Guidelines for your Edible Trees Application

Return to the Edible Trees application page here:
Apply for an Edible Trees Grant →


Funding is available (but not limited to) community gardening groups, community housing projects, indigenous communities, schools, parks and arboretums. Applications for Tree Canada’s Edible Trees program are accepted until April 30, 2018.

Tree Canada will also consider publicly-accessible projects that meet the following guidelines:

  • Increases equitable access to healthy food
  • Strengthens communities by empowering neighbors to share in the harvest and care of city-grown food resources
  • Benefits the local community by providing access to the trees and their fruit by the public ( i.e. food banks, volunteers, community kitchens)
  • Meets the needs of the community and includes creative plans for the produce grown
  • Takes place within a geographic area suitable for growing fruit and nut trees
  • Protects and preserves the Canadian environment
  • Assists residents in understanding and participating in environmental activities in local communities

Should you encounter issues with this application form, or have any questions about the program, please contact Marie-Paule Godin at mpgodin@treecanada.ca or at 613-567-5545 Ext. 237.


Maximum grant amount: $4000 CAD

Tree Canada staff will review the Edible Trees applications and make recommendations for funding support according to the established criteria. 

  • Proposed project: Demonstrated understanding of the purpose of the program and in designing a creative program that promotes innovative practice.
  • Community engagement: Demonstrated ability to involve the community, other not-for-profit organizations and volunteers.
  • Technical expertise: Demonstrated capacity that the expertise is present or can be sought to guide the applicants in its efforts. Grant recipients may be encouraged to use a portion of their funding to include an educational component.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: Demonstrated commitment to maintenance and description of the role of community members, staff, and volunteers.
  • Promotion: A commitment to publicize the Program, including program partners, Tree Canada and Funders, in a variety of ways that may include a launch event, press release and reaching out to local print media.
  • Evaluation: That a system is in place at the community level to evaluate the success of the program 3 years into the future.


Before planting edible trees in your community, it is important to know whether the trees you choose are suitable for your region. We recommend using our Trees of Canada resource to identify which tree species may be a good candidate for your grant.




Tree care and maintenance: Healthy trees in your community will purify the air, provide cooling shade during the summer time and will protect from severe winter climate. In the specific case of edible trees, they will provide an accessible food source to the community, ranging from fresh harvested fruits to various kinds of nuts. In order to optimize the environmental and economic values from edible trees, it is essential to properly maintain the trees in the long term.

The following are simple guidelines for mulching, watering, fertilizing, pruning and protecting your edible trees properly.

Begin by mulching: Mulch provides trees with a stable root environment and reduce their competition with other plants (5). Place the mulch immediately after planting the tree (5); apply the mulch around the stem but leave some space (~5 cm) between the mulch and the stem to prevent insects and diseases from reaching the tree through the mulch (1, 5).

Watering frequently: Water the tree regularly during the summer (at least once a week) for the first two years after planting; water frequently especially during the first summer since new saplings are vulnerable to dry conditions (1). The amount of watering may vary depending on the soil type, tree species, and the amount of rainfall (1). The best time for watering during the day is the early morning when temperature is cool; avoid watering around noon.

Fertilization: When considering fertilizer, it is important to know which nutrients are needed and when and how they should be applied for the tree species you are planting. When applying fertilization, dig holes on the ground at the foliage limit, and place certain fertilizer into each hole, then fill them with sand and compost (3). Do not provide saplings with too much fertilizer during the first year since too much growth in the first year can reduce a tree’s ability to survive the winter (5). Avoid fertilization after July to reduce the late season growth. Aerate compacted soil before fertilization; that is, to water trees thoroughly after heavy rainfall to soften the soil (3).

Pruning with care: Pruning consists of removing dead, weak, or diseased branches and to change the tree structure for enhanced vigor and safety (4). Avoid removing the tip of the dominant leader on young saplings (4). Prune the trees during their dormant period (mid-Oct. – Apr.) rather than the growing season. Prune leafy shrubs and hedges in spring before the buds open while prune flowering shrubs after they have bloomed in the spring (3).

Winter Protection: Reduce the frequency of watering in fall to correspond to lower temperature. In order to avoid sun damage on the bark, you could wrap the tree trunk with light-colored trunk guard for the first two winters; the trunk guard is also an effective way to prevent damages caused by animals (2).Protective chicken wire around the stem also prevents damages caused by animals (2).

For more information, view our Guide To Community Tree Planting And Care