Prairie hardy trees & shrubsTrees are essential to life on earth. They contribute greatly to the air we breathe.
Oxygen as we all know, comes from the photosynthesis process of plants. About a half of it comes from phytoplankton, the one cell plants that inhabit our oceans. The other half comes from plants on land - shrubs, grasses, flowers and in large part, trees.
Trees do much more than "just" make oxygen, they are also wonderful cleaners of air pollution.
As the largest plants on our planet, trees create habitat for thousands of species. Trees build soil, stabilize the ground, soak up storm water that reduces flooding and they decrease ozone levels. Trees are essential in keeping our planet cool, not only by throwing shade but by sequestering carbon and greenhouse gases - most important job. A mature deciduous tree can capture enough carbon to release enough oxygen to sustain two humans.
These carbon storage units can absorb as much as 22kg of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old. Reducing or eliminating trees releases this carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. Despite knowing this, humans have destroyed about half the trees on the planet thus far. We continue to chop down approximately 130,000 square kilometers every year. This amount of deforestation accounts for 25-30% more carbon in our atmosphere. Our atmosphere now has over 400 ppm of carbon in it and the last time it was this high was about 3 to 5 million years ago.
Basically, what this means while we are working on recycling and more environmentally friendly ways of living we need to be planting as many trees as possible, as quickly as possible.
Although the task of global reforestation seems impossible, it isn't. You can start right in your own yard. If you think about the actual benefits of trees, and what you can do to help locally, it isn't so overwhelming.
Trees provide homeowners with many benefits including:
Even the smallest yards can handle a tree or two. We know that city yards have been getting smaller, but there are now more columnar trees than ever to choose from. They take up way less space than a spruce or large canopy deciduous tree and you can get pretty much whatever you want. There are columnar fruit trees, ornamentals, evergreen and deciduous varieties.
Trees can help keep your home cool during the summer months by providing shade. Trees can also help you keep your home warm during the winter as they can reduce the amount of wind and cold that enters your doors and windows.
Properly located trees can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save 20% or more on heating costs.
Trees can also hold pollen, dust, smoke and ash on their surfaces.
Researchers have found that trees can help reduce stress. They found that looking at trees for five minutes per day can reduce your stress.
While trees do require maintenance, they are a lot easier to care for than most people think. In fact, caring for trees is easier than caring for bushes and flowers.
Choosing trees and shrubs that thrive in Alberta is the first step toward having a beautiful outdoor living area and garden.
The climate of Alberta is conducive to growing a wider variety of trees and shrubs than most people realize. Our cold winters bring the dormancy that trees and shrubs need to renew their growth cycle.
Choosing trees that thrive in Alberta is the first step toward having a beautiful outdoor living area and garden. Also remember we have micro-climates in our yards; retaining walls, sidewalks and paved surfaces radiate heat and our south facing areas area generally warmer than the north.
What makes greengate garden centres' trees and shrubs special?
Trees and shrubs are grown from the hardiest sources available; selections are chosen from the coldest climates in Canada. Our suppliers' plants are container grown and provide the consumer with an established, well-rooted plant with impressive health and vigor.
During the first season after planting, supplemental watering is required to encourage a healthy tree and root system. As fall approaches, stop any fertilization and continuing watering up until the ground is frozen to allow the roots to freeze and survive the winter. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you with all of your tree and shrub selections.
If you are looking for big impact in smaller spaces shrubs can be an excellent addition.
Many gardeners turn to shrubs to add summer colour in their gardens. Smaller backyards can benefit greatly from a flowering shrub. There are many varieties very hardy to Calgary such as Potentilla, which blooms all summer long or Barberry, which is grown for its lovely foliage. If you are looking for big impact in smaller spaces, shrubs can be an excellent addition. In this section you will find a list of some of the great shrubs greengate has to offer.