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 $50 (plus GST).
Since 2010, residents have purchased more than 6,500 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 will return in the fall of 2023. Please check back for updates.
Height: 40‐50 ft Spread: 25-30 feet Sunlight: full to partial sun Moisture: Moderate Soil type: tolerant of most Hardiness Zone: 3-9
Description: The Hackberry is one tough cookie! Touted for its hardiness, these trees make a perfect landscape choice for areas where shade and low maintenance are preferred.
Ornamental Attributes: Hackberry trees feature deep green, rough textured leaves and a growth habit that bears an uncanny resemblance to Einstein’s hair! In fall, leaves turn a bright yellow-chartreuse colour. Berry-like fruit persist through winter, adding visual interest and is popular with winter birds. The bark has irregular and very distinctive ridges.
Landscape Attributes: Hackberrys are deciduous trees with a round-ish form. Its medium size makes it an great addition to backyards, and it can be complemented by one or two larger trees to create an interesting composition.
Plant Characteristics: This Hackberry requires virtually no maintenance and tolerates strong winds, pollution, heat, drought and salt. It is also generally pest free, making it one powerhouse of an urban tree. If pruning is necessary to maintain a tidy habit, it should be done in summer after leaves have fully developed in order to prevent ‘bleeding’ sap. Hackberrys adapt to most soil conditions and grows at a medium to fast rate.
Magnolia liliiflora x Magnolia sprengeri
Height: 25‐35 feet Spread: 20-25 feet Sunlight: full to partial sun Moisture: moderate Soil type: slightly acidic to neutral Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Description: The Galaxy Magnolia is a NeighbourWoods favourite! As a smaller option, it is an easy to maintain and beautiful tree, making it the perfect showpiece in front or backyards.
Ornamental Attributes: During the growing season these trees will boast oval rich green leaves, but it is the long-lasting, large dark pink flowers in spring that will steal the show. This tree blooms a little later than most, helping it escape any early spring frost damage.
Landscape Attributes: Galaxy Magnolias are single-stemmed, 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. Requiring little maintenance, a spring feeding of all-purpose fertilizer prior to new spring growth and minor pruning will help keep this tree looking its best. Pruning should be completed in mid-summer after the leaves have fully developed.
Plant Characteristics: A Galaxy Magnolia can grow to be up to 30-35 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of up to 25 feet. It has a low to moderate canopy height, and it a great option for planting in smaller spaces where overhead or nearby obstacles limit the growing space. It grows at a moderate rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more. Does best with regular watering in well-drained soils, using root-zone mulch to help retain soil moisture.
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.
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.
Cercis canadensis ‘Pink Trim’
Height: 15‐20 feet Spread: 15-20 feet Sunlight: partial sun Moisture: moderate Soil type: tolerant of most Hardiness Zone: 3-8
Description: The Northern Herald® is a hardy redbud variety, known both for its great colour and climate tolerance. It is a statement choice, making an excellent focus point for your yard with stunning spring colour.
Ornamental Attributes: This redbud will bloom with bright magenta pink flowers in early spring, and in the fall dark green foliage turns a burnt yellow.
Landscape Attributes: Northern Herald® redbuds are deciduous trees with a shapely round form. Its smaller size makes it an easy addition to almost any space, and it can be complemented by one or two larger trees to create an interesting composition.
Plant Characteristics: This redbud requires relatively little maintenance, being generally pest free and producing little fruit. If pruning is necessary, it should be done in summer after leaves have fully developed in order to prevent ‘bleeding’ sap. Northern Herald® redbuds can adapt to most soil conditions but will do best in average to moist, well-drained soil. It grows at a medium rate and has moderate heat and wind tolerance.
Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr’
Height: 35‐45 feet Spread: 20-30 feet Sunlight: full sun Moisture: moderate to moist Soil type: prefers slightly acidic but tolerant Hardiness Zone: 3-6
Description: The Redpointe® Maple is a NeighbourWoods favourite, due to its heat tolerance, fast growth, and stunning fall color. Slightly smaller than its cousin, the Autumn Blaze®, these maples can still grow fairly large if the conditions are right.
Ornamental Attributes: During the growing season these trees will boast deep green leaves that resist chlorosis or leaf burn that can sometimes affect maples. Leaves reliably turn a scorching bright red early in the fall adding significant visual impact. Attractive bark provides winter interest.
Landscape Attributes: Redpointe® Maples are deciduous trees with a refined, teardrop growth habit. This tree will work in modern landscapes as well as a dominant feature tree in your yard. A spring feeding of all-purpose fertilizer prior to new spring growth will help keep this tree looking its best. Very little pruning is required, but if desired, should be completed in summer after the leaves have developed. This is a great shade tree.
Plant Characteristics: A Redpointe® Maple will grow to be up to 45 feet tall at maturity with a spread of up to 30 feet, so it is not a good choice for be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more. This tree does best in full sunlight. It is highly adaptable, fairly tolerant of urban conditions, and has been cultivated to have increased resistance to pests and leaf burn.
Please note that tree sales are closed for 2022. Sales for 2023 open in the fall. Check back for updates.
If you don’t 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 sales open August 29th at 8 a.m.
Trees that were available in 2022 included: American Hackberry, Galaxy Magnolia, Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac, Maidenhair Gingko, Northern Herald® Redbud and Redpointe® Maple. 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.
Please note that tree sales are closed for 2022.
If a tree variety has sold out, you can still waitlist for a tree online, by calling 250-469-8800, or in-person at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. Payment is not required for waitlist.
The NeighbourWoods event will take place on Saturday, September 24. Individuals can pick-up their tree from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Mission Recreation Park Arboretum, 4105 Gordon Drive. Please bring your receipt (if applicable), proof of residency and a vehicle that’s appropriate for transporting a tree. Trees not picked up at the event will be considered donated to the City of Kelowna for public planting.
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