Little Forest Kits

“Let’s make magic. Let’s re-enchant our cities. Let’s plant Little Forests as songs, poems, love letters to the land and experience the wonder & delight of a deepening relationship with the land.”

Since colonization, we’ve cut down 80% of our Indigenous Forests. And we’re witnessing the consequences in biodiversity loss, species extinction and climate breakdown. Now, in return for all the gifts Earth has given us, we must give back.

Will you join in the journey?

We’d like to acknowledge and thank Little Forest KingstonGreen Communities Canada and Lower Trent Conservation for their leadership, and inspiration when in comes to Little Forests in Ontario, and for generously sharing so many resources. We have borrowed a lot of knowledge from these folks to put together this kit as well as general Little Forest programming and promotions.

What is a Little Forest?

What is a Little Forest? Like people, trees prefer to live in communities. So, rather than planting lonely trees, we plant little forests. It is a reforestation method inspired by the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki that supports accelerated tree growth and habitat creation in small urban areas.

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What is the Little Forest Kit?

Kits include everything needed to start a little dense forest ecosystem. Little Forest kits contain soil amendments like compost, mulch, and beneficial microbes, as well as a wide selection of trees and shrubs suitable to the Kawarthas region. A kit purchase also includes coaching from GreenUP staff, and connection to a network of other little forest growers.

What is included in the Kit?

  • Compost, woodchips and beneficial microbes to help with soil amendments (GreenUP will arrange for the delivery of compost and mulch*)
  • Tree and shrub plugs (GreenUP will deliver these to you **)
  • Compost tea (GreenUP will help with this)

*Special arrangements will be necessary if you live outside the City of Peterborough due to contractor fees.

**We are happy to deliver trees and shrub bundles to addresses within the City of Peterborough. If you live outside of these boundaries, pick-up will be necessary. Sorry we can’t accommodate tree and shrub deliveries outside of City Limits. 

Where can a Little Forest be planted?

These Little Forests can be planted in full or part-sun (4 to 6+ hours of direct sunlight) in well-draining soils.

Note: One of the reasons we are so excited about Little Forests is the work they do to build soil health. The first step in the planting process is to amend the soil. So, don’t be too worried about the condition of the soil where you want to plant. By putting in the little forest, you will be helping to generate rich soil for future generations.

What is involved?

You are planting a mature forest ecosystem where what happens under the ground is just as important as what happens above the ground. As such, there are three key steps to the Little Forests planting method (adapted from Dr. Akira Miyawaki’s afforestation method).

Step 1: Prepare the soil bed.

Step 2: Follow the Little Forest planting method.

Step 3: Tend to your Little Forest!

GreenUP will provide encouragement and guidance on the process through email prompts, invitations to connect with other Little Forest hosts, virtual mini-training on planting process. We’ll provide support by phone/email as needed and celebrate of your work!

Step-by-Step Program Timeline:

April/May: Sign up for the program and pay your material costs to GreenUP (deadline for this is May 24).

May/June: Prepare your soil as soon as possible so that soil can build for as long as possible before planting day. Decide where your Little Forest will be planted and sheet mulch.

July-August: Let planting area rest. Water the area every once in a while, to aid in the breakdown of the cardboard. All sorts of important soil building activity is happening during this time!

September: Sign-up for a 15 min tree planting tutorial via zoom. In late September you will receive your trees. You will want to get them into the ground as soon as possible after they arrive.

October-November: Watch over your Little Forest. Share pictures and join the chat in the WhatsApp Little Forest chat.

Spring and Summer 2025: Pull weeds so that the trees don’t have to compete for nutrients. Rain will meet most of the watering needs. But, we don’t want the trees to die, so please water them as necessary through the summer if it has been dry for more than two weeks. More care instructions included in your package (thanks to Little Forests Kingston for sharing).

What kind of plants can we expect?

Plants will be sourced from local nurseries including but not limited to: GreenUP’s Ecology Park in Peterborough, Grow Wild Native Plant Nursery (in Omemee) and Pineneedle Farms in Pontypool. Exact species included in kit will depend on what is available. Click here for a list of species that were planted in 2023.