Chinook Landscaping and Design – Landscaping Calgary Specialists
Calgary, Alberta
403-452-8552
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM.
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.

[mc4wp_form id=”9425″]

 

 

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

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.