Chinook Landscaping and Design – Landscaping Calgary Specialists
Calgary, Alberta
403-452-8552
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM.
24 Apr 2019
xeriscape yard showing colourful plants and rocks for interest

Xeriscaping your yard in Calgary

Xeriscaping is a fancy word isn’t it? But what does it really mean?  According to Wikipedia “Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping or gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation.”  So, in a nutshell Xeriscaping simply means you will need to water your landscaping very little or none at all.  Can you completely eliminate the need for hand or automated watering for your landscaping in Calgary?  That is the key question.  Xeriscaping your yard in Calgary in the true sense is challenge.  Xersicaping is made much easier in climates where rainfall is more reliable than Calgary.  As well, climates where drought resistant plants thrive and have evolved to survive on very little water are Xersicaping friendly but Calgary is just not in that category.

Plantings are key to Xeriscaping in Calgary

Choosing drought resistant plantings is the key to creating a successful Xeriscape in Calgary.  There are many shrubs and ornamental grasses that are drought resistant and will do well in Calgary’s climate.  Ornamental grasses ideal for Canadian climates are likely your best choice for drought resistant plantings.  Ornamental grasses includes varieties such as Karl Forester feather reed grass, Overland grass, Fescue grass and Blue oat grass.  These ornamental grasses are not only drought resistant but they provide great spring, summer, fall and winter interest and colour.  We have planted these ornamental grasses for years in Calgary.  Over time we have seen that they can go entire summers without water even when our summers have been unusually dry.  Along with ornamental grasses we recommend planting some native shrubs in your garden beds.  Native shrubs include Dogwoods and Saskatoons.  Dogwoods are available in a wide variety of leave and branch tones so they can add a lot of colour to your Xeriscape.  Dogwood varieties included Yellow twig dogwood, variegated Dogwood, Red twig dogwood and many more varieties.  Dogwoods are quite drought tolerant but may require some water if the summer season is very dry.  Saskatoons grow wild throughout Alberta and you will see them in areas such as Fish creek and Glenmore park in the SW.  Saskatoons can survive  little or no hand watering and they are a tasty and nutritious snack  IF you want a bountiful Saskatoon crop then you will likely need to water them by hand. Other drought tolerant shrubs you may want to include when xeriscaping your yard in Calgary included Cotoneaster as well as some varieties of junipers and spirea.  It is very important to remember that all of your new plantings will require regular watering when they are first planted.  This is vital for the plant to get properly established.  Once the plant has become established you can reduce watering or eliminate altogether.

Local Perennials are a good choice for Xeriscapes

Using local, hardy perennials for your xeriscaping is a great way to add colour to your property. Perennials can be used as feature plants or as ground cover that will help preserve the moisture in your garden bed soil.  If you plan on using perennials for your xeriscape garden it is important to note that you should not plant perennials where you will be using landscaping fabric or stone or wood mulch.  Perennials need space to sprout in spring so the fabric and rock or mulch will prevent them from putting out their shoots.  We always recommend planting perennials in separate beds away from your shrubs if you plan on using any type of fabric or mulch.  Some great perennials that thrive in Alberta include Limelight Sage or Variegated Mugwort, Kinnikinnick / Bearberry, Silver Brocade, Prairie Smoke Avens, Prairie Crocus, Giant Goat’s Beard, Bunchberry, Silver Mound, Joe Pye Weed, Native Ostrich Fern, Evening Primrose.

Top off your Xeriscape with mulch

Topping off your xeriscape with mulch is a very important step to take in order to have a successful xeriscape garden.  Xeriscaping your yard in Calgary means protecting your plantings from our harsh winter climate. Adding a good quality mulch to you garden beds will help retain the moisture, shade the soil from the sun and preserve water below the surface. You can choose several different type of mulch such as cedar mulch, foothills mulch.  You can also choose a stone mulch such as rundle rock, rainbow rock or pea gravel.  Adding a layer of good quality fabric below the mulch will greatly reduce the amount of evaporation that occurs.  Fabric will protect the soil from drying out by preserving moisture as well as protecting the soil from high winds.  If you want a true xeriscaped garden in Calgary then mulch of some sort is a definite must have.  The mulch and fabric will greatly reduce the amount of weeds in your garden beds.  Weeds if left to grow will sap the soil from nutrients and moisture and put your plantings at risk.  Xeriscaping your yard in Calgary can be a challenge but is definitely worth doing if you want a low maintenance landscape.

23 Apr 2019
Picture of David Abbott on the Marc and Mandy Tv show

Chinook Landscaping and Design on The Marc and Mandy Show

Chinook Landscaping was proud to be part of The Marc and Mandy Show.  The show is airing now on City TV in Calgary.  We shared “Tips from The Pros” and discussed several important ways to improve your landscaping.  You can watch the City TV segment on Youtube here Chinook Landscaping and Design on The Marc and Mandy Show.  Here is a sample of what we discussed on the segment.

How to prevent water from pooling around your walkways.

Preventing water from pooling around your walkways can be a challenge.  It is one of the most common issues we face as landscapers in Calgary.  Many homeowners or landscaping companies choose to bury their downspouts in order to divert water away from their walkways.  This is not necessarily the best solution.  Burying downspouts can often cause even more issues.  These new issues can arise because the the area that is buried can take longer to thaw in spring time.  Therefore the above ground free flowing water can run into an ice plug underground.  This causes your eavestroughs to overflow or even worse, it can lead to frost heaving under your walkway.  Frost heaves can cause cracks in concrete or high and low spots in your paving stones.  To prevent burying your downspouts we often recommend and arbor be used.  An arbor is a wood structure that can be simple or decorative.  We typically build these arbors from cedar because they look more attractive. Arbors provide drainage solutions by straddling walkways and diverting water away from your walkway.  We simply run the drain pipe over top the arbor and down the other side.  It is a simple solution to what could be a very serious drainage issue. Arbors also provide great curb appeal for your front yard and they are inexpensive to install.

The best way to create curb appeal for your property.

Defining your borders! This is the key to great looking curb appeal.  We discuss watch the video segment of Chinook landscaping and design on the Mark and Mandy show to learn more.  Defining your borders simply means cleaning up those edges around your garden beds. If you check out the TV segment Chinook Landscaping and Design on The Marc and Mandy Show you will see some great examples of how to create great curb appeal.   Overgrown messy garden beds are not attractive and they distract from the overall look of your landscaping.  We often see great looking garden beds with a nice selection of shrubs and perennials but the borders are not defined.  Clearly defined borders look great and can be done easily without breaking the bank,  You can define your borders by using a simple spade edge but this needs to be done annually.  A spade edge means digging out sod or perennials around your garden bed in order to create a defined border.  A better way to define your borders is to use mowing pavers or raised stack stone or even a vinyl edge.  Mowing pavers are very practical because they allow you to mow your lawn easily by mowing right over the pavers.  Mowing pavers mean you do not need to trim up against a garden wall or edging.  A raised garden wall is another way to create curb appeal for your property.  Garden walls create a bolder and more obvious defined border than other methods. Raised garden walls are more expensive than mowing pavers.  Unlike mowing pavers, if you have grass bordering your garden wall you will need to trim up against it. You can eliminate the trimming by adding mowing pavers in front of your garden wall.

Watch Chinook Landscaping and Design on The Marc and Mandy Show.  Click here to learn more about Marc and Mandy

21 Apr 2019
wood structure with horizontal boards

Creating privacy in your backyard

Creating privacy in your backyard can be done in several different ways.  Many of our customers ask about creating privacy in their backyards and this includes screening patios, hot tub areas or other locations.  Creating privacy is important, especially in some of Calgary’s newer communities where homes are located very close to each other.  Many properties back right on to neighbouring properties with no back alleys so privacy is very important if this is the case for your home.

Privacy using natural screeningTall lush tree with trembling leaves

Using natural screening is a great method for creating privacy in your backyard.  Natural screening simply means using trees or large shrubs to create a natural screen.  You can use several trees to accomplish a good solid screen or you can choose to install several trees to create more privacy in your backyard.  Swedish columnar Aspens are a very popular tree for creating privacy in your backyard.  They work well along fence lines or areas where you do not have much room.  Swedish columnar aspens are tall narrow trees that grow very tall but stay narrow at their base. The often don’t exceed five four feet in width so this makes them a great tree for tight areas.  There are other columnar trees such as Columnar crabapples, Columnar blue spruce and multi stemmed Carriganas.  These trees are also a good choice for privacy screens and can be used in narrow areas.  The Columnar spruce will still grow to be quite wide so using it along a back fence is a better choice than between houses. Check some of our top tree species for Calgary
to learn more about privacy trees.  If you have a large open area and you want to use a larger tree species for creating privacy in your back yard, then you could consider trees such as Laurel Leaf willow, Brandon Elm, Colorado blue spruce, Mountain ash, Elm or trembling aspen trees.  All of these trees will give you a lush wide screen and because they are wider you won’t need to plant several trees and that makes this option less costly. Make sure you have your trees installed by a professional landscaping company
and that they include a warranty for their tree installations.

Blue green pyramidal shrub

Shrubs add privacy around hot tubs and fireplaces.

You can use a wide variety of shrubs to create privacy around hot tubs, patios and fireplaces.  Evergreen shrubs such as pyramidal junipers.  Pyramidal junipers include Wichita junipers, Cologreen Junipers and Medora Junipers.  These lush green junipers grow to heights of 8-12 feet over many years.  The not only create great privacy for you but they also provide you with a cozy natural environment.  Planting shrubs around your hot tub and patio gives you a natural and intimate feel.  You can also use a number of other shrubs that grow taller and create lush privacy for you.  These shrubs include Willow, Ninebark, Lilacs, Rose bushes, Mugi pines, Highbush cranberries, Alpine current and many more.  You can visit our shrubs Calgary
page to view may photos of large shrubs that are a perfect fit for creating privacy in your back yard.

Using wood structures to create privacyWood cedar structure with tall beams

The use of wood structures for creating privacy in your back yard is becoming more and more popular in Calgary.  Arbors, Pergolas and privacy screens  can all be used for softening your landscaping and at the same time creating privacy.  Arbors can be placed in an area of your patio or garden bed that provides a screening affect from neighbours.  Arbors look great nestled in the corners of lush garden beds especially if the wood material used us cedar or Meranti.    You will have not doubt seen Pergolas around the city of Calgary.  Pergolas often straddle patios or decks.  They are a four post structure with beams running along the top.  We use pergolas quite often for creating privacy as well as some shade over top decks and patios.  Rich wooden privacy screens are a great way to soften your landscaping and warm up your back yard environment.  Privacy screens can be built at the side of decks or patios or fire pit areas.  We often install privacy screens using horizontal slats so it gives you a semi transparent look. Creating privacy in your backyard can easily be done with a small or large privacy screen depending on how large your screen needs to be.  To add more colour to your privacy screen you can plant a selection of colourful shrubs just in front of them.  These shrubs should not be tall growing as they will eventually distract from the beautiful look of your privacy screen.

 

 

 

16 Apr 2019
Bold white flower blossoms on green foliage

Top Tree Species For Calgary

Calgary has a challenging growing climate so choosing hardy trees is important.  Trees can be a big investment for Calgary homeowners so you will want to make sure you choose a tree that is going to survive.  In our previous blog we talked about fruit trees that grow well in Calgary .  For this blog we are focused on non fruiting trees.  We have compiled a list of top tree species for Calgary  These are some of our favourite trees and the ones we recommend the most because they can withstand Calgary’s harsh weather.

Swedish Columnar AspenTall lush skinny tree with lush leaves

This tall columnar tree is one of the most popular trees in Calgary.  It is very hard and the survival rate is great if the tree is planted in good quality soil.  The swedish columnar aspen is commonly used in areas where a narrow tree is required.  They are very fast growing trees and look best planted in odd numbers.  You can find the Swedish Aspen growing everywhere in Calgary front and back yards.  Again, they are a narrow tree so they are a great choice for beside your driveway or between houses.  Swedish columnar aspens can tolerate moderate drought conditions.

Trembling Aspen

A Trembling aspen is another top tree species for landscaping in Calgary.  Trembling aspens are a multi branched tree that grows much wider than a Swedish columnar aspen.  Their leaves shimmer and tremble hence the name.   These trees are a great choice for areas in your yard where you have more space available.  Trembling aspens look more natural to our environment than some trees and they can often been found planted close to natural areas.

Ohio Buckeye

Ohio Buckeye are not the most common tree in Calgary but they are one of our favourite trees for many reasons. Ohio buckeye has large, compound leaves and can easily identified by its large seed pods.  Ohio buckeye can tolerant full sun or part shade and they are slow growing so they will not take over your property.  Ohio Buckeye have beautiful bright red fall colour that makes them stand out in early – late fall.  Ohio Buckeye needs well drained soil.

Dropmore Linden

The Dropmore Linden tree is a very large tree at mature growth.   Lindens are one of the most attractive ornamental trees because of their symmetrical growth habit. Dropmore Lindens grow at a moderate to fast rate and should not be planted where there are hight winds or harsh conditions.  Dropmore Lindens can grow up to 15 meters so they are best planted in an area where there is lots of room for them to grow and spread.  Dropmore linden trees are a better tree to plant than the more popular green ash.  Dropmore trees are fast becoming one of the more popular large trees in Calgary.  A Dropmore linden is a much better choice than a Poplar tree.  There are numerous problems with Poplar trees that Dropmore lindens do not have.

Willow Tree.

There are several good choices when it comes to Willow trees. Willow trees are a top tree species for Calgary because they grow well in moist areas.  Finding a tree that can tolerate wet soil constantly is not always easy.  Willows grow great in low lying areas.  Some great choices for willow trees include Golden willow and Laurel leaf willow.  If you want a very large willow tree then a Laurel leaf willow is a perfect tree species for you.  Laurel leaf willows have shiny vibrant leaves that create a full tree.  The weeping style of this willow tree make it especially attractive and full of character.  Golden willows have similar leaves to a Laurel leaf willow and can easily be identified by their golden bark.  They are a smaller tree than the Laurel leaf willow but still a great choice for low lying areas of your property.

Japanese Lilac tree

Bold white flower blossoms on green foliage
Japanese Lilac Tree

You have likely seen lilac bushes growing all over Calgary their beautiful bold blossoms are evident in spring time and they can be seen in front yards and back yards throughout the city.  The Japanese lilac tree is one of our favourite blossoming trees because it is fairly hardy and can grow well in small areas.  A beautiful ornamental tree, the Japanese lilac has bright white blossoms that stay full for a few weeks in spring and early summer.  There are not a lot of great choices for small ornamental trees in Calgary so if you are looking for a small ornamental tree then a Japanese lilac is the tree for you

Maple Tree

If you are from Eastern Canada you will have seen maple trees growing in abundance in most provinces.  Everyone loves a maple tree specially because of their unique maple leaf but also because of their rich red fall colour.  Maple trees are not as hardy in Calgary as they are in other cities to the East. Maple trees need to be taken care of with special attention including well drained soil, annual fertilization and adequate watering.  Some Maple trees that can do well in Calgary are Hot wings Maple, Silver cloud Maple and Autumn blaze Maple.  All of these trees are very slow growing so you won’t have to worry about pruning them for many years.  The smallest of the Maple trees is the Hot wings maple.  The hot wings maple is an ornamental tree that is a perfect choice if you have a smaller space in your yard.

Have a look at our Trees Calgary page for photos of trees that grow well in Calgary.

10 Apr 2019
fruit you can grow - cherry tree with big red berries

Fruit you can grow in Calgary

Calgary is not exactly California when it comes to growing conditions but there are still a number of tasty fruit you can grow here.  When it comes to Fruit you can grow in Calgary you will want to choose plantings that give you the best yield for the area you are using to grow them in.  Also, choosing crops that are native to the prairies is your best option to ensure minimal winter kill.  Here is a list of our favourite fruit you can grow in Calgary.

Strawberries

Growing strawberries in Calgary is actually quite easy if you plant your strawberry beds properly.  Strawberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat and you will commonly see them in most top 10 lists for most nutritious fruits in the world.  Strawberries are tasty when eaten fresh and they freeze will so you can enjoy them year round. Growing strawberries in lush wide mats by letting them runner is a great way to increase yield.  Also, picking the white buds in the first year will help increase plant strength and running of the baby plants.  If you don’t have the space you can grow your strawberries in hanging pots, hay bales or other containers.  Visit our Growing strawberries in Calgary page for more.

Saskatoons

Saskatoons are another very healthy fruit that is high in fibre and super nutritious.  Saskatoons do best in areas where there is a lot of sunlight.  They love to soak up the sun and the more sun they have the more sweet the berries will be.  You will need a larger area for your Saskatoon bushes in order to have a lot of plants with high yield.  A good location for
Saskatoons would be at the sides or back of your property where full sun is available.  Saskatoons bushes can grow well as hedges but don’t plant them too close to the street or your neighbours will reap the rewards of all your hard work!

Eating Apples

Eating apple trees are in abundance in Calgary and new varieties from growers means more yield.  Apple trees not only create great eating fruit by they have beautiful spring blossoms for you to enjoy.  Of all the fruit you can grow in Calgary, apple trees will likely be your greatest producer.  You are likely to have plenty of left over apples and these can be used for Apple sauce, Apple pies and many other deserts that can be preserved over winter by freezing them.
There are many great eating apples including the best eating apples to grow in Calgary include Honey Crisp and Parkland.

Haskap Berry

The haskap is incredibly hardy and built for Calgary’s climate.  Often called a Honeyberry, these prairie hardened plants can survive temperatures colder than -50c.  The Haksap berry bush can grow to 7 -9 feet, they produce a lot of fruit and are very high in fibre.  Native to  Europe and Asia, the Haskap is used to very harsh climates.  Haksap berries look similar to oval blueberries.   The berries have their own unique taste that is a cross between blueberries and cranberries.  This is a wonderfully unique fruit that will surprise you with its hardy rich cast.  Like Saskatoons, you will need to find a sunny place in your yard to grow the Haskap bush.

Evans Cherry

If you like semi sweet tart cherries then you will love the Evans Cherry.  These cherry trees have prolific flowers in the spring and produce an abundance of juicy cherries.  Plant your Evans cherry tree in a sunny location to ensure the best yield.  They do not like soil that is overly moist so make sure the chosen location is not on a low area of your yard.  Evans Cherry can be planted in groupings if you have the room for that. They are a wonderful ornamental style tree that will give you beautiful colour in spring and bountiful crops in late summer.  Evans cherry are one of our favourites on the list of fruit you can grow in Calgary.  They are nutritious, plentiful and delicious.

 

See our article in Avenue Magazine for more information on Fruit you can grow in Calgary.

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07 Apr 2019

Landscapers and BBB accreditation is more important than ever

There was a time when the Better Business Bureau or the BBB is it is commonly called, was the main source consumers went to in order to find trustworthy businesses in Calgary.  In this technology driven age, Landscapers and BBB Accreditation is more important than ever. The internet is full of websites, review sites and business listing sites. So, it can be very difficult to identify real and trustworthy landscaping companies.

A new review site seems to pop up everyday

There seems to be a new review site popping up everyday.  Some of the most common are Google, Yelp, Houzz, and Homestars.  There are also numerous other review sites that target homeowners.  Many of these business listing websites do not have the technology or the staff to property identify real reviews and fake reviews. Landscapers and other businesses can say whatever they want about their business and nobody can challenge them. This is why Landscapers and BBB accreditation is more important than ever.   Some areas companies can be misleading on are How long they have been in business, what memberships they have, are the pictures on their website actually their work.  There are so many companies out there using photos of landscaping that were just copy and pasted off the internet.  The Better Business Bureau actually vets business and thoroughly checks out their websites.  They identity how long the company has been in business, whether they are making false claims or claiming another companies landscaping work is their own.  A company cannot become BBB accredited if it does not meet these standards.  Another great thing about the Better Business Bureau is it is staffed by real people.  You can still call them directly to voice concerns with any contractor.  They will contact the contractor and verify the complaint.  You can visit the BBB online and research businesses to find out if they are accredited.  You can also view how long they have been in business, the owners names and whether they have has issues with customers or customer complaints if any kind. Landscapers and BBB accreditation is more important than ever if you are wanting to know the real facts about landscaping companies in Calgary.

Chinook Landscaping and Design is a long time BBB accredited member

Chinook Landscaping and design  has been a member of the BBB in Calgary since 2011.  We were proud to be awarded the Business Ethics Award for 2012, 2013, 2014.  Beginning in 2015 the BBB stopped the Torch Awards so we are very honoured to have received this award in the final years it was presented.  We have continued to win many landscaping Calgary awards since 2014 including the Consumers choice award, Calgary Herald Readers Choice Award and many others.  We were one of the first landscaping contractors in Calgary not to ask for deposits or progress payments.  We feel that this gives our customers peace of mind and is an ethical way to do business.  We have maintained an A+ rating with the BBB since becoming a member in 2011.  In that time we have never had any complaints from Calgary homeowners.

Landscapers and BBB accreditation is more important than ever so make sure to check out the BBB to find out more about any contractor you are thinking of hiring.

04 Apr 2019

Chinook Landscaping app now on Apple App store!

Chinook landscaping and design is excited to introduce our first landscaping Calgary app.  It is ready for you to download to your iPhone now at the Apple app store.

Chinook Landscaping created this app to:

 

Estimate your landscaping materials.

Quickly and easily estimate the amount of material you will need for your landscaping project.  Calculate soil for garden beds, crushed gravel for hardscaping areas, mulch or decorative stone for garden bed toppings or decorative rock for around your yard.  The material calculator gives you accurate materials required in just a few seconds>

Pics for Landscaping ideas

Our new Chinook Landscaping app features all of the landscaping creations we have done in the past several years.  Click on the photos page to view pictures of patios and walkways, paving stones  and more hardscaping projects.  You can also view photos of garden bed edging
Water features, garden bed designs, fire pits and planters

Tree and shrub guide.

Many Calgary homeowners are not sure of what kinds of trees and shrubs to plant in their front and back yards. Use this part of the app when planting trees and shrubs. Scroll through the pictures to view many photos of trees and shrubs that grow well in Calgary.
The pictures include captions with the shrub or tree name so you can easily identify the type of shrub or tree you are viewing.

Fast estimate request feature

See a landscaping picture you like?  Or a tree or shrub you would like planted?  You can contact us very quickly via our Chinook Landscaping app by simple clicking on request estimate.  We receive the estimates quickly and we will respond fast to your estimate request.

Download the app here :   Chinook Landscaping app 

Enjoy!

31 Mar 2019

Paving stone repair

We get a lot of calls from Calgary homeowners asking us about paving stone repair.  Paving stone patios and walkways or paving stone driveways are common in Calgary.  Over time the paving stones can heave due to frost heaves, drainage issues or tree roots.  Many of these paving stone structures have been there for many, many years so the paving stones themselves are old and outdated.

How to repair paving stones

For paving stone repair to be done properly you have to start by creating a proper base. As with all landscaping components, preparation is the most important part of the project.  Simply removing the paving stones and adding or removing a little of the base is not sufficient.  The best way to repair your paving stones is to remove the paving stones from the heaved or sunken area.  Also remove the paving stone from a portion of the affected area even if they are not in need of repair.  Then remove the sand and check to make sure there is an existing compacted gravel base.  If there is not an existing gravel base then that is likely the cause of your paving stone issue.  To properly re-install the paving stones you will need to add a compacted gravel base.  This gravel base will prevent frost heaves and damage from drainage issues.  IF you are looking for a quick fix then you can simply add or remove some sand but this won’t be a good long term fix.

Are roots the cause of your paving stone issue?

Tree roots are often the cause of paving stones heaving and they can cause real damage to patios, walkways and driveways.  You many be dealing with a city tree that cannot be removed.  Or, you like the look of the tree but you don’t like the damage it is doing to your paving stones.  If tree roots are the cause of the paving stone damage, then notching out the tree root might be your best solution.  Spruce tree and poplar roots are the most common culprits and their roots can be cut or notched out with a hand or power saw.  If the root is very large then notching out a piece is probably better than cutting through the entire root. Then, cover the notched out area with sand or a compacted base.  The root will likely continue to grow and will eventually lift your paving stones again in the future.  Removing the root entirely reduce the chances of the heaving returning in the future.

Should you consider new paving stones?

If your paving stones are very old and outdated it is probably best to start fresh with new modern paving stones.  Paving stones have come a long way and there are now so many great styles and colours to choose from.  It often costs the same to repair your old paving stones as it does to install entirely new paving stones.  Paving stone repair is an extensive process and most of the costs are in preparation of a proper base. You can add real value to your property by adding new modern paving stones.  We always recommend completely replacing your paving stones if they are older and outdated.

Call Chinook Landscaping and design today for your free paving stone consultation and estimate.

Ph:  403-452-8552

Or visit our estimates page

31 Mar 2019

Problems with poplar trees

If you live in one of Calgary’s older communities you are probably already very familiar with problems with Poplar trees.  

The city of Calgary planted thousands of Poplar trees in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Many of these trees were planted on Calgary boulevards.  Unfortunately, many were also planted in front of residential homes.  Over the years these Poplar trees have become huge and their size and evasiveness has caused numerous issues with Calgary residential properties and sidewalks.  It is likely the city of Calgary regrets planting these very destructive trees as they have cause so much damage throughout the city.

What are the problems with Poplar trees?

Poplar trees can grow to be  very large.  There are many problems with Poplar trees . Their roots do not run deep but instead they are very shallow.  These shallow roots can be up to 12″ across and they have the power to lift sidewalks, paving stones, driveways and retaining walls.  We have seen many examples of this destruction while visiting with our Calgary clients at their homes.  Poplars have a need to breed and their root structure is extensive.  Their root system also creates new shoots that can become full grown poplar trees over time.  Poplars not only have very evasive root systems but they are also have very fragile branches.  Considering Poplars are such a huge and strong looking tree, they are surprisingly fragile>  You may have witnessed the aftermath of a wind storm in Calgary and seen the branches strewn allover the streets.  The majority of these branches are from Poplar trees.  Poplar tree branches are extremely fragile.  A small child can easily break these branches off without much effort.  In high winds these branches break off and at times even entire limbs snap and fall to the ground, damaging cars, homes and surrounding landscapes.

Is your poplar tree a city tree?

If your Poplar tree is causing you grief, you may find that getting rid of it will cause you even more grief. Poplars are protected to an extreme in Calgary.  As destructive and evasive as they are, the city has made it a priority to protect them.  Removing them or even pruning them may be a battle especially if the trees is fronting your property and is deemed to be the property of the City of Calgary.
Is a city of Calgary tree on your property?  

The city of Calgary has come up with an exhaustive list you must conform to in order to have them consider allowing you to remove your Poplar tree.  This list includes getting permission from your neighbours to remove the tree, paying for the removal yourself and planting a replacement tree.

For more information visit this link to learn more from the City of Calgary about Problems with poplar trees 
Chinook Landscaping Calgary  has great options for great looking trees to include in your landscaping Calgary project.Check out our trees Calgary page for more information.

 

 

 

28 Mar 2019

Is a city of Calgary tree on your property?

Is a city of Calgary tree on your property?  The city of Calgary has planted thousands of trees throughout the city.  The city of Calgary trees are located on what may seem your property but they are actually on city owned landed that fronts your property.  City of Calgary homeowners are not allowed to remove a city tree even though it may appear to be on your property, without consent from the City of Calgary parks.  You can see what portion of your property is owned by the city by checking your RPR or Real Property Report.  The BOW shows where your property ends and where city property begins.  You can call the city at 311 to have them determine if the tree in question is a City of Calgary tree

Quite often we find that the most common tree homeowners want to remove are poplar trees.  Poplar trees were planted throughout the 1960′ and 70’s in Calgary’s older neighbourhoods like Lake Bonavista, Acadia and many others.  The Poplar trees are now huge trees that can cause lots of damage to lawns, driveways and sidewalks.  Their extensive root systems can lift concrete and even break concrete structures.  As well, the poplars are very fragile trees for their size so after a windstorm you will find branches strewn all over lawns and city streets.  Some branches are heavy enough to damage vehicles.  This poplar was not a good species for the city to plant and I am sure they regret it now.  Regardless of the poplar trees drawbacks, removing poplar trees in Calgary can be quite an ordeal if they are on City property.

Read more about problems with poplar trees

Here are the City of Calgary’s conditions for removing a city Poplar tree.

Poplar tree removal conditions

These are the conditions that must be met:

  • The poplar concern cannot be easily remedied through other means and is of significant nuisance.
  • The Poplar tree must be a city tree and are typically planted on city boulevards or frontage of your personal property.
  • Even though the poplar trees is the City of Calgary tree, the homeowner mist pay for all removal costs.
  • The homeowner is responsible for planting a new tree in place of the old poplar tree
  • Tree removal must be done by City of Calgary parks.
  • A survey of twenty residences must be completed.  Ten residences across the street from your property and five residences on either side of your property.  Your neighbours must sign the survey and express whether they want the tree to stay or be removed.

Read the full list of conditions here removing Poplar trees in Calgary

Make sure to do your due diligence to find out if a City of Calgary tree is on your property. Check out our trees Calgary page to view photos of trees that would be suitable to plant in you front or back yard.