Archive for the 'Plants' Category

5 Amazing Trees That Grow In Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of landmass, and has approximately 0.5% of the world’s population. Suffice to say we have a lot of room to grow trees. Roughly 30% of the Boreal forest, the world’s largest land-based biome can be found in Canada.

The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is arguably Canada’s most well known tree.  Too be honest, it is also pretty amazing.  Maple syrup is, after all, nothing more than the condensed sap of the Sugar Maple. What is more amazing than Maple syrup on pancakes, with a good helping of bacon on the side? Not much.

Thankfully, there is much more to Canada than Maple trees.  Canada’s diverse climate and topography supports a diverse variety of trees. These are 5 of the most amazing trees that grow in Canada.

Arctic Willow (Salix arctica)

Arctic Willow grows in Canada’s far north.  It is the most northerly, woody plant in the world.  Salix arctica has made many adaptations to the cold climate of the tundra. Adaptations like it’s stunted growth, shallow root system, and insulating “hairs” allow it to survive such harsh conditions.

Arctic Willow

Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

After talking about one of Canada’s smallest trees, let’s talk about one of the biggest, the mighty Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). The Sitka Spruce can grow to a height of 100m.  It is the tallest species of spruce and the 3rd tallest conifer.  The Sitka Spruce grows in the Coastal Rainforest of British Columbia along the Pacific Ocean.

Sitka Spruce

Arbutus Tree (Arbutus menziesii)

The Arbutus Tree is a broadleaf evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 metres in height. It is the only broadleaf evergreen tree native to Canada.  The Arbutus grows in the very south-western part of British Columbia, close to the Pacific Ocean.

Arbutus Tree

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

The Pawpaw tree produces the largest edible fruit of any tree native to North America. The Pawpaw grows in the Carolinian forests of Southwestern, Ontario.  The large berries (4-16cm) produced by the Pawpaw have a creamy, custard texture when ripe, varying in color from creamy-white to yellow-orange. The taste is described as a cross between a mango and a banana.

Pawpaw

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

The Jack Pine can be found across Canada in the Boreal forest. The Jack Pine is uniquely adapted to deal with the intense fires that sweep through the forests it inhabits.  Jack pine cones are sealed with a resin that melts when exposed to intense heat.  When fire destroys the forest, the Jack Pine is one of the first species to be re-established.

Jack Pine

Canada is home to 180 different species of tree, all of which are “amazing” in their own unique way.  Consider planting a native tree in your yard.

About Plantola

Plantola makes it easy to catalog and share your garden with friends and businesses, like your landscaper, or local garden center. Like the look of that tree down the street? Take a picture and share it with your plant guy. Captivated by the rose growing in your friend’s garden? Look it up while you are at the garden center. Plantola lets gardeners spend more time in the garden, and less time looking for plants.  For more information visit www.plantola.com.

Download the Plantola iPhone app

 

Hummingbirds love these garden plants

Hummingbird

For whatever reason my yard has been attracting large numbers of Hummingbirds this summer.  They always seem to appear when I am focused on an activity, and it takes me a few seconds to figure out what the impossibly small, multicolored object is floating in mid air. Hummingbirds are magicians.  They are charismatic, memorizing and flamboyant.  The break the rules of nature and leave us asking for more.  Want to attract more Hummingbirds to your yard? Of course you do!

The Hummingbird Diet

You could not be faulted for thinking that Humingbirds have a thing for Cherry Coolaid.  The Hummingbird feeder, an upside down bottle with yellow flower-shaped spouts around its base, has become almost as ubiquitous as the garden hose.  The red, sugary substance in the feeder is made to approximate the nectar Hummingbirds get from flowers.  Contrary to popular belief, nectar only makes up about 50% of a Hummingbird’s diet, the rest being primarily insects.  I guess no one has figured out how to make an insect dispenser that can be sold in stores.

Plants that attract Hummingbirds

The best way to attract Hummingbirds is to fill your garden with flowering plants.  That said, some plants work better than others. The one that seems to work the best for me is Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera).  These are some other perennials that Hummingbirds find hard to resist.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

butterfly_bush

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans )

trumpet_vine

Salvia

Salvia

 

Columbine (Aquilegia)

columbine

 

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Beebalm

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

cardinal_flower

About Plantola

Plantola makes it easy to catalog and share your garden with friends and businesses, like your landscaper, or local garden center. Like the look of that tree down the street? Take a picture and share it with your plant guy. Captivated by the rose growing in your friend’s garden? Look it up while you are at the garden center. Plantola lets gardeners spend more time in the garden, and less time looking for plants.  For more information visit www.plantola.com.

Download the Plantola iPhone app