The urban forest is made up of all the trees that grow in Ajax: the trees in your backyard, the ones that line roadways and those found in public parks and woodlots. Trees provide important environmental, social and economic benefits. These benefits include cleaning the air we breathe, helping us fight climate change and beautifying our community.

Tree Education 

Want to increase your knowledge on Ajax's Urban forest? Check out these FREE resources and programs.

Tree Maintenance

Pruning & Removals

Tree pruning is an important practice for managing trees in an urban setting, it can help promote healthy plant growth, maintain the tree's structure, promote good visibility and prevent conflicts with the built environment.

The Town is responsible for pruning trees located only on Town-owned property and conducts inspections on a routine basis to determine if pruning needs to take place.

Individual requests can also be made by contacting the Ajax Operation Centre. A representative from the Forestry Department will assess the tree and determine if maintenance is required. Residents of the property adjacent to the tree and the person that submitted the request will be notified if any work will be scheduled to take place.

*Please note: Trees located within 3m (10ft.) of energized utility lines that require pruning can only be completed by the local utility company Veridian Connections , for concerns regarding trees near power lines please contact Kevin Philp at Veridian by phone at 1-888-445-2881, extension 3264.

Street Pruning

Town-owned trees located on boulevards and parks undergo pruning on a 6-8 year cycle. This is to help maintain the tree's structure, maintain good visibility and prevent conflicts with the built environment.  This work is completed by a professional urban forestry company under the direction of the Town of Ajax. The completion of the work is carried out in the winter months (October-March).

Woodlots

Presently, Town-owned woodlots without designated trails/paths do not undergo pruning, however individual concerns can be forwarded to the Ajax Operations Centre. A representative from the Forestry Department will then assess the tree(s) and determine if maintenance is required.

Removals

The Town will only remove trees that are on Town property and in poor condition or are a hazard to the surrounding area. Residents within close proximity of the removed tree will be notified 48 hours prior to the start of any work.

Individual concerns can be forwarded to the Ajax Operations Centre. A representative from the Forestry Department will then assess the tree(s) and determine if maintenance is required.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle is a non-native invasive insect, it attacks and kills most varieties of ash trees (white and green ash). EAB is confirmed in the Town of Ajax. Adult EAB beetles lay their eggs on ash trees in the summer. When the eggs hatch into larvae, they tunnel under the tree's bark to feed. The tunnels prevent the flow of water and nutrients, causing the tree to die.

How does EAB impact the Urban Forest in Ajax?

In 2012, Ash trees made up approximately 7% of the town's urban forest, on both private and public property. These ash trees are expected to be impacted or killed by EAB over the next 10- 15 years.

What is the Town of Ajax doing about EAB?

The Town is currently implementing its EAB Management Strategy, which aims to reduce the significant aesthetic, environmental and financial impacts of the EAB. This is being done through a combination of monitoring, treatment, ash tree removal and replacement, and public education.

For more information regarding the Emerald Ash Borer please download the EAB FAQ.
Tree Plans and Policies
Urban Forest Management Plan

The urban forest is made up of all the trees that grow in a city: the trees in your backyard, the ones that line roadways and those found in public parks and wilderness areas. 

Trees provide environmental, social, recreational, and human benefits and recognizing the value of Ajax's urban forest is the first step in managing and protecting it.  In 2008, the Town completed an Urban Forestry Cover Study and in 2010, the Town completed a comprehensive Urban Forest Management Plan.

Integrated Community Sustainability Plan – ICSP 

The Town of Ajax is pleased to present the finalized Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) Ajax - A Journey to Sustainability.

The ICSP will serve as a long-term plan, and was developed in consultation with community members. It provides direction for the community to achieve environmental, cultural/social, and economic sustainability goals.

The success of the ICSP will be depend on: 

  • Continued support of  Residents, Council and Town Staff
  • The formation of a work plan that details actions & completion dates
  • The expansion and strengthening of community partnerships
  • Ongoing engagement and communication

Sustainability Plan and its Relation to Climate Change

Scientific evidence is proving that the climate is changing as a result of the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. The main sources of greenhouse gases in Canada are as a result of:

  • Energy production including oil, gas and electricity
  • Transportation including passenger cars, freight trucks, trains, planes and boats
  • Residential and industrial buildings
  • Waste disposal such as landfills and incinerators

In 2011, the Town of Ajax joined the network of Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) as part of ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) network; which involves more than 1,100 communities worldwide. As a member, Ajax has committed to take action against climate change by completing a five milestone framework for reducing green house gas emissions.

Milestone 1: Creating a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast

Corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast

Community greenhouse gas emissions inventory and forecast

Milestone 2: Setting an emissions reductions target

Targets have been set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 % corporately, and 6 % within community by 2020.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction target report

Milestone 3: Developing a local action plan

The local action plans describes actions that enable Ajax to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets both the community and corporate local action plans are included as a component of the ICSP.

Milestone 4:  Implementing the local action plan or a set of activities

Milestone 5:  Monitoring progress and reporting results

Corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventory report 2015

Community greenhouse gas emissions inventory report 2015 

As of September 2017, the Town of Ajax has reached and achieved Milestone 5 for both the community and corporate categories.

View the Partners for Climate Protection Program page. 

Tree By-Laws
The Town of Ajax strives to maintain and protect its urban forest canopy to ensure trees can continue to provide social, economic and environment benefits. In order to assist with the protection two By-Laws are currently these consist of:

Tree Protection By-Law- BY-LAW NUMBER 137-2006

The purpose of this By-Law outlines policies that prohibit the damage or destruction of trees without a permit for trees located within

  • Parks
  • Greenbelt Land
  • Environmental Protection Land

The by-law also outlines the compensatory process should a Removal Permit be granted.

For more information please review By-Law Number 137-2006.

Boulevard Tree Protection By-law- BY-LAW NUMBER 138-2006

The purpose of this By-Law is to help protect trees planted on boulevards from unnecessary damage and destructions, and outlines the permit and protection process which must be undertaken prior to any work being completed within the vicinity of the tree.

For more information please review By-Law Number 138-2006.
Tree Planting
Municipal Planting Programs 
Municipal trees are those located along boulevards, within parks and woodlots. Since trees provide many benefits to the community, the Town offers a number of programs to help increase Ajax's urban forest. 
Spring and Fall Boulevard and Parks Planting 

In order to ensure optimal survivability of trees in Ajax, new trees are planted only in the Spring (April-May) and Fall seasons (September-Oct). Exact planting times are heavily dependent on the seasonal weather conditions.

If you know of a boulevard location that would benefit from a tree, a request can be made by contacting the Ajax Operations Centre 905-683-2951 or email operations@ajax.ca. A representative from the Forestry Department will investigate and determine if the location and conditions are suitable for a tree. If successful, you will be notified, and the request will be added to the next available planting season. 

It is important to note that the type of tree species planted is determined by the site conditions and the availability from the tree suppliers.

Tree and Bench Dedication Program

The Town of Ajax Tree Dedication Program is a wonderful way of honouring a loved one. Open to all residents, the dedication program allows loved ones to be dedicated in any park or parkland across the Town of Ajax.

Your gift of a dedication will take its place within natural surroundings, making a contribution to the beauty of the parkland, providing a rest and gathering place for families to gather and enjoy the natural environment.

While a request may be made at any time throughout the year, dedications are only done twice a year, in late spring and in the fall. Prices for dedications are as follows:

  • Tree Dedication - $339 including HST

To request a dedication please fill out the Dedication Brochure which includes an application form.

For inquiries on the Town of Ajax Tree Dedication Program, please contact 905-683-2951 or email operations@ajax.ca.

Community Tree Planting

Each Spring and Fall, the Town hosts community planting events to help increase Ajax's tree canopy.

Want to help? Visit the Community Event calendar and subscribe to Environmental event updates. This will allow you to be the first to know when the next Tree Plants are taking place!

Private Property Planting

Tree can provide a wide range of benefits to your property. If you are looking to plant trees on your property, check out the programs offered to Ajax residents to assist with helping you green your grounds!

LEAF Backyard Planting

Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests (LEAF*), is a non-for-profit organization helping to protect and improve Ajax's of urban forest through the delivery of a subsidized Full Service Backyard Tree Planting Program in partnership with the Town of Ajax, Region of Durham, and Ontario Power Generation.

Full Service Backyard Tree Planting Program

Residents of Ajax looking to plant trees on their property can receive the expert tips and help for getting the right tree in the right location at a subsidized rate ranging from $150-220 per tree.

Ajax residents participating in the Backyard Planting Program will receive:

  • An onsite consultation in your yard with an arborist,
  • A five to eight foot tall tree (two to four feet for evergreens),
  • Delivery and planting of your tree.  

The full value of the service is about $300 to $400 and the difference is paid by the program's funding partners.

Subsidized Garden Kits:

  • Native shrubs at a cost of $30 each. This price includes mulch, and delivery for orders of three or more shrubs (for fewer than four shrubs, a delivery fee of $25 per order applies).
  • Edible Garden Kits- Edible species provide a hyper-local food source in an urban environment, offering a great opportunity to discuss food security and share with your community ranging from  $100-$175 + HST depending on the size of the kit you desire.
  • Native Garden Kits- include an assortment of perennials and shrubs delivered right to your door, along with plans to assist you with garden design and planting, offer a simple way to beautify your outdoor space - and help the environment at the same time! The cost of this kit ranges from $125- 235 + HST.
  • Eastern White Cedars are also available for $50 each, including mulch and delivery. Shrubs are one to two feet in height and cedars are two to four feet in height at the time of delivery. Planting service is available for an extra $25 per shrub/cedar. 
View Full Service Backyard Tree Planting to setup a consultation or learn more about the program.
Forests Ontario 5 Million Trees Durham

The Town of Ajax is supporting the Region of Durham's goal to plant 5 million trees as part of their climate action plan. Working with our Partner Forests Ontario, private and public landowners in Ajax who meet eligibility criteria could receive tree planting subsidies for greening their property.

View Forests Ontario website