Free Tree Giveaway

The 2023 Fall Free Tree Giveaway is now closed.

Free Trees for Brantford Residents!

The City of Brantford is thrilled to once again give away free trees to Brantford residents!

Trees offer us so many benefits. Did you know that they provide shade from the hot sun? Trees also store rain to reduce flooding, provide shelter and food to birds, insects, and animals, clean the air we breathe and store carbon dioxide to reduce the impacts of climate change. The more trees and vegetation in your neighbourhood not only improves property values but is also great for your mental health and well-being.

One of the six priority actions identified in the City of Brantford’s Corporate Climate Change Action Plan is to expand the Tree Canopy in the city. That’s why we’re excited to give away 200 free trees to residents.

Free Tree Giveaway Registration Details

Register for one of the seven tree choices below to reserve your free tree (approximately 40”-50” high). The tree must be planted in your own yard. Trees can vary in their full-grown height dependent on their growing conditions. Please review the tree details outlined below and select one that will suit your yard. Note that only 200 trees in total are available on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of each tree is available as outlined below.

Registration information

In order to receive a free tree, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a resident of the City of Brantford (within the city limit). You can check the city limit from City’s Mapping Information System.
  • The tree must be planted on a City of Brantford residential property.
  • Permission from the property owner must be obtained before planting the tree.
  • Limit one tree per household.

Tree Species 

1. Red maple (Acer rubrum) 

  • Feature something red in each of the seasons – flowers in spring, samaras in summer, brilliant foliage in autumn, and buds in winter.
  • Fast growing and adapt well to any setting (best in moist soil). Somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.
  • Full sun is ideal, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
  • Grow up to 40-70 ft. (12-21m) tall and 30-50 ft. (10-15m) wide.
  • Plant at least 7 meters away from structures due to shallow spreading root system.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

 Red maple (Acer rubrum)

2. Red oak (Quercus rubra) 

  • Fast growing, tough, extremely adaptable long-lived tree adorned with an open, rounded to broad-spreading crown.
  • Inconspicuous yellow-green catkins in spring. Dark green foliage turns a red, scarlet, and rust in fall.
  • Grow up to 50-70 ft. (15-21m) tall and wide.
  • Full sun is ideal, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
  • Adaptable to any soils, but prefer fertile, dry to medium moisture, and well-drained soils.
  • Somewhat tolerant of urban pollution and soil compaction.
  • Twenty (20) two gallon pots available.

Red oak (Quercus rubra)

3. Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) 

  • Feature uniquely shaped leaves and large yellow tulip-shaped flowers.
  • Leaves turn an outstanding gold in fall and flowers are followed by cone-like fruit that provide winter interest.
  • Grow up to 60-80 ft. (18-24m) tall and 30-40 ft. (9-12m) wide.
  • Full sun is ideal, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
  • Grow well in soils that are moderately moist, well drained, and loose textured. Rarely do well in very wet or very dry sites.
  • Low maintenance, and not subject to serious insect or disease issues. Dear and rabbit resistant.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

4. White birch (Betula papyrifera) 

  • The most distinctive characteristic of this tree is thin and smooth white bark that peels off in large sheets.
  • This white peeling bark contrasts sharply against the green leaves that turn bright yellow in fall.
  • Historically, this tree was used by Native Americans to construct canoes - hence the alternative common name, "Canoe birch."
  • Grows up to 50-70 ft. (15-21m) tall and 25-50 ft. (7-15m) wide.
  • Full sun and partial shade are best - a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
  • Tolerates a wide range of soils, but easily grown in medium to wet, well-drained soils.
  • Produce hanging clusters of long, slim green-brown catkins in spring.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

White birch (Betula papyrifera)

5. Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) 

  • A lovely, small, flowering tree with short trunk and crown of spreading or nearly horizontal branches.
  • Feature showy clusters of white flowers in spring and orange-red fruit in summer which may persist till late in the year.
  • Forest green foliage, which emerges burgundy in spring, turns an outstanding brick red in fall.
  • Grow up to 15-30 ft. (4-9m) tall and wide.
  • Best in partial shade, but if planted in full sun, MUST receive adequate water.
  • Require evenly moist well-drained soil for the optimal growth. Rarely do well in standing water.
  • Intolerant of urban pollution. Generally pest free. Deer resistant.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)

6. Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis) 

  • Masses of pea-like rosy-pink flowers in spring followed by bean-like, brown seedpods in summer which may persist into winter.
  • Emerging bright green tinged red, the rounded, hear-shaped leaves mature to dark blue-green in summer and pale yellow in fall.
  • Grow up to 20-30 ft. (6-9m) tall and 25-35 ft. (7-10m) wide.
  • Grow better on moist, well-drained sites in full sun to part shade (minimum four hours of sunlight per day).
  • Highly tolerant of urban pollution. Generally pest free. Deer tolerant.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis)

7. American plum (Prunus americana) 

  • Leaves are dark green in summer and turn into brilliant red to pale yellow in the fall.
  • Fragrant, white flowers in showy, flat-topped clusters in spring before the leaves.
  • Produce clusters of edible, round, red plums in summer.
  • Grow up to 15-25 ft. (4-8m) tall and wide.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soils.
  • Suckers need be removed to prevent unwanted spread or to train into a small tree.
  • Thirty (30) two gallon pots available.

 American plum (Prunus americana)

Tree Pick-up Details

Trees will be available for pick-up only at 1 Sherwood Drive, City of Brantford Parks Office on Friday, September 29, 2023 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 30, 2023 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  

If you have mobility restrictions, please contact us at 519-759-4150 ext. 5766 or to make arrangements.

Planting and caring for your tree

Registrant will be responsible for planting and caring for their treetrees will not be planted by City staff.

Trees must be planted on a residential property in Brantford. It is recommended that trees be planted in front yards if there is enough room to do so to increase shade coverage on sidewalks. Please ensure that the area you plant the tree has enough room for it grow to its full size.

Share your tree photos

Please share pictures of your new tree and pictures of you planting it by tagging the City of Brantford on social media and using the hashtags #BrantfordClimateAction #FreeTrees. Let’s get excited about trees, Brantford!


In order to improve this program for future years and understand the success rate of the tree planting program, a follow-up email will be sent around September to all participants with a questionnaire about your tree’s status and health. By registering for a free tree, you agree to receive this follow-up email and provide the requested feedback.