Heritage Trees & Shrubs

Heritage Trees & Shrubs

Trees and shrubs are often planted to commemorate events from the past, present and future.  There are a number of books that describe the close cultural relationship between people and plants.  The Heritage Trees of Alberta and Heritage Trees of Manitoba are examples of books that explore the history of how a particular tree or group of trees made an impression upon an individual or family. Many of these stories were passed on from generation to generation making that experience part of the family and communities heritage.  A recent planting event had Queen Elizabeth II planting the Amber Jubilee® Ninebark shrub in Winnipeg to commemorate her 60th year as Queen. This was witnessed by hundreds of adoring fans.

One does not have to be famous to have a tree planted for them! The idea of planting a tree or shrub in honor of someone can be personal and intimate. Many times trees are planted in memory of an individual who contributed to the community or was killed tragically close to a city or town. There are many communities, schools and landowners that have planted trees so that the future generations would benefit. When the City of Regina was first established, the area around it was treeless, and every tree present today has been planted. That took commitment from the early settlers to plant trees so that their community would receive the many benefits that trees provide. The benefits of trees includes shelter, beauty, better air quality, erosion control, attracts wildlife, and temperature moderation of our homes.  It is now the responsibility of the current residents in Saskatchewan to keep the heritage of their tree planting legacy on-going by renewing the fallen trees in older areas and establishing fresh plantings in the new development areas. The recent floods that ravaged parts of the City of Calgary have strengthened the communities’ resolve to continue to plant trees and shrubs. This planting will serve as an example to future generations of the resiliency of a community towards an unpredictable disaster and the measures taken to normalize their neighborhood.

Finding a reason to plant trees is the first step and the next step is choosing the tree or shrub that will perform best in your area.  Our website makes an excellent resource for finding these trees. Here you can choose a parameter (such as height) or the many other parameters available, that you are looking for in a tree or shrub. This interactive site will display a number of plants that fit that criterion.  You then click on that specific tree or shrub and there is additional information about that plant.

A tradition starts with the first step of planting a tree or shrub.  To be deemed a heritage, the community accepts the traditional as important to their culture.  The planting of trees and shrubs in our urban communities have been embraced since before confederation. New traditions are started on a regular basis in our communities as they grow and prosper. 

Happy Gardening!

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Photo Credit via Photopin