Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 17, 2011

From: Calgary, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Trees
Title: Small trees for Alberta
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I would like to know if there is a short, 15 feet and under, deciduous tree that can be grown outside in Calgary, AB

ANSWER:

Most of the deciduous trees that are native to your area will ultimately attain a size greater than 15 feet, although most forest trees grown in a suburban setting do not ever get as big as they do in nature.

So you could try:

Alnus incana (Gray alder)

Betula occidentalis (Mountain birch)

Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry)

But you will likely have better luck looking for a large shrub instead of a small tree as they are usually multi-stemmed and more versatile in a garden setting. If you visit our Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search selecting "Alberta" and "Shrub" it will generate a list of 81 shrubs you could use.  The plant names on the list are linked to pages where you will find images and detailed infrmation about size and cultural requirements.

Here are a few suggestions from that list:

Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata (Mountain alder)

Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry)

Lonicera involucrata (Bear berry honeysuckle)

Myrica gale (Sweetgale)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberry bush)


Betula occidentalis


Sambucus racemosa


Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata


Amelanchier alnifolia


Lonicera involucrata


Myrica gale


Rhus glabra


Viburnum opulus var. americanum

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Trees for traffic buffer in Portland OR
September 20, 2010 - Hi, saw the question about small space plants. On this topic, our street in Portland OR is looking for a fast growing, 20-30 ft tree that can go in a 12" wide parking strip along our road (we have ma...
view the full question and answer

Growing Chilopsis in Florida
July 25, 2013 - I live in St. Johns County, FL between Jacksonville and St Augustine. I live inland, not near the beach. I bought a small desert willow plant in Victoria, TX and brought it back to FL to grow. I plan ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for Dallas area
February 21, 2010 - We live in the Park Cities area of Dallas, and our neighbors are right on top of us. Our lot is small, but I'm looking for a privacy hedge or small tree to plant along the side of the fence. It needs...
view the full question and answer

Planting and care of Desert Willow in Golden Valley, AZ.
May 17, 2013 - I got a desert willow to plant in yard. Some of the leaves dried out before I could plant. Will that stop the tree from growing into a decent size tree or stay as a shrub?
view the full question and answer

Desert willow for Florida?
March 10, 2011 - I, too, am interested in the desert willow tree. I reside in central Florida, 32162. However, Mountain States Nursery does not ship east of Texas. May I have a listing of other nurseries also. T...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Bibliography

Trees in Canada (1995) Farrar, John L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography