My personal favourites

March 12, 2013 | posted in: Tips & Tricks | by

For this first post, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Éric Sauvageau, and I own Pépinière SG in Dunham, where we produce medium and large potted trees. Our inventory includes more than a hundred varieties of ornamental and native deciduous trees. We also have a fine selection of conifers and tree-form shrubs. We offer personalized consulting and a complete planting service. All summer long, I will be sharing the knowledge I have acquired over my years of tree nursery work.

When I visit a customer, the first step is to understand their needs. No matter whether they want to create privacy, shade or simply beautify their property, there are generally many options available. However, it is important to remember that a tree is a living plant and that its planting soil and location can have a significant impact on proper rooting. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a tree wither or die. So, to give your tree the best possible chance, here are some common requests, followed by recommendations from among my personal favourites.

Fast-growing tree: Increasingly, people want results fast, so I am often asked about fast-growing trees. In the Eastern Townships, it is common to see rows of very tall narrow-crowned trees lining farm roads. They are poplars and they are generally very sick or dead. People used to plant a lot of Lombardy Poplars (Populus Nigra), which is sadly very susceptible to canker, a fungal disease. Luckily, there is an alternative, the Siouxland Poplar (Populus deltoides Siouxland). At 90 feet tall at maturity, it is the tallest tree in Quebec. It is also very resistant to disease and our harsh winters. It grows so quickly that it can add 7 or 8 feet a year.

Tree for moist soil: For sites with moist soil, people often think of the Weeping Willow (Salix Alba Tristis). Unfortunately, willows have very invasive root systems. This means that they should be planted at least 60 feet from a house, well or septic system, such as a weeping field.

Spectacular flowers: All trees flower, although some are more apparent than others. Of course, there are crabapple trees that brighten up our springtime with flowers of various colours, notably the Royalty Crabapple (Malus Royalty), with its burgundy leaves and reddish mauve flowers. For the scent of its tiny yellow flowers, the Small Leaf Linden (Tillia Corodata) cannot be beat on hot summer days. Finally, while a wide variety of trees have spectacular flowers, the clusters of pink flowers produced by the Purple Robe Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia Purple Robe) are the most beautiful of all. Anyone who visited my stand at last year’s Clé des Champs in Dunham will remember it well…

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