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Tree Species Selector

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Eastern Canada Tree Species

Central Canada Tree Species


This website has been developed to function as an effective tool for making tree species selections in urban and suburban settings, as well as addressing poor soil quality and health on sites before planting takes place. Tree selections are currently suited to eastern Canada (with Ontario-specific pest and disease notes) and central Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). Trees hardy as far north as USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 2 and as far south as zone 4 for central Canada and zone 6 for eastern Canada have been included. Unique to this website is a soil restoration calculator that enables users to input information from a soil test and then receive recommendations on how to restore degraded soil, if necessary. It is highly recommended to test your soil before you plant, as our research and others' have found that soil quality is a key limiting factor for tree establishment and growth. To learn more about soil quality, click here!

To build the eastern Canada database a survey was conducted in 2016 to determine the tree species currently on planting lists for 16 medium to large municipalities in Ontario, 9 cities throughout the northeastern United States, as well as several Ontario-based conservation authorities. Tree species recommendations for northeastern North America from leading urban forestry experts were also considered. For central Canada, selections from city planting lists, leading university and commercial plant breeding facilities and tree nursery stock lists, as well as trees tested through the Prairie T.R.U.S.T Project were considered. All tree species/cultivars listed in at least one of these sources, and for which there was adequate information, have been included in our Tree Species Selector databases.

This project was supported by the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) research and innovation cluster and is funded in part through the AgriInnovation Program under Canadian Agricultural Partnership . 


Other Tree Species Selection Resources

Other tree species selection resources include Cornell University's Woody Plant Database and the Trees and Design Action Group's Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure written by Dr. Andrew Hirons and Dr. Henrik Sjöman.

For in-depth discussion of the principles behind tree species selections, explore the videos below:

Selecting Species for a Better Urban Treescape – Session One

Dr. Andrew Hirons, senior lecturer in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry University Centre Myerscough and Dr. Henrik Sjöman, scientific curator at Gothenburg Botanical Gardens and researcher and lecturer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Strategies for Successful Urban Tree Growth in Wet and Dry Sites

Dr. Nina Bassuk, Professor & Program Leader, Urban Horticulture Institute, Cornell University, September 2015


Drought Tolerance in Trees - Improving Tree Selection for Challenging Urban Sites

Andrew Hirons, PhD, Myerscough College, U.K. – November 2017