to our region as it may produce ripe fruit even amid cool conditions and a shorter summer. No pollination required (the “fruit” is actually a shell containing tiny flowers). Suitable for a container on a sunny balcony.
First bred in Hertforshire, England, in 1901, this tree produces plums that are large and oblong with deep blue-black skin and yellow flesh. The flavour has been described as sweet and rich. Late-season harvests (from mid to late September) are abundant once the tree gets established. President plums are good for eating fresh, stewing or drying. Requires pollination from another European plum (such our other plum selection offered this year).
Originating near Yakima, Washington, in 1935, this variety produces fruit that’s larger and sweeter than the standard Italian type. It also ripens earlier, in mid to late August. The large, oval, blue plums are good for canning, drying or eating fresh. Leave the fruit on the tree until it fully colours up to get the best flavour. Requires pollination from another European plum (such our other plum selection offered this year).
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We're busy putting the last pieces of our Spring 2015 tree distribution together. And have we got some exciting choices for you this year. Check back soon for your chance to buy a fab tree at a low price. We'll…
Dr. Kathleen Wolf at the University of Washington is studying the health and well-being effects of nature in cities. Did you know desk workers who can see nature take 23% less time off for sick leave than those who cannot see nature?