NeighbourWoods

NeighbourWoods is a residential planting initiative developed to encourage citizens to help grow and preserve Kelowna’s urban forest. Each year, Kelowna residents can purchase one tree per household for the low price of $40 (plus GST).

Since 2010, residents have purchased more than 5,000 discounted trees to plant on their properties.   

By purchasing and planting a tree through NeighbourWoods, you're making a positive impact on the environment. To learn more about the benefits of urban trees, visit our Urban trees page

NeighbourWoods 2021

Didn't get a tree this past spring? No worries! For the first time ever, NeighbourWoods will be back with more trees this fall. More information will be available in August 2021. Please check back for updates.

2021 spring tree varieties
American Mountain Ash

Sorbus americana
Height: 20‐30 feet   Spread: 15-20 feet   Sunlight: full sun   Moisture: Moderate to drought intolerant   Soil type: tolerant to most soil types   Hardiness Zone: 2-6

Description: The Mountain Ash is a small, deciduous tree that will provide year-round beauty. Suitable for front or back yards.

Ornamental Attributes: In spring, these trees will boast large clusters of white flowers that become bright red berries. The berries typically stay on through the winter, adding colour to the landscape and providing an important food source for birds. Leaves turn a burnt orange-red in the fall.

Landscape Attributes: Mountain Ash are deciduous trees with an upright, round growth habit. This tree is very attractive and will work in small spaces, as part of a garden, or as an understory addition among taller trees. It requires virtually no maintenance, but if minor pruning is desired it should be completed in summer after the leaves have fully developed.

Plant Characteristics: A Mountain Ash will typically grow to 20-25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of up to 20 feet. It grows at a moderately fast rate and is suitable for a variety of spaces. This tree does best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. Flowers and berries can create some debris below the tree, so it is best placed away from sidewalks or paths. Overwatering should be avoided.

Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac

Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’
Height: 20‐30 feet   Spread: 10-20 feet   Sunlight: full sun   Moisture: Average, but can tolerant periods of drought   Soil type: not particular to soil type or pH   Hardiness Zone: 3-7

Description: A beautiful accent tree adorned with clusters of creamy white flowers in early summer. Interesting dark red bark and a dense upright habit make it an ideal choice for small landscapes.

Ornamental Attributes: Japanese Tree Lilac features showy plumes of fragrant white flowers from late spring to early summer when few trees are blooming. It has dark green foliage through the growing season but does not develop any appreciable fall colour. Fruit is not significant.

Landscape Attributes: Deer and drought tolerant, the Ivory Silk Tree Lilac is a dense, multi-stemmed deciduous tree with an upright growth habit. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard or garden.

Plant Characteristics: Japanese Tree Lilac will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground and is suitable for planting underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a relatively low maintenance tree requiring minimal pruning with high pest and disease resistance. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and thrives in inner city environments.

Ginkgo – Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo biloba
Photo courtesy of Brom & Sons Nursery

Height: 40‐50 feet   Spread: 20-30 feet   Sunlight: full sun   Moisture: Moderate   Soil type: tolerant of most   Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Description: The ginkgo is a large, unique tree in the Okanagan. Considered to be a ‘living fossil’, they are the only surviving member of a group of ancient plants that lived about 150 million years ago.

Ornamental Attributes: Distinctive fan-shaped rich green leaves change to a stunning bright yellow in the fall and stay on for several weeks. Our stock is an all-male (fruitless) cultivar which doesn’t produce messy seeds.

Landscape Attributes: Ginkgos are deciduous trees with an upright growth habit. This tree is very attractive and will work in modern landscapes as well as a dominant feature tree in your yard.

Plant Characteristics: Requiring relatively little maintenance, ginkgos tolerate most urban conditions including salt, heat and air pollution. They are generally pest free and are a great shade tree. A gingko can grow to be over 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of up to 30 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 8 feet from the ground and should not be planted underneath power lines or in smaller spaces. It grows at a slower rate for the first few years but then will accelerate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for over 150 years.

Northwood Maple

Acer rubrum ‘Northwood’
Height: 30‐40 feet   Spread: 20-25 feet   Sunlight: full sun   Moisture: moderate   Soil type: tolerant of most   Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Description: The Northwood Maple is a hardy choice, both for its great form and climate tolerance. It will make an excellent shade tree addition to your yard with stunning fall colour.

Ornamental Attributes: This red maple lives up to its name – both in the spring with showy red samaras (flowers) before leaves emerge, and in the fall when green foliage turns a dramatic brick red. The silver bark also adds dimension.

Landscape Attributes: Northwood maples are deciduous trees with a shapely oval form. Its average texture can be complemented by one or two coarser trees or shrubs to create an interesting composition.

Plant Characteristics: This maple requires relatively little maintenance and are generally pest free. If pruning is necessary, it should be done in summer after leaves have fully developed in order to prevent ‘bleeding’ sap. Northwood maples can adapt to most soil conditions but will do best in average to moist, acidic soil. Reaching about 40 feet tall at maturity and with a high canopy, they should not be planted underneath power lines or other overhead obstacles. It grows at a medium rate and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

Urban Pinnacle Oak

Quercus macrocarpa ‘Urban Pinnacle’
Height: 40‐55 feet   Spread: 25 feet   Sunlight: full sun   Moisture: moderate   Soil type: any   Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Description: A resilient and stately oak tree with a narrow, upright habit of growth. This cultivar of the bur oak has very small acorns and increased pest resistance, making it a perfect backyard shade tree.

Ornamental Attributes: Urban Pinnacle Oak have non-ornamental flowers but provides year-round interest through its shape and retention of leaves. Emerald green glossy leaves turn a gorgeous yellow in the fall.

Landscape Attributes: This oak is a dense deciduous tree that will provide ample shade when mature. The canopy can be pruned in late winter after it is established, but little maintenance is required to maintain its growth habit.

Plant Characteristics: The Urban Pinnacle Oak will grow to be around 40-55 feet tall at maturity, with a typical spread of around 25 feet. It will provide acorns, though small, and they require annual clean up. An exceptionally hardy tree, there are few pest issues and it does very well under urban stress. This oak has a moderate growth rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 100 years or more – a true legacy tree!

Ordering a tree through NeighbourWoods

You can pre-order your tree online. If you dont already have a recreation account, you will need to set one up by calling 250-469-8800. You can also pay by credit card over the phone by calling 250-469-8800, or visit the friendly staff at Parkinson Recreation Centre to pay by cash, debit or credit card.  

Tree orders can be cancelled as long as there’s someone on the waitlist for a tree. A $5 cancellation fee will apply. 

Tree availability & size

Spring trees are now sold out. Trees that were available included: American Mountain Ash, Ginkgo - Maidenhair Tree, Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac, Northwood Maple and Urban Pinnacle Oak. See full descriptions above. Tree size will vary depending on the tree. Expect to receive a tree that is approximately six- to 12-feet tall. 

Waitlist for tree orders

You can waitlist for a tree online, by calling 250-469-8800, or in-person at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. Payment is not required for waitlist.  

Picking up a tree order

Due to COVID-19 restricting in-person gatherings, the usual tree pickup event is cancelled. Trees will instead be delivered to residents’ homes on April 16, 2021. Please ensure that your full address is correct when purchasing your tree online.

Tree order cancellations & refunds
Cancellations
 
You can only cancel your order and receive a refund if someone is on the waitlist for your tree. A $5 cancellation fee will apply. Trees that aren't picked up will be planted locally by City staff.
 
Refunds
 
There are no refunds for NeighbourWoods tree, even if your planted tree doesn’t survive. Help you tree thrive by reading the one-page tree planting guide (available during pickup) and accessing the resources in our Tree planting tips section below.
Tree plantings tips
Important things to consider

The following information is adapted from the International Society of Arboriculture:

  • The ideal time to plant trees is during the dormant season (fall or early spring) 
  • Exercise care in the storage and transportation of nursery stock to avoid stress or mechanical damage. Lift the tree by the root ball instead of the trunk. Don't allow roots to dry out. 
  • Before digging, locate all underground utility wires. Call (800) 474-6886. Please try to plant the tree where it will shade your home.
  • Dig a shallow, broad planting hole, with the hole widest at the top and sloping sides; at least 450-600mm (18-24 in) wider than the root ball diameter (or three to fives times wider than root ball diameter in compacted soils). Dig only to the same depth as the root ball. Identify the trunk flare (point where the roots spread at the base of the tree) to determine the proper depth of the hole. 
  • Water tree in pot. Remove the pot. Score and loosen the roots. Place the tree in the hole, at the proper height. Don't plant the tree lower than the trunk flare; it's better to plant a few inches higher than the trunk flare to allow for some settling. Straighten the tree and gently backfill the hole.
  • When backfilling, use the same soil that came out of the hole; if a different type of soil is used to fill the hole, this may result in problems with drainage around the root ball. If the native soil is extremely poor, topsoil or soil amendments may be necessary, but mix at least 50 per cent of the native soil in with any additional amendments; topsoil should match the same texture as the native soil and the hole should be much wider to allow for growth.
  • Firm the soil but don't pack. Water thoroughly. Remaining soil may be mounded into a berm to collect water in the root zone (leave a gap in the berm if the soil is clay). Fertilizer application at the time of planting isn't recommended.
  • Stake the tree only if necessary, as staked trees tend to develop weaker trunks and smaller root systems. Remove support staking after the first year of growth to avoid girdling the stem. 
  • Mulch the base of the tree with 50- 100mm (2-4 in) of organic matter (e.g. straw, bark, peat moss, wood chips, leaf litter) to hold in moisture and protect against extreme soil temperatures. Keep mulch at least 25-50mm (1-2 in) away from the trunk to prevent decay. Don't apply too much mulch.
  • Water the tree for the first three years of establishment, about once a week during the growing season (more often during hot weather). Keep the soil moist but not soaked.
  • Prune sparingly after planting; corrective pruning should not be done until the tree has experienced a full year of new growth
  • Tree spacing will vary depending upon the geometry of the site and landscaping objectives. Consider the volume of soil available to each tree. If the soil volume is too low, then trees will be competing with each other for available water and nutrients. Keep in mind the mature size of the tree so that tree canopies won't become too closely packed as they grow. 
  • The three main reasons trees die after transplanting are underwatering, overwatering and when they're planted too deeply
Instructional video