General Questions

The Just Food Community Farm where  our Base of Operations is located, is on public land. People are welcome to visit the walking path at any time from sunrise to sunset. The walking path presents an opportunity to learn about climate change, biodiversity, conservation, and agroecology through bilingual signage. 

When you visit, please ensure you stay on the walking path and follow the rules of the path and the Just Food Community Farm.

Forêt Capitale Forest is a charitable non-profit organization that aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by planting forests and raising awareness of trees, forests and biodiversity. We are guided by an afforestation model that focuses on tree planting with an emphasis on maintaining and caring for the trees after they’ve been planted. Providing care to the trees until they reach maturity ensures a higher survival rate.

As a growing environmental charity, we rely on community donations to build grassroots stewardship programming to care and maintain new urban forests until they reach maturity. Every donation helps FCF plant more trees and provide essential care and maintenance in the National Capital Region.

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Forêt Capitale Forest has public tree planting and tree care events from April to November. If you’re interested in participating in an event, please sign up for our Volunteer Mailing List to stay informed about the wide range of opportunities to get involved!

Once on the Volunteer Mailing List you will be sent quarterly newsletters and volunteer opportunities. This way we can keep you up to date with our latest news and information about events and campaigns.

If you are a part of an organization, corporate, community or school group that is interested in volunteering with FCF, you can sign up through the volunteer form as a group rather than an individual.

FCF will promptly follow up with your inquiry.

Please visit our FCF Public Calendar for volunteer opportunities at a specific site. Furthermore, tree care and maintenance are ongoing activities that should happen regularly such as watering trees throughout the hot summer months. If you are interested in participating in those activities, feel free to join our FCF Google Groups specific to each site by indicating what site you are interested in joining on our volunteer form

Find the closest project to you!


Afforestation Questions

There are three critical inputs we need to organize a tree planting day: 

  1. Project funding to secure the costs of trees, materials, equipment and our forestry staff time.
  2. Volunteers to help plant the trees, water and add mulch to the trees.
  3. Land to plant the trees.

Forêt Capitale Forest takes on the role of securing land on which to plant. We will work closely with groups interested in planting to help direct them towards funding opportunities they may access for plantings and volunteer engagement and outreach.

Forêt Capitale Forest aims to conserve biodiversity in the National Capital Region. We strive to plant a wide range of trees and shrubs native to Ontario. Our organization is guided by an afforestation model that also emphasizes maintaining and caring for trees after they’ve been planted until they reach maturity. 

We plant our trees on public land throughout the National Capital Region. 

Find the closest project to you!

  1. Planting urban forests helps mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon.
  2. Increases local urban forest canopy and biodiversity. 
  3. Planting native species which are adapted to the soil and climate.
  4. Provide public education opportunities on climate change, sustainable food systems and afforestation concepts. 
  5. Create accessible community green spaces for people to connect to nature and appreciate the value of forests.
  6. Facilitate inclusive volunteer events that help empower community members to become long term urban forest stewards that will care and maintain young forests until they reach maturity.

There are two distinct times of the year that tree planting events can occur. One in the spring (late April to late June) and in the fall (early September to late October).

Two factors affect when you should plant trees: soil temperatures and water availability.

Soil temperature should be consistently at, or above, 10 degrees Celsius to ensure root development and nutrient storage. 

Water availability is crucial for newly planted trees. Water can increase the trees’ resilience to transplant shock. Tree planting in the summer is typically avoided as there tends to be very low availability of water due to heat waves and low precipitation.

Dashboards and reports specific to FCF planting projects will be shared shortly on our website. 

Visit our Interactive Dashboard to see our planting progress.

Forêt Capitale Forest has modeled our afforestation plan largely on the basis of continual monitoring and maintenance.  Regular monitoring and management after trees have been planted encourages tree growth, tree survival and overall forest health.

At Forêt Capitale Forest, survival assessments are made using manual methods. We continually assess and adjust our planting and stewardship strategies and methodologies to prioritize long-term tree health. Monitoring tree survival rates is one indicator that will give us the opportunity to evaluate our strategy and make necessary changes. 

We strive to move beyond traditional planting initiatives, towards a dynamic and successful afforestation and stewardship framework. 

Read more about our afforestation and stewardship framework.

Planting urban trees provides a wide range of environmental, social, and economic benefits. However, newly planted urban trees tend to struggle to survive and rarely reach full maturity. Urban trees face numerous challenges such as poor soil quality and soil compaction, poor air quality, high concentration of pollutants, and human related challenges such as lack of maintenance, poor planting procedure, and vandalism. 

Due to these challenges, the average lifespan of an urban tree is 10 years, and annual mortality rates can range from 0.6 to 68.5%

Forêt Capitale Forest aims to reach high tree survival rates in our projects using a combination of planting native tree species that are suited to the planting location, best planting practices and tree care and maintenance strategies that focus on supporting long-term survival.

Tiny Forest Questions

Forêt Capitale Forest is driven to become a leader in the Miyawaki Method Tiny Forest movement in the National Capital Region. FCF has planted nine Tiny Forests following the Miyawaki Method of afforestation since May 2022. Five of the nine Tiny Forests planted are located at our publicly-accessible Base of Operations in Blackburn Hamlet. 

All nine Tiny Forests planted by FCF applied the key characteristics of the Miyawaki Method of afforestation. This is important to note as Tiny Forests that do not apply all the key characteristics, including the soil amendments, may be less effective at accelerating the natural vegetation succession process.

Read more about FCF leadership in Tiny Forests using the Miyawaki Method of afforestation.

There is a series of 6 steps to developing a Tiny Forest using the Miyawaki Method of afforestation as follows:

  1. Local forest exploration and research: Before starting your Tiny Forest, it is important that the species planted represent the local plant community. Selecting species already present locally gives your Tiny Forest the best chance of success while increasing the forest’s ability to support biodiversity. Walk in the area within 2 km of your Tiny Forest to identify which species do the best in your context and adapt your Tiny Forest accordingly.
  2. Soil investigation: For your tree species to grow like they’re in a forest, the soil must make them feel like they are in a forest. Taking a soil survey can show you what nutrients are already present in the soil, as well as what needs to be added to amend the soil. Using this information, you can properly prepare the soil to support a Tiny Forest.
  3. Soil preparation: Soil preparation should always be done based on the nutritional requirements of your local species. Preparing the soil based on plant needs will increase  success. Make sure that the soil is amended to a depth of three feet, using whichever amendments are deemed necessary and identified in your soil investigation. 
  4. Creation of the planting plan: Using the information collected in your field survey, you can mimic a naturally occurring forest by assembling the same plant communities which are known to work well together. Ensure that you have a large variety of trees, bushes and forbs which all share the same nutrient and habitat requirements.
  5. Execution of planting day: When planting, it is important that the proper density and distribution of species is reached. In order to get the proper level of healthy competition, you should plant 3-5 species per square meter. Make sure the planting is done randomly and avoid planting in straight lines. Follow your planting with mulching to prevent weed competition.
  6. Site maintenance: After undergoing the stress of planting, it is important to properly maintain your forest through regular maintenance. For the first 2-3 years, make sure to maintain the mulch layer until a proper canopy layer is formed. Water the trees for the first year if the trees show signs of drying out, but avoid excessive watering to encourage deeper root growth.

Read more about the steps of planting a Tiny Forest using the Miyawaki Method of afforestation.

There are many variables that may affect the costs involved in planting a Tiny Forest leading to some that are more or less costly than others. An estimate of the cost of planting a Tiny Forest is approximately $14,000 – $50,000. Please refer to the FCF’s Tiny Forest Guide for a more in depth cost breakdown. 

Calculating the costs involved in planting your Tiny Forest will depend on numerous factors like the size of the Tiny Forest, the amount of staff and volunteer effort, the procurement, quality and quantity of soil amendments required, and the source and stock type of your trees, shrubs, and forbs.

Funding may be the largest barrier that many groups encounter to planting a Tiny Forest. Planting Tiny Forests is an emerging nature-based method for accelerated naturalization of urban spaces and as this method grows in popularity, more funding sources will be made available. See below for some potential funding resources:

    1. TD Green Spaces
    2. Network of Nature
    3. Tree Canada
    4. City of Ottawa Tree Planting Programs