Tree Selection and Care
As Kneehill County is made up primarily of prairie lands, the majority of trees in the region are from planned plantings.
When selecting tree species to plant it is important to consider their main purpose. Whether for landscaping, shelterbelts, or agroforestry such as tree farms and berry orchards, a tree’s mature height, lifespan, growth speed, and water tolerance all need to be considered when selecting a species to plant. The growth zone a tree started in and is conditioned for can also affect its survivability, so purchasing trees from local tree farms that have been hardened to specific climate conditions can really help with establishment.
For more on selecting tree species for planting visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada or contact your local tree farm.
Tree Pests and Disease
There are a number of native and invasive pest and disease species that can be transmitted and infect local tree species. One significant way pests and disease move is through firewood. Transporting firewood may seem harmless, however, moving firewood from one location to another can inadvertently move invasive species to new areas with disastrous results for both forests and urban trees.
Some Pests/Diseases to watch for in Alberta include:
- Dutch Elm Disease
- Black Knot
- Gypsy Moth
- Asian Longhorn Beetle
- Emerald Ash Borer
- Mountain Pine Beetle
Proper identification and maintenance are key to managing tree pests. This webbook can aid in the identification of some tree pests. If a tree is displaying symptoms and you are in need of identification or treatment recommendations please contact a local arborist.
Regular pruning can aid in tree health, fruit production, and disease removal. It is highly recommended that any pruning that cannot be done from the ground, be done by a professional arborist. Local Arborists can be found via the International Society of Arboriculture website or by asking neighbors for local recommendations. For tips on pruning check out this fact sheet or you can purchase this resource book through Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
Proper sanitization of pruning equipment is key to preventing the spread of disease even across different branches of the same tree. Dipping pruners in bleach for a few seconds between each limb can reduce the transmission of disease and keep your tree healthy for years to come.