About Us

ReLeaf Stratford is a project of Stratford and Area Master Gardeners which promotes planting native plants to support local biodiversity

Tree cover in the Stratford area is 2.6%, well below the 26% recommended in environmental studies. Our project promotes the planting of native plants. Native trees and plants are important to support our declining wildlife and disappearing insect species.

Upcoming Project

Help Us Reach Our Goal: Plant 2022 Native Trees in the Year 2022

Native Trees Planted
Stratford and Area Master Gardeners and ReLeaf Stratford have received a grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation allowing us to plant 400 native trees in the TJ Dolan Natural Area, Stratford. We are working with the Upper Thames Conservation Authority and the City of Stratford Parks Department, both of whom have provided advice and support on this project.
Beginning on May 17th at 9AM, people from various community organizations will help to plant 300 trees. Another 100 trees will be planted on May 18th. Species to be planted include hemlock, sugar maple, hickory, oak, hackberry, serviceberry and dogwood species.
If you are able to join our volunteers in planting on May 17th and/or 18th, send an email to and ReLeaf Stratford will be in touch.

ReLeaf Stratford has teamed up with the Stratford Public Library to bring you knowledgeable and inspiring speakers who are experts in the field of native plants. 

On May 12, 2022 Stratford Public Library and the Stratford and Area Master Gardeners will present the last of our speakers in the Nature Inspired Gardens series.
Dr. Victoria MacPhail will be talking on a very popular topic, Native Plants for Pollinators. Join us to learn about the importance of pollinators, the relationship between native plants and pollinators, and how you can make your garden more pollinator-friendly. Dr. MacPhail will share examples of plants that will provide blooms from spring through fall, and how to provide nest sites for pollinators. She will give tips on how to get your garden ready in the spring, and how to put it to bed in the fall, and end with ways you can get involved and help pollinators.
If you haven’t registered yet, here is the link. Registration usually closes a week before, so register now at this link.

Donate to ReLeaf Stratford

If you would like to donate to this worthwhile project, the button links to Canada Helps, Master Gardeners of Ontario.  In the box “send a message to this charity” indicate that your donation is intended for the ReLeaf Stratford project.

Blue Beech Nutlet & Leaves

Native trees and plants help support an entire ecosystem. It begins with native plants which our native insects and pollinators have evolved to use as a food source. In turn, our birds and mammals eat the insects creating an intricate ecosystem built on native plants.

Non-native plants do not support our native insects to the same extent, resulting in a food desert for Ontario’s caterpillars, birds and mammals. Native insects have no evolutionary history with non-native plants and therefore, don’t have the ability to overcome the toxins those plants produce to deter predation. As an example, native oak trees support over 500 species of butterflies and moths, whereas the imported gingko supports a mere five Lepidoptera species.

Resources and Articles

Wondering which plants are Ontario natives? Check out our lists and helpful links.

Native plants are not always easy to find. To get you started, here are a couple of lists of Ontario native plant nurseries. 

Our graphic illustrates the proper way to plant a tree to ensure it will be long-lived and healthy.

Learn how to identify trees in winter using buds, twigs and bark. This is a fun activity when walking in the woods.

Invasive plants threaten our native woodlands. Learn to identify and avoid this threat to biodiversity.

Check out our list of favourite books and articles on the ecological benefits of native plants.

Some plants are more important than others in supporting ecosystems. 

See our list of native plants that provide the best food for pollinators in the caterpillar stage.