What do you see on your garden walks? 2013

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Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

The last couple of days have been more like normal. It's no snow left and the ice  on the fjord has disappeared, at least here. The soil is still frozen though and only some snowdrops show colour. But they are very late and so are the winter aconites too. Only one crocus has showed its head. Last year they were in flower now.

Picea glauca 'Conica' shows no winter damage, however competition from shrubs isn't to its liking. Some of the Rhododendrons show damage from the cold though.

 

Snowdrops and winter aconites are late but welcome harbingers of better times. The Witch Hazel 'Pallida' has flowered for tat least one month although the flowers are easily overlooked when it is cold. Today they brightened the day considerably!

   

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

cohan wrote:

That makes me think of things like the firs (forgetting which sp just now) which grow in foothills, mountains and some river valleys in Alberta, but are not supposed to be terribly well suited to other areas,I read of them being killed above the fence line in chinook zone yards!  and Douglas fir which grows in just a couple of montane zone sites, not sure if anyone is growing those or not...

From the descriptions, I wonder if both of your references might be to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)?  

There are said to be 3 stands of Douglas-fir in Calgary - I believe they are all in NW Calgary along the Bow River (I know of 2 of them and think I know of the third).
http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Locations/SW-parks/Douglas-Fir-Tr...
http://www.woodshomes.ca/douglas-fir-site.htm

A local native tree/shrub nursery sells them:
http://www.bowpointnursery.com/online-catalog/trees/douglas-fir/

This source refers to a Douglas-fir on a dry ridge in Banff that would be ~700 years old now, assuming it is still alive:
http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pubwarehouse/pdfs/24075.pdf

Subalpine fir appears to have a pretty restricted range - high elevations and the relict population in the Swan Hills.  I have a government-published pamphlet called Native Trees of Alberta that shows a population somewhere in the Edmonton area(?) and Native Trees of Canada (Hosie) shows two population dots in that area (as does Trees in Canada (Farrar)),  but it looks like this more recent survey checked those areas specifically and didn't record any:
http://www.abmi.ca/abmi/biodiversitybrowser/speciesprofile.jsp;jsessioni...

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Sorry, I shouldn't have been so lazy and looked up the tree I was talking about- Actually balsam fir Abies balsamea- looking now, Flora of Alberta only shows it farther north, though someone (on another forum, I haven't visited in some time, so I have doubts I could re-find the reference) had told me they could be found in the Red Deer River Valley; However, now looking at the maps, I wonder if they meant A lasiocarpa, alpine fir, which seems from the map to have a broader distribution coming some distance away from the mountains along the North Saskatchewan River (and more so farther north), and a short way along the Red Deer River. I know driving west from Rocky Mountain House we start to see some unfamiliar conifers quite soon, but I certainly haven't keyed them- something beyond the P glauca, P mariana and Larix common here, and not pines..
I find many plants with that sort of map representation actually make it right into my area, but that is harder for trees, since we have lots of forest here, but none of it is undisturbed longer term.
Lori- I'll have to take a look at those links- I'm curious to know what Douglas Fir in Alberta look like- I've seen them in coastal B.C., but that must be quite different! There is supposed to be  a stand on the far side (vs the highway) side of Abraham Lake, but I have no idea how accessible that is...
I have a small sapling growing from something given to me by an aunt- it was a seedling from a tree grown by a friend of hers east of here- some sort of Cedar from B.C., she's been growing it near Alberta for decades, I think; no idea what it really is, and its still very small after planting several years ago in a sheltered spot.. I'd love to grow a Douglas Fir here..
Michael, hope yours do well- interesting to find out what tolerances plants might really have...

Trond, good to hear you are getting some almost spring! Nice to see those early flowers, even the non-flashy ones..
We had lots of melting going on here, byt now we have 15cm at least fresh snow, and still snowing...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Lori wrote:

cohan wrote:

That makes me think of things like the firs (forgetting which sp just now) which grow in foothills, mountains and some river valleys in Alberta, but are not supposed to be terribly well suited to other areas,I read of them being killed above the fence line in chinook zone yards!  and Douglas fir which grows in just a couple of montane zone sites, not sure if anyone is growing those or not...

From the descriptions, I wonder if both of your references might be to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)?  

There are said to be 3 stands of Douglas-fir in Calgary - I believe they are all in NW Calgary along the Bow River (I know of 2 of them and think I know of the third).
http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Locations/SW-parks/Douglas-Fir-Tr...
http://www.woodshomes.ca/douglas-fir-site.htm

A local native tree/shrub nursery sells them:
http://www.bowpointnursery.com/online-catalog/trees/douglas-fir/

This source refers to a Douglas-fir on a dry ridge in Banff that would be ~700 years old now, assuming it is still alive:
http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pubwarehouse/pdfs/24075.pdf

Subalpine fir appears to have a pretty restricted range - high elevations and the relict population in the Swan Hills.  I have a government-published pamphlet called Native Trees of Alberta that shows a population somewhere in the Edmonton area(?) and Native Trees of Canada (Hosie) shows two population dots in that area (as does Trees in Canada (Farrar)),  but it looks like this more recent survey checked those areas specifically and didn't record any:
http://www.abmi.ca/abmi/biodiversitybrowser/speciesprofile.jsp;jsessioni...

Going through those links- if the figures are correct for the largest Douglas Fir in Alberta (now dead and felled) they said it would have been about 6inches /15cm tall at 50 years old! Maybe I wont try to grow one...
That park in Calgary looks like a pretty cool place to visit (first link)..
The notable trees of Alberta pdf was quite interesting!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

In the Alberta Trees of Renown booklet, it's interesting that the notably-old black spruce doesn't exactly stand out from its companions - all look equally (characteristically) ratty!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

That's what I thought about several of those trees- you wouldn't necessarily know they were old unless you were measuring or looking for some key features..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Do some of those conifers spread vegetatively by layering? Here the common spruce (Picea abies) makes stands of several trees which all stem from one original tree. Such a clone can be very old. The oldest living spruce in Scandinavia is a Swedish one C-14 dated to be 9550 years old. It is the root that is old, not the stem.

From this site: http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article3620934.ece

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Interesting spot- why is it so bare- is it high? Doesn't seem so because of the flatness...
I've seen spruces root  from branches- or at least have branches growing along the ground, haven't checked for roots- but have never seen those branches grow vertically and amount to anything much...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Hoy wrote:

Do some of those conifers spread vegetatively by layering? Here the common spruce (Picea abies) makes stands of several trees which all stem from one original tree. Such a clone can be very old. The oldest living spruce in Scandinavia is a Swedish one C-14 dated to be 9550 years old. It is the root that is old, not the stem.

I have no proof of it but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the little groups of subalpine firs that one sees around here at timberline are actually colonies of clones from layering.  They sometimes have that look about them - lots of prostrate growth with leaders rising up here and there... ?

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

cohan wrote:

Interesting spot- why is it so bare- is it high? Doesn't seem so because of the flatness...
I've seen spruces root  from branches- or at least have branches growing along the ground, haven't checked for roots- but have never seen those branches grow vertically and amount to anything much...

The flatness is a typical Norwegian (or Swedish) mountain plateau (we call such a geological form "vidde"). It's no alpine formation at all but the bareness is due to harsh climate and no soil, just moss covered rocks. The tree is located at about 1000m.

Firs are foreign in Norway but commonly planted and I've often seen low branches rooting where they touch the ground. It is very common among spruces but I've never seen it on pines.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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