Planting Trees in Alberta: Tips from Tree Experts

By: albertaarb - December 23, 2013

The reasons for planting trees in Alberta are endless. Increased beauty and an increase in property value are important. Consider too all the environmental benefits of tree growth, the shade and wildlife, and simply being able to mark the seasons by watching the cycles of tree activity. Choosing the right tree, and planting in the proper location will ensure that a newly planted tree will survive and thrive.   

Planting Trees in Alberta That Will Survive

Start by choosing a tree or shrub that will survive Alberta's drying winds, harsh and cold temperatures, and short growing seasons. Choosing plants that are considered hardy for Zones 2 and 3 will provide best chances for long-term survival. Tree experts often suggest choosing trees and shrubs that are already native to the province, such as: 

  •  Amur Maple
  • Bur Oak
  • Ivory Silk Tree Lilac
  • Scots Pine
  • Siberian Larch
  • Ussurian Pear
  • American Highbush Cranberry
  • Common Ninebark
  • Nannyberry
  • Snowberry

There are many other options available. When making a choice, consider characteristics of the tree. Some retain leaves long into the fall, and others have interesting colored bark for winter contrasts. There are species of trees that grow fast, or that grow in interesting shapes. The homeowner must make choices that are appropriate to the size and condition of his property. Choose trees that will continue to be suitable for the property, even when mature.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Where to Plant Trees

  • Choose locations with sun exposure
  • Ensure the tree will have sufficient room to grow; plant at least 10 to 15 feet away from the house foundation, and 5 feet away from walks or driveways
  • Be sure to avoid existing utility lines

The Correct Way for Planting Trees in Alberta

Planting a tree is not as easy as digging a hole and putting a seedling in it. There is a lot that goes into planting and taking care of the tree. Listed below are the steps to planting a tree.

  • Dig a hole that is twice as wide and a bit shallower than the root ball
  • Rough up the sides of the hole for easier root penetration
  • Gently remove the plant from the container and place it in the hole
  • Separate the roots
  • Refill the hole with amended soil so that the root ball is about one inch above the surrounding soil
  • Pack the soil, and water thoroughly
  • Stake the tree for the first year
  • Apply mulch around the trunk keeping about two inches away from the trunk
  • Especially during the first year, water regularly and remove competing weeds

As you can see, planting a tree is no walk in the park. If you feel that it is too much to handle, you can hire qualified tree experts who can do the work for you. The arborists will not only plant the tree for you, they will also help you choose the best tree.

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