Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Plants at the Centre for Applied Technology that are great for Alberta yards

Need trees, shrubs and perennials that will survive the long, cold winters and flash floods that have come to define Alberta’s climate?

We asked Heidi Mapstone (Landscaping Architectural Technology ’02) about the plants chosen for the grounds surrounding NAIT’s new building, the Centre for Applied Technology. “Most of the plant material was chosen for hardiness,” says the arborist senior landscape architecture technologist with Stantec, the building’s designer. “Others were chosen for a variety of colour and texture.”

All of them flourish just as much in your yard as they will in quad south of the new building – the first space of its kind for NAIT, open to anyone who wants to study, soak up some sunshine or just stop and smell the flowers.

Here, Mapstone helped explain how they contribute to a sustainable, inviting environment.

Brandon Elm

  • Size: 12 m (40 feet) tall and 7 m (15 feet) wide
  • Growing conditions: grow in full sun, dry or wet 
  • Features: dark green leaves that turn gold in the fall; fast growing

Amur Cherry

  • Size: 7 m (22 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: sun
  • Features: showy white spring blossoms followed by dark purple fruit; copper bark adds texture to winter landscapes and makes this a great specimen tree

Dogwood

  • Size: 1 - 2 m (3 to 6 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: sun or shade; prefers moist areas
  • Features: red bark in winter; white flowers in spring followed by greyish-white  berries

Gooseberry

  • Size: 1 - 2 m (3 to 6 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: partial shade to full sun
  • Features: large golden-yellow fruit; yellow leaves in the fall

Parkland Rose

  • Size: 1 - 2 m (3 to 6 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun
  • Features: red flowers all summer with leaves turning yellow in fall

Goldflame Spirea

  • Size: 1 m (3 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions – full sun; prefers moist areas; tolerant of urban pollution
  • Features: white flowers with bronze/red and lime-green leaves

Blue Chip Juniper

  • Size: 0.25 m (1 foot) tall and 1 m (3 feet) wide 
  • Growing conditions: full sun; dry or moist conditions
  • Features: green and bluish-green foliage; great winter colour

Coyote Willow

  • Size: 1 - 2 m (3 to 6 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun to part shade; adaptable to dry and wet areas
  • Features: yellow, green and blue-green foliage; deep purple branches

Daylilly

  • Size: 0.25 m (1 foot) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; adaptable to most conditions
  • Features: yellow flowers throughout the summer

Red Switch Grass

  • Size: 1 - 2 metres (3 to 6 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; adaptible to dry or moist growing conditions
  • Features: rose flowers and red seed heads; foliage turns yellow in the fall

Bronze Tufted Hair Grass

  • Size: 0.25 - 1 m (1 - 3 feet) tall and wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; tolerates shade and urban pollution
  • Features: bronze seed heads and fine texture


how to plant trees and shrubs


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