Tree flare diagram

Ten Tips For Successful Planting


The principle of ‘Do it once, do it right’ definitely applies to planting. Get new plants off to a good start by paying attention to the basics. You will be glad you did.

1. Plants Grow!  The most common planting mistake is not allowing enough space between plants. Read plant tags carefully to determine appropriate site and spacing.  

2. Soak plants well while still in their nursery pots.  Soak in a bucket or dribble with the hose.
3.Dig the planting hole the same depth as, and 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball.  Fill with water and let it drain away – more than once if it’s dry.
4. Tease and spread roots gently outward. Entwined roots need loosening – slice vertically and splay.  If the roots are a solid mass, slice an inch or so right off the bottom. Don’t skip this step!
5. Find the root flare and place plants in the hole, make sure that the root flare is at grade.  Do not plant too deeply – the root flare should be at the soil surface.
6. Half fill the hole around the plant with native soil.  Add a handful of bone meal and no more than 25% of amendments like compost.   Exception is heavy clay – mix in one third gritty compost and/or bark mulch. Water the partly filled hole to settle the soil, then top up with the rest of the soil. 
7. Tamp down soil around plant, gently but firmly.
8. Mulch around plant with compost or bark mulch .  Avoid getting mulch close to woody stems or crown of plant.
9. Stake trees with a sturdy stake on either side of the root ball.
10. Water slowly and deeply.

Always water at planting time, even if the soil is wet and it’s raining. Watering settles the soil around the roots and eliminates air pockets.

Summer is the time to check your irrigation
It’s easier to see problems in the summer and fall, when shrubs are in leaf and perennials are full grown, than in spring when branches are bare and plants are dormant. Look for sprinklers that are blocked or areas that are being missed and either repair or make a list for spring.
Winter is the time to check your drainage
It’s hard to relate to poor drainage at this time of year, so make a point of touring the garden when it’s really wet, and looking for squishy spots. Make note of areas that need to be remediated or replanted with water tolerant plants.
Ready to transport

Sharpen Your Shovels, it’s Time to Transplant!

By Brian Russell

Established woody plants (trees, shrubs and conifers) are best moved when they are fully dormant. In our climate, this means November, December, January or early February. In theory you can move just about anything if you have enough determination and manpower (or womanpower!)

The tree in these photos is an Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ that has been in our roadside planting for almost 25 years.   It has long been too big for the space and rather than cut it down we decided to try to move it. It was a big job that required several people, a tractor and a sturdy trailer.   Hopefully it will survive the move and settle in to its new home in the garden of one of our staff.

The spade must be sharp to cut the roots

The spade must be sharp to cut the roots

It’s important, and a lot easier, to use a sharp shovel or spade because you need to sever the roots cleanly. A dull edge will leave a lot of damaged, torn roots, making it much harder for the plant to re-root. Use a coarse flat file to hone a nice sharp edge on your spade. If you have access to a bench grinder, all the better. If you are planning to do a lot of transplanting, you might want to keep one nice, sharp, clean garden spade just for transplanting. The ones with a square edge and a short sturdy handle with a “D” shaped grip are best.


Starting to severe the roots

Before you start digging, tie up the branches to get them out of the way and to protect them from breakage. You can use rope or twine as long as it is reasonably soft and won’t damage the bark. Almost any large shrub or small tree will be easier to dig and maneuver into its new home if the branches are wrapped.

Clear away all the leaves and debris around the base of the plant and then start slicing your way through the roots, angling inwards as much as downwards. You should be digging at an angle so that you will end up with a cone-shaped root ball. The rule of thumb for determining the size of the root ball to dig is as follows: allow ten to twelve inches of root ball diameter for every one inch of trunk calliper.

Close up of root severing

Close up of root severing

For small plants, you might be able to dig a nice root ball out with just six or eight “slices” of your razor sharp shovel blade. For larger plants, you will need a larger root ball but the shovel’s blade won’t be long enough to get all the way under the plant the first time around.

Tipping the tree to cut the final roots

Tipping the tree to cut the final roots

First, dig a full shovel depth all the way around the plant and then get a helper to use another shovel as a lever to lift, very slightly, the partially severed root ball so that you can get in and slice the remaining roots. At this point it’s not usually possible to use your foot on the shovel anymore because it’s so deep in the soil. Just push it in by hand and slice through the rest of the roots until the plant is ready to lift.

Protect the root ball by lifting it carefully onto a tarp and dragging the tarp to the plant’s new home. Ideally it should be replanted as soon as possible to minimize transplant shock. If you can’t plant it right away then you should wrap up the root ball entirely with burlap (or an old towel or part of a bed sheet) and secure it tightly with twine. Treated like this, it can be heeled into a holding bed and kept there for weeks or even months before it is planted out again.

Ready to transport

Ready to transport

When replanting, ensure that you are planting at exactly the same depth: no higher or lower than the original location. Add bonemeal to the back fill soil to stimulate new root growth, water in well to dislodge air pockets, untie the poor thing and prune off the broken branches (there will surely be some).


The tree all ready for the journey to its new home!

A significant portion of that plant’s roots stayed at its former location, and the roots that remain will need to receive more moisture than usual, with mid to late summer being the most critical time. You won’t really know if the plant has survived the transplant process for at least a full year. Treat it like a new planting and pamper it a bit more than usual. Mulching will help, and so will building a little soil ‘donut’ or basin around the plant where you can put your hose on “trickle” three times a week.


Seasonal Stars in the Garden

Do you find that there are times of year when your garden fades, when there is nothing stellar to notice and you have to say to guests “wait until fall (spring, winter or summer); my garden really looks good THEN!”
The secret to having a year-round beautiful landscape lies in planning ahead, cultivating plants which will shine during various seasons. There are few plants that truly are wonderful for all four seasons, but each time of year features those divas, stars, and yes even stalwart back-stage workers, to make yours a garden you can be proud of for 12 months of the year. The following is a list of only a few of our favourites. Please check with us for current availability. Trees may be tagged to hold for when they are ready in the fall.


  • Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) blooms are lime green in spring. Fresh foliage holds water droplets like diamonds.
  • Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon Berry) native shrub, delicate white flowers, edible fruit.
  • Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ a tree with four season interest, beautiful white flowers in spring, tasty black berries in summer, brilliant autumn colour.
  • Aronia (Chokeberry) three seasons of interest — spring flowers become black berries in summer, then outstanding fall foliage.
  • Berberis shrubs have four season interest.
  • Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ and ‘Looking Glass’ have showy blue flowers and gorgeous foliage.
  • Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ interesting upright, polite grass
  • The brilliant chartreuse flowers of many Euphorbias brighten the spring landscape.
  • Exochorda (Pearl Bush) pearl-like buds studded along branches.
  • Fothergilla flowering shrub, bright foliage in fall as well.
  • Grevillia ‘Canberra gem’ fresh new growth is very striking.
  • Magnolia stellata varieties bloom before leaves arrive.
  • Polygonatum (Solomon’s Seal) beautiful from spring until the last stems finally fade out in fall.
  • Spireas especially ‘Goldflame’ which has bright orange/gold foliage.
  • Viburnum plicatum varieties — a good structural shrub.


  • Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair fern) delicate fronds atop wiry black stems.
  • Astilbe flowers add colour to shady areas.
  • Buddleia shrubs attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.
  • Cercis Canadensis (Forest Pansy) small tree with burgundy heart-shaped foliage.
  • Crocosmia many varieties, flowers are rich and vibrant shades of orange/yellow/red
  • Fuchsia many hardy varieties; all provide long lasting flowers in shade.
Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass) varieties give colour and lovely texture in shade.
  • Hostas check out some of the newer varieties for pure zing!
  • Hydrangeas are at their best in late summer; many varieties to choose from.
  • Kirengeshoma collector’s plant, lovely in woodland settings.
  • Lilium; plant several varieties for continuous show of colour.
  • Magnolia ‘Oyama’ best magnolia foliage, later blooming.
  • Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ (Bee balm); showy red blooms attract wildlife
  • Nepetas have grey mounding foliage and soft blue flowers. Cut back for second flush of
  • Paeonia (Peony) summer flowers, autumn foliage colour, and deer proof too.
  • Philadelphus (Mock Orange) fragrant flowers in early summer.
Physocarpus (Ninebark) strong structure, colourful foliage.
  • Pyrus salicifolia (Weeping ornamental pear)
  • Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ (Golden Locust) bright chartreuse foliage. We often sell out of this tree long before it’s ready to leave the nursery in September.
  • Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy) a classic, old fashioned and tough. Many varieties.
  • Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’or ‘Black Beauty’ (Elderberry) shrub with glossy purple-black foliage.
  • Sedum ‘Dazzleberry’ has purple foliage and dark pink flowers
  • Spanish Olive shiny black olives, attractive leaves.
  • Stewartia considered a four-season tree.
  • Styrax japonicus ‘Emerald Pagoda’ (Japanese Snowbell Tree) graceful habit, good foliage and white blossoms in summer, followed by little green pear-shaped seeds.
  • Zanthoxylum piperitum (Japanese Pepper Shrub) interesting, fragrant foliage and deer resistant.


  • Acer rubrum or for a smaller tree, the Japanese Maples; what can be more lovely in fall than a red-leafed maple?
  • Aconitum ‘Arendsii’ (Monkshood) has tall, saturated-blue flower spires that deer do not eat.
  • Anemone japonica perennial with tall stems of simple elegant flowers, spreads nicely in garden bed. A classic.
  • Aronia (Chokeberry) autumn leaves are like red embers in a campfire.
  • Blueberry not just for berries, this has gorgeous fall foliage.
  • Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Dwarf Plumbago) blue flowers over red-tinged foliage.
  • Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree) a favourite for its fragrance of burnt sugar as the leaves dry in late summer.
  • Clematis terniflora (Sweet Autumn Clematis)
Cotinus very colourful fall foliage after a summer of beauty as well.
  • Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’ has lovely creamy foliage year round.
  • Fothergilla two seasons of intense beauty, shade tolerant shrub.
  • Helenium (Sneezeweed) brilliant red and rusty flowers from August through September.
  • Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ elegant silver foliage grass. Miscanthus ‘Strictus’ has brightly banded foliage for an exotic look.
  • Pennisetum ‘Burgundy Bunny’ and ‘Piglet’ grasses have great “bunny tail” blooms from fall through winter.
  • Passiflora caerulea (Passion Flower Vine) very complex flowers, a must-see!
  • Perovskia (Russian sage) striking, ghost like foliage.
  • Schizostylus happy little spreading clump, flowers well into early winter.


  • Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple) cinnamon coloured bark peels all winter, good contrast with evergreen shrubs and conifers. This is truly a four-season tree.
  • Betula (Birch) both Heritage and Fox Valley colourful, peeling bark that shows well in winter.
  • Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ (Red twigged dogwood) variegated leaves in summer, bright red twiggy stems all winter.
  • Corylus ‘Contorta’ (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick) truly best in winter, with contorted and twisted bare stems wonderful in floral arrangements.
  • Cryptomeria interesting conifer with red-tinged soft foliage.
  • Epimedium surprisingly tough for such a delicate looking plant. Leaves take reddish hue in cold weather and make good cuttings at Christmas for arrangements.
Evergreen ferns Sword fern, Deer fern, Japanese tassel fern, and others add green to winter woodland.
Grasses left standing provide seeds for the birds as well as architectural interest in the landscape.
  • Grevillea ‘Victoria’s soft orange blooms attract hummingbirds in winter.
  • Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ (Witch Hazel) graceful shrub/tree for warm orange blooms in the darkest days of winter.
  • Hellebores blooms are unforgettable in winter, and they keep on flowering.
  • Mahonia ‘Charity’ and ‘Winter Sun’ taller shrub versions of Mahonia, tolerant of a variety of conditions, flowers in November.
  • Stewartia interesting branch structure when leafless.
  • Symphoricarpos ‘Alba’ (native snowberry) and ‘Amethyst’ purple berries.

By ensuring that there are a few outstanding plant varieties for each season, your garden will return your devotion and give you pleasure the whole year long.


Planting Trees and Shrubs

He that plants a tree loves others beside himself – Thomas Fuller

1.  Before Planting. Take a moment to consider something that could make a huge difference in the health of your plant. What kind of soil and drainage does the site have? Most failures of new plantings in coastal BC are due to waterlogged soils. If you have heavy, clay soil, one way to avoid problems is by raising the planting area. Planting in a beam or slightly raised mound is an excellent way to get the roots out oaf a wet area. If, when digging the planting hole, you run into clay, it is better to stop digging and instead make that the bottom of your planting hole. Mound soil up around the root ball, starting well away from the plant, to achieve the proper planting height.

shrub pixel size2.  The Planting Hole. Dig the hole the depth of the root ball, but at least twice its width. Loosen the soil around the hole with a shovel or spade fork. Most roots spread away from the plant in the top six inches and this is why it is important to dig a shallow, wide hole so that the roots can travel more easily.

3.  Planting Container Trees and Shrubs. Remove the plant from the container and set the root ball on its side. Handle carefully, especially if the plant is not well rooted. If root-bound, carefully loosen the root ball. If the roots circle the inside of the pot, use a sharp, clean knife to make four vertical cuts, about a half an inch deep, into the lower half of the root ball (about half way down the side and across the bottom). Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is planted at the proper height. The first major root flare should be just below the surface of the soil. Not deeper (the roots may suffocate).
Planting Balled and Burlapped Trees and Shrubs. Set the root ball into the hole and check to see if the planting height is correct. The first major root flare should end up just below the surface of the finished soil level. Note that the burlap is usually tied around the trunk at a point much higher than the original soil level. Once the root ball is at the proper height, cut the strings and fold the top part of the burlap down the side of the root ball. Do not try to remove the burlap – the root ball can easily fall apart. Be sure to remove all twine or wire from around the trunk and top of the root ball.

4.  Backfilling. Once your container or balled and burlapped plant is in place, fill the hole gently, but firmly, making sure that all gaps and air spaces are filled with soil. Good, rich native soil is best, but very poor soils can be amended with compost or rotted manure. Add a few handfuls of bone meal to the backfill soil and mix well; it will help promote new root growth. Do not apply a high nitrogen fertilizer at planting time – it may burn the roots. Wait at least three weeks before fertilizing and do not fertilize if planting after August 15th.

tree planted139x2505.  Staking Trees. If the tree is too tall to stand alone, it must be staked to avoid shifting in heavy wind or rain. Use two strong stakes, driven into the ground just outside the root ball. Staking must be done carefully with soft strapping material or wire padded inside old hose. Stake at the lower third of the trunk (a 12 foot tree would be staked at four feet above ground). Do not stake to rigidly – leave enough slack to allow some movement. Remove the stakes when the tree is firmly rooted – no longer than one year after planting. Staking is important. We will not guarantee any of our trees if they have not been staked.

6.  Watering. Water well, with a slow soaking to the full depth of the root ball. Build up a ring of soil to make a saucer right over the root ball. This allows good, deep irrigation with your hose on trickle, and is especially important for balled and burlapped plants. Water new plantings adequately, especially in the heat of summer. Keep the soil moist but not soaked, as over watering can cause leaves to turn yellow or fall off. When the soil is dry 3-4 inches below the surface, it is time to water.Staking Trees. If the tree is too tall to stand alone, it must be staked to avoid shifting in heavy wind or rain. Use two strong stakes, driven into the ground just outside the root ball. Staking must be done carefully with soft strapping material or wire padded inside old hose. Stake at the lower third of the trunk (a 12 foot tree would be staked at four feet above ground). Do not stake to rigidly – leave enough slack to allow some movement. Remove the stakes when the tree is firmly rooted – no longer than one year after planting. Staking is important. We will not guarantee any of our trees if they have not been staked.


    7.  Mulching. Mulch the area around the plant to at least its drip line. Ground bark (but not cedar), compost, or leaf mold is good choices. A mulch layer 3 or 4 inches thick insulates the roots from heat and cold, suppresses weeds, and reduces the amount of watering required. To avoid crown rot keep the mulch from direct contact with the lower trunk. This part of a plant likes to be high and dry.


How To Care For A Young Tree

by Susan

The decision has been made, the hole dug and the tree planted, following all the instructions of course! Now what? Research has shown that newly planted trees take two years to establish. During that time young trees or older trees that have been transplanted are sensitive to environmental stresses, nutrient deficiencies and pest infestations and should be monitored closely. A young tree needs to be nurtured and given a good start in life in order for it to grow into a fine mature specimen. Don’t be too surprised if you don’t see much growth at first. It’s often the third or fourth year after planting before good growth starts, especially if conditions are less than ideal.

A mature tree can have a root system that extends at least to the edge of the canopy, if not farther. The roots can spread as far as 2 to 4 times the height of the tree. A newly planted or transplanted tree will have a root system only a tiny fraction of that, and the first year or two will put most of its energy into establishing its roots.

Watering is critical. Roots won’t grow into dry soil, but overwatering can cause root rot. Water needs to be applied evenly around the root-zone. If one side is dry the tree will respond as if the whole area was dry. Small root balls tend to dry out quickly and need to be deeply watered once or twice a week throughout the growing season. To determine if watering is required, test the soil around the tree by digging gently with a hand fork or a digging fork. If the soil, four to eight inches down, is dry or only a little damp, then the tree needs water. Don’t assume that a little rain in the summer will be enough. Neither should you assume that a sprinkler system is delivering the right amount of water to the right place. Always check that the water is directed at the root ball in sufficient quantity to keep it evenly moist. Even with plenty of water, a new tree may be drought-stressed because it simply doesn’t have a big enough root system to draw up the moisture needed to sustain itself.

Mulching is one of the most beneficial things that you can do to keep your trees healthy. Most of the fine feeder roots are in the top few inches of soil and a 2 to 4-inch layer of leaves or composted chips or bark enables them to get oxygen and moisture without having to compete with the lawn. The mulched area around a young tree should be 3 to 4 feet wide, which should also be enough to protect it from damage from lawnmowers and string trimmers. Ideally, the whole area under the canopy should be free of turf and mulched, but in most gardens that is just not practical. A word of warning… Avoid piling mulch up against the trunk of the tree as that will cause rot and other problems.

Damage from wild life can permanently injure young trees. Around here the biggest problem is with deer. In the fall the bucks like to use any tree with a small diameter trunk as a scratching post, stripping off the bark or even snapping the trunk right off. Protect the trunks with wire fencing or tree wrap.

There are many opinions on the subject of fertilizing young trees. You should never fertilize a tree that is under stress due to dehydration, insect problems or disease. One school of thought says that newly planted trees are by definition stressed out in their first growing season and should be well watered but not fertilized at all. Another holds that a judicious application of slow release fertilizer in the spring is beneficial. To be most effective, fertilizer must come into contact with a tree’s feeder roots, which are at the dripline and beyond.

pH matters. Soil testing is something that most gardeners know should be done, but never quite get around to. There are two main goals in soil testing, one is to determine the levels of nutrients in the soil and the other is to determine the pH of the soil. pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and the reason that it is important is that it has a direct relationship to a plant’s ability to take up nutrients. Plants are programmed to grow best at a predetermined pH level and while some plants are adaptable to a pH range, others have very specific needs. Around here the soils tend to be on the acid side and coincidentally (or not) many of our garden favourites like maples, dogwoods, oaks and conifers happen to love acid soils. The point is that if you’ve done everything you can and your tree still isn’t happy, the pH may be incorrect and soil amendments may be required.

Pruning and Training: Young trees need formative pruning to ensure they grow into safe and healthy mature trees, with strong trunks and sturdy, well-placed branches. Initial pruning should have been done by the grower, but it’s an ongoing process. It’s too big a subject to do justice to here, but there is lots of good information on pruning and tree care to be found on the International Society of Arboriculture website:

Japanese Maple Oct 2020 scaled

Trees Are The Lungs Of The Earth

National Tree Day was September 21st, and it seems fitting to acknowledge this by paying tribute to the elders of our plant world, the lofty and noble tree.  We as a species simply could not exist on Earth without trees.

Most people know that trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. But it’s way more interesting than that!


*One acre of trees consumes annually the amount of carbon dioxide produced bv driving an average car 26,000 miles, approximately the circumference of the earth. The carbon is stored bv the trees as wood fibre.

*This same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe, every day.

*Trees actually improve air quality by capturing airborne pollutants, filtering them through their leaves, stems and twigs.  When trees are present, there is up to 60% less particulate matter in the air. Gaseous pollutants are absorbed by the stomata on the leaves’ surface. Ever notice how good the air feels in a forest?

*Trees cool the air and ground by their gift of shade, and recycle the water they take in through their roots. Evaporation of the water held in leaves causes humidity to rise, eventually to fall again as rain.

*Trees provide shelter and food to all manner of wildlife, from birds and insects to giant carnivores such as bears.

*Tree roots stabilize soil, preventing erosion. Their falling leaves renew the soil every year.

Now it gets even more interesting….

*Research has shown that people in hospitals and sickrooms who can see trees from their windows rather than blank walls actually heal faster! They have fewer complications, and require less pain medication.

*The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’, or Shinrinyoku, is claimed to reduce stress and boost the immune response to cancer and other illness. Breathing in the essential oils emitted by the trees has been given scientific scrutiny, but it doesn’t take a scientist to see how good we feel after spending time with trees. For more info on Shinrinyoku, see

It is said “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the next best time is today”. When you sit under a tree today it’s because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Habitat for wildlife, air and water for humans, and care for the Earth; trees are pretty wonderful, don’t you think?


Winter Jewels

Brilliant bark, deceptively delicate flowers and the jewel tones of berries and persistent fruits that pop against winter’s muted greys and browns; there is nothing quite like a flash of bright colour on an otherwise dreary day to gladden the heart and to entice us outdoors for a closer look.  Just because its winter doesn’t mean the landscape has to be dull and boring.  A veritable kaleidoscope of colour is possible with a little planning.   Maybe there’s room for some of these beauties…

Best Fruits and Berries:  Berberis, skimmia, callicarpa, snowberry, cotoneaster, pyracantha, hawthorn, crabapple, aronia

Best Bark: Shrubby dogwoods, paperbark maple, heritage birch

Best Blooms:  Hellebores, witch hazel, skimmia, mahonia, viburnum tinus, cyclamen coum, winter aconite

Robinia pseudoacacia Frisia

Totally Terrific Trees – Fabulous new finds, and a few old favourites.

Robinia ‘Frisia’

It’s not every day that the opportunity arises to plant a tree, but when it does it’s important to choose the right one.  There are lots of things to consider – height, spread, growing conditions and sightlines to name a few, not to mention ornamental qualities.   If you have trees on your mind this fall, break out from the ordinary and consider these totally terrific trees.  See the bottom of the article for a photo gallery of these plants.

Acer circinatum (Vine Maple):  This often overlooked native maple, known for its fiery red fall colour, is at home underneath tall conifers, or on open woodland edges.  It will grow in full shade to nearly full sun and adapts to moist or dry conditions. In shade, vine maples have an open sprawling habit. In sun they will be more upright and compact. Ideal for a spot where a Japanese maple won’t quite work.  (H:15-20’ S:6-12’)

Albizzia ‘Summer Chocolate’:  We always know when the silk trees are in bloom in the late summer, because we get lots of comments about them.
They look very exotic with their fluffy pink flowers and finely cut foliage.  Summer Chocolate is a new form that has purple foliage. (H:20’ S:15’)

Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade’ (Weeping Birch):  Small weeping trees that look good in all seasons are hard to come by, but this fits the bill perfectly.  A close relative of the ‘Heritage Birch’, it shares the same peeling bark and resistance to pests.  Its graceful habit makes it a good choice for a feature tree. Height is controlled by staking and/or pruning. (H:6 -20’ S: 10-15’)

Davidia involucrata Sonoma

Davidia involucrata Sonoma

Davidia ‘Sonoma’ (Handkerchief Tree):  Looking for a stately shade tree for a big space?  This is a strong growing upright tree with large lustrous, heart-shaped leaves. You may have seen the great specimen at Butchart Gardens. It’s known for the showy white flowers (these are actually leaf bracts that surround the flower) that look like so many handkerchiefs.  Good yellow fall colour (H:40’ S:20-30’)

Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) Standard: These witch hazels are grafted onto 4’ trunks which turns them into perfect little trees.  Red or yellow blooms in winter and great fall colour.

Malus ‘Royal Raindrops’ (Flowering Crabapple):  Not just any crabapple, ‘Royal Raindrops’ has serrated purple foliage that holds its colour all summer.  It has bright pinkish-red flowers in late spring and small persistent red fruits.  The leaves turn bright orange-red in fall. (H:15-20’ S:15’)

Prunus ‘Little Twist’ (Flowering Cherry): This is a perfect feature tree for a small space or container. Its unusual zig-zag branches are covered with pink flowers in the spring and dainty serrated dark green leaves in the summer.  Burgundy fall colour. Truly new and different!  (H:6-8’ S:6-8’)

Prunus x ‘Snow Goose’:   A new form of flowering cherry, its pure white blooms have yellow centres that show well against the bright green foliage. Orange fall colour.  Thought to be resistant to common cherry foliage diseases. Upright when young, broadly spreading with age. (H:20’ S:20’)

Robinia ‘Frisia’ (Golden Locust): There’s really nothing quite like this perennial favourite.  The bright gold foliage glows in the sun and shows particularly well against a backdrop of our native conifers. (H30-50’ S:20-35’)