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Native Plants/Trees for Alberta


My husband and I are landscaping our yard and I want to plant some trees. I live in Central Alberta Canada, so we get cold winter and hot summers bother fairly dry as well. I want to grow a Maple Tree or a Walnut but Iím not sure if they'll live with our weather since they are not indigenous to our area.
Also what kind of tree would you recommend that doesnít have deep roots but grown to a good size. Reason for that is that we have a beautiful tree that blocks the sun from our bay window (I donít know the species, it goís from green leaves in spring and turns purple in late summer) but our sewage line runs underneath it and its roots are clogging our pipes (weíve had 2 back ups so far in three years). My husband wants to chop it down and plant a tree that doesnít have deep roots, could you recommend a good tree?

Thanks a million!

Hi Stacy,

There are several types of Maple that are recommended for your area.  Amur, Manitoba, Silver, and Unity are all hardy in zones 2 and 3.  Maples are considered to be shallow rooted trees.  Other examples of shade trees with shallow root systems would be:  Elm, Birch, Poplar.  Spruce and Fir both have a flat root system,and are evergreen.  Walnut has a taproot, so I don't think that would work.  I think the tree that is causing the problem is an Autumn Purple Ash, which has an extensive root system.

Finding a tree with shallow roots may not entirely solve the problem.  I am listing a link to an article on plants and plumbing.  Keeping whatever tree you choose well fed and watered helps to keep roots from wandering in search of sustenance.

Thanking you,
Susan Tabor

Native Plants

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Susan Tabor


I can answer questions about native North American Plants, with emphasis on the Southern US. I have studied native plants and their uses for over 30 years. I can identify from photos (sometimes just descriptions) trees, mushrooms, weeds, and most vascular flora. I actually use the things I gather, and I have some great recipes for wild foods. I frequently design landscapes using native plants. I discovered a new weed introduction in Iberville Parish, La.


30 years of study and application.

Horticulture - LSU Phytotherapy - D. Hoffman

Awards and Honors
LSU 1997 - new Emelia sp. entered in LSU botanical files.

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