Archive: January, 2016

Powderface Willow

Posted by shane - January 26, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Shrubs

Salix commutata ‘Powderface’ Powderface willow is an attractive shrub, native to Alberta.  It features dense, upright stems with silvery-grey foliage.  I was impressed with this plant becuase it thrived in the harshest, dustiest spot in my yard.  My only complaint was that it lacks appeal in the fall, as they leaves just turn brown.  Like other […]

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Poplar

Posted by shane - January 26, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees

Populus x ‘Northwest’  Northwest Poplar Populus deltoides x Populus x petrowskyana  Griffin Poplar Populus balsamifera  ssp. balsamifera  Balsam Poplar, Black Poplar, bam tree Populus balsamifera Paskapoo  Paskapoo Poplar Poplar are very common species in Alberta, due to their high success rate and relatively quick growth.  They make excellent shade trees in large yards, acreages, and parks, […]

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Ponderosa Pine

Posted by shane - January 26, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees

Pinus ponderosa This is one of my favourite pines.  I was first introduced to this species when I used to walk in the hills on the west side of Okanagan lake between Vernon and Kelowna, BC.  It is a supremely drought-tolerant tree, with the ability to thrive and grow to massive heights and diameter in […]

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Plum

Posted by shane - January 25, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Fruit Trees, Trees

Prunus spp. We can grow several varieties of fruiting plums on the Prairies.  That said, they aren’t commonly planted, and our pruning experience with these trees is wildly variable, from newly planted stock to overgrown and old neglected varieties.  I haven’t pruned enough of any one variety in 14 years to make many generalizations for […]

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Ohio Buckeye

Posted by shane - January 25, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees

Aesculus glabra Ohio buckeye is the Prairie answer to horse chestnut.  I like this tree and I think it is underutilized.  It can be the ideal specimen for very small front yards.  It has interesting palmate foliage, unusual fruit in summer, and excellent and variable fall colour, which ranges from yellow to peach to deep […]

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Norway Spruce

Posted by shane - January 25, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees

Picea abies cvs.  Norway Spruce varieties Picea abies pendula  Weeping Norway Spruce Norway spruce are large, coniferous shade trees, uncommonly planted, but definitely hardy for Central Alberta.  They grow very wide at the base, similar to large Colorado blue spruce, and are not the best choice for most urban yards, as they will tend to dominate […]

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Rhododendron

Posted by shane - January 24, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Shrubs

Rhododendron is a beautiful and common shrub of the BC Coast where I grew up.  It is much less common in Alberta, and there are few varieties that will grow here.  I’ve only seen a few successful specimens: a very nice one in Calgary that was about 3′ high and 2′ wide, and a few […]

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Mountain Pine

Posted by shane - January 22, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Shrubs

Pinus mugo uncinata Mountain pine is essentially a large mugo pine.  It is under-utilized, and when it is used, most often neglected such that it develops a scraggly, undesirable appearance.  Properly and creatively trained, it has huge potential as a specimen tree, especially in smaller spaces. Exposure Full sun to partial shade.  I often encounter this […]

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Mountain Ash

Posted by shane - January 22, 2016 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees

American Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana) European Mountain Ash & cvs. (Sorbus aucuparia cvs.) Showy Mountain Ash (Sorbus decora) Mountain ash is one of the most commonly planted ornamental shade trees in Alberta.  It is also one of the last species to survive its original planting in older neighbourhoods, commonly found nearby elm, green ash, manitoba […]

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