Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
June 09, 2012 - I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. Th...
view the full question and answer

Dying Bigelow oaks in Austin
July 30, 2010 - I have several stands of Bigelow Oak (Q.sinuata var. breviloba) in NW Austin mixed with Yaupon and Cedar Elms. Several have died each year for the past 8 years. Two now have brown, dry leaves which is...
view the full question and answer

Problem with oak trees in Mansfield, Texas
September 26, 2010 - We have lost 2 large oaks last year & now another is nearly gone. It has several large patches of missing bark - beneath a thin layer of skin-like membrane that seemed to separate it from the bark i...
view the full question and answer

Care of lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
June 09, 2008 - How do I care for a Lemon Cypress tree? Does it require a lot of sun? How often should I water it? It is 18" high and I have it in a pot on my screen porch. Thank-you
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
August 27, 2009 - We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall
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