Let it Grow!

Dying Trees 

I hired an arborist last year to prune our giant schubert tree and he said that the last few years have not been easy on our trees.  Maybe you’ve noticed a few dead trees in your neighbourhood.  

Swedish Columnar Aspens – Often referred to as towering poplars and are very popular to create privacy because they grow fast.  The cons are that their roots can be evasive and continue to grow even after the tree looks to be dead above ground.  They are also susceptible to bronze leaf disease and poplar borer.   If you have to remove any of these dead trees in your yard it may be a good opportunity for change.

Some ideas for trees  that can flourish in our climate:

Columnar Blue Spruce

A dense evergreen with bright blue needles on a columnar form. Great for smaller home landscapes

Purple Spire Crabapple

Also a columnar tree with sparse pink flowers in the spring and purple fruit in the fall.

Japanese Tree Lilac

Grows in an upright, rounded shape and bears white flowers for two weeks in early summer.

Creating Ideal Growth Conditions

We have a giant juniper bush in our front that has been struggling the last few years and after some intense research (googling before going to bed)  I discovered what you surround your plants in can have an affect on their health.  The stones you use in your landscaping can contribute to the chemical balance of the soil and may not be favourable to certain plants and also hold heat which will essentially bake your plants.

Rain Barrels

What other benefits do rain barrels provide besides water conservation?  Rain water is 100% soft water and free of treatment chemicals which can build up in soil over time. It’s like vitamins for your plants, packed with all the things plants love like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium.  I probably wouldn’t drink it but your plants will thank you!  If you have a cistern and pay for your water to be delivered you can also use a sprinkler pump and use your rain water for car washing, etc. and it comes in handy to get that rain water to the hard to reach places in your yard.  If you’re handy you can set one up yourself! How to Build a Rain Barrel for $40 | Ask This Old House

And last, if you are planning new landscaping changes to your existing landscape, come up with a plan and consider how much time it will take.   Chat with the pros at your local green house and landscape company.  Some of my local favourites in the south east are Ellerslie Gift & Garden and Salisbury Green House in Sherwood Park.   Use a quality products like landscape fabric so you won’t be pulling weeds for a few years.  Ensure you’re following the architectural controls if your neighbourhood has them.  

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