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Recommended Plant Species for Landscaping

Every year bears in the Bow Valley come into conflict with people by coming into developed areas such as the Town of Canmore and other communities within the Municipal District of Bighorn in search of natural and unnatural food. The bears begin to learn that developed areas can be a source of food which increases interactions between bears and people and creates a public safety concern.

This behaviour often results in the bear being relocated or, at worst, killed.

One method of reducing the available attractants and associated conflict between bears and people is to refrain from planting plants, trees and shrubs in our gardens that attract bears (and other wildlife).

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have mapped the entire country into different plant hardiness zones. The Bow Valley for the most part falls into zone 1 (West of Banff) to zone 3 (Bow Valley Provincial park). In order to help guarantee success in your plantings, this zoning map should be considered when choosing species to plant. Plantings of species that grow best in higher numbered zones probably will not do well or die in the Bow Valley.

WildSmart, in conjunction with the Government of Alberta and Eagle Lake Nurseries, has created a list of trees and shrubs that are recommended for planting in bear country. They are non fruit bearing species which are able to thrive in a montane environment and which produce beautiful flowers seasonally. We encourage residents to consider replacing fruit bearing species of trees and shrubs with these non fruit bearing alternatives.

Check and see if your local landscaper has any of these species in stock, or if they can order them for you. You can still have a beautiful garden, and minimize human/wildlife conflict. YOU can make a difference.

Non Fruit Bearing Trees

Species name Scientific Name Photo
Baron Manitoba Maple Acer negundo 'Baron' Baron Manitoba Maple
Silver Cloud Maple Acer saccharinum 'Silver Cloud' Silver Cloud Maple
Paper Birch Betula papyrifera Paper Birch
Clump Paper Birch Betula papyrifera '(clump)' Clump Paper Birch
Cutleaf Weeping Birch Betula pendula 'Dalecarlica' Cutleaf Weeping Birch
Calypso White Ash Fraxinus americana Calypso White Ash
Manchurian Ash Fraxinus mandshurica 'Mancana' Manchurian Ash
Fallgold Black Ash Fraxinus nigra 'Fallgold' Fallgold Black Ash
Foothills Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Foothills' Foothills Green Ash
Patmore Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Patmore' Patmore Green Ash
Prairie Spire Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Prairie Spire' Prairie Spire Green Ash
Northern Gem Ash Fraxinus 'Northern Gem' Northern Gem Ash
Northern Treasure Hybrid Ash Fraxinus 'Northern Treasure' Northern Treasure Hybrid Ash
Weeping Larch Larix decidua 'Pendula' Weeping Larch
Siberian Larch Larix sibirica Siberian Larch
Spring Snow Flowering Crab Malus 'Spring Snow' Spring Snow Flowering Crab
Assiniboine Poplar Populus 'Assiniboine' Assiniboine Poplar
Byland Green Poplar Populus x 'Byland Green'  
Prairie Sky Poplar Populus 'Prairie Sky' Prairie Sky Poplar
Tower Poplar Populus x canescens 'Tower' Tower Poplar
Tristis Poplar Populus x 'Tristus'  
Sargents Poplar Populus sargentii  
Swedish Columnar Aspen Populus tremula 'Erecta' Swedish Columnar Aspen
Trembling Aspen Populus tremuloides Trembling Aspen
Sharpleaf Willow Salix acutifolia Sharpleaf Willow
Golden Willow Salix alba 'Vitellina' Golden Willow
Laurel Leaf Willow Salix pentandra Laurel Leaf Willow
Marquette Pussy Willow Salix x 'Marquette'  
Brandon Elm Ulmus americana 'Brandon' Brandon Elm
Cologreen juniper Juniperus scopulorum 'Cologreen' Cologreen juniper
Medora Juniper Juniperus scopulorum 'Medora' Medora Juniper
Moonglow Juniper Juniperus scopulorum 'Moonglow' Moonglow Juniper
Wichita Blue Juniper Juniperus scopulorum 'Wichita Blue' Wichita Blue Juniper
White Spruce Picea glauca White Spruce
Weeping White Spruce Picea glauca 'Pendula' Weeping White Spruce
Colorado Spruce Picea pungens Colorado Spruce
Bakeri Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'Bacheri' Bakeri Blue Spruce
Upright Colorado Spruce Picea pungens 'Fastigiata' Upright Colorado Spruce
Fat Albert Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' Fat Albert Blue Spruce
Hoopsii Spruce Picea pungens 'Hoopsii' Hoopsii Spruce
Montgomery Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'Montgomery' Montgomery Blue Spruce
Bristlecone Pine Pinus aristata Bristlecone Pine
Swiss Stone Pine Pinus cembra Swiss Stone Pine
Lodgepole Pine Pinus contorta 'var. latifolia' Lodgepole Pine
Ponderosa (Yellow) Pine Pinus ponderosa Ponderosa (Yellow) Pine
Scotch Pine Pinus sylvestris Scotch Pine
Mountain Pine Pinus uncinata Mountain Pine

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Non Fruit Bearing Deciduous Shrubs

Species name Scientific Name Photo
Amur Maple Acer ginnala Amur Maple
Dwarf birch Betula nana Dwarf birch
Common Caragana Caragana arborescens Common Caragana
Fernleaf Caragana Caragana arborescens 'Lorbergii'  
Globe Caragana Caragana frutex 'Globosa' Globe Caragana
Pygmy Caragana Caragana pygmaea Pygmy Caragana
Northern Gold Forsythia Forsythia 'Northern Gold' Northern Gold Forsythia
Annabelle Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' Annabelle Hydrangea
Pee Gee Hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' Pee Gee Hydrangea
Waterton Mockorange Philadelphus lewisii 'Waterton' Waterton Mockorange
Minnesota Snowflake Mockorange Philadelphus x virginalis 'Minnesota Snowflake' Minnesota Snowflake Mockorange
Center Glow Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Center Glow' Center Glow Ninebark
Dart's Gold Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Dart's Gold' Dart's Gold Ninebark
Coppertina Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina' Coppertina Ninebark
Diablo Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo' Diablo Ninebark
Summer Wine Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Summer Wine' Summer Wine Ninebark
Abbottswood Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Abbottswood' Abbottswood Potentilla
Coronation Triumph Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Coronation Triumph' Coronation Triumph Potentilla
Gold Drop Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Gold Drop' Gold Drop Potentilla
Goldfinger Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Goldfinger' Goldfinger Potentilla
Gold Star Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Gold Star' Gold Star Potentilla
McKay's White Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'McKay's White' McKay's White Potentilla
Orange Whisper Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Orange Whisper' Orange Whisper Potentilla
Pink Beauty Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Pink Beauty' Pink Beauty Potentilla
Red Ace Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Red Ace' Red Ace Potentilla
Mango Tango Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Mango Tango' Mango Tango Potentilla
Yellow Gem Potentilla Potentilla fruticosa 'Yellow Gem' Yellow Gem Potentilla
Double Flowering Plum Prunus triloba 'Multiplex' Double Flowering Plum
Bebb's Beaked Willow Salix bebbiana  
Blue Fox Willow Salix brachycarpa 'Blue Fox' Blue Fox Willow
Coyote Willow Salix exigua Coyote Willow
Hakura Nishiki Tricolor Willow Salix integra 'Albomaculata' Hakura Nishiki Tricolor Willow
Sandbar Willow Salix interior  
Shining Willow Salix lucida  
Yellow Twig Willow Salix lutea  
Dwarf Arctic Willow Salix purpurea 'Gracilis' Dwarf Arctic Willow
Creeping Willow Salix repens 'var. argentea' Creeping Willow
Argentia Creeping Willow Salix repens 'Argentia'  
American McKay Willow Salix rigida 'American McKay'  
Polar Bear Willow Salix salicola 'Polar Bear' Polar Bear Willow
False Spirea Sorbaria sorbifolia False Spirea
Sem False Spirea Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem' Sem False Spirea
Garland Spirea Spiraea x arguta Garland Spirea
Tor Spirea Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor' Tor Spirea
Anthony Waterer Spirea Spiraea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer' Anthony Waterer Spirea
Dart's Red Spirea Spiraea x bumalda 'Dart's Red' Dart's Red Spirea
Froebelii Spirea Spiraea x bumalda 'Froebelii' Froebelii Spirea
Goldflame Spirea Spiraea x bumalda 'Goldflame' Goldflame Spirea
Magic Carpet Spirea Spiraea x bumalda 'Magic Carpet' Magic Carpet Spirea
Goldmound Spirea Spiraea japonica 'Goldmound' Goldmound Spirea
Little Princess Spirea Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' Little Princess Spirea
Shirobana Spirea Spiraea japonica 'Shirobana' Shirobana Spirea
Snowmound Spirea Spiraea nipponica 'Snowmound' Snowmound Spirea
Three Leaved Spirea Spirea trilobata  
Bridalwreath Spirea Spiraea prunifolia Bridalwreath Spirea
Maiden's Blush Lilac Syringa x hyacinthiflora 'Maiden's Blush' Maiden's Blush Lilac
Mount Baker Lilac Syringa x hyacinthiflora 'Mount Baker' Mount Baker Lilac
Pocahontas Lilac Syringa x hyacinthiflora 'Pocahontas' Pocahontas Lilac
Tinkerbelle Lilac Syringa 'Tinkerbelle' Tinkerbelle Lilac
Dwarf Korean Lilac Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' Dwarf Korean Lilac
Miss Kim Lilac Syringa patula 'Miss Kim' Miss Kim Lilac
Bloomerang Lilac Syringa 'Bloomerang' Bloomerang Lilac
Charisma Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'Charisma' Charisma Lilac
Donald Wyman Preston Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'Donald Wyman' Donald Wyman Preston Lilac
James McFarlane Preston Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'James McFarlane' James McFarlane Preston Lilac
Minuet Preston Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'Minuet' Minuet Preston Lilac
Miss Canada Preston Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'Miss Canada' Miss Canada Preston Lilac
Royalty Preston Lilac Syringa x prestoniae 'Royalty' Royalty Preston Lilac
Late Lilac Syringa villosa Late Lilac
Common Lilac Syringa vulgaris Common Lilac
Agincourt Beauty Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Agincourt Beauty' Agincourt Beauty Lilac
Albert F. Holden Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Albert F. Holden' Albert F. Holden Lilac
Atheline Wilbur French Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Atheline Wilbur' Atheline Wilbur French Lilac
Avalanche Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Avalanche' Avalanche Lilac
Belle de Nancy Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Belle de Nancy' Belle de Nancy Lilac
Charles Joly Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Charles Joly' Charles Joly Lilac
Fiala Remembrance Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Fiala Remembrance' Fiala Remembrance Lilac
Congo French Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Congo'  
Katherine Havemeyer Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Katherine Havemeyer' Katherine Havemeyer Lilac
Beauty of Moscow Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Beauty of Moscow' Beauty of Moscow Lilac
Ludwig Spaeth Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Ludwig Spaeth' Ludwig Spaeth Lilac
Mme. Lemoine Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Mme. Lemoine' Mme. Lemoine Lilac
Montaigne Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Montaigne' Montaigne Lilac
Primrose Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Primrose' Primrose Lilac
Sensation Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation' Sensation Lilac
Wedgewood Blue French Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Wedgewood Blue' Wedgewood Blue French Lilac
Yankee Doodle Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Yankee Doodle' Yankee Doodle Lilac
Snowball Viburnum Viburnum opulus 'Roseum' Snowball Viburnum

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Evergreen Shrubs

Zone 2 hardy listed only. All other Junipers could be used, they are hardy to zone 3. Consider planting in more protected locations.

Note: Cedars and Yews not hardy in Bow Valley Climate Zones

Species name Scientific Name Photo
Effusa Juniper Juniperus communis 'Effusa' Effusa Juniper
Blue Chip Juniper Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Chip' Blue Chip Juniper
Hughes Juniper Juniperus horizontalis 'Hughes' Hughes Juniper
Icee Blue Juniper Juniperus horizontalis 'Icee Blue' Icee Blue Juniper
Savin Juniper Juniperus sabina Savin Juniper
Creeping Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'Glauca Prostrata' Creeping Blue Spruce
St. Mary's Broom Creeping Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'St. Mary's Broom' St. Mary's Broom Creeping Blue Spruce
Big Tuna Mugo Pine Pinus mugo 'Big Tuna' Big Tuna Mugo Pine
Dwarf Mugo Pine Pinus mugo 'var. pumilio' Dwarf Mugo Pine
Mops Mugo Pine Pinus mugo 'Mops' Mops Mugo Pine
Mugo Pine Pinos mugo 'Mughus'  
Slowmound Mugo Pine Pinus mugo 'Slowmound' Slowmound Mugo Pine
Dwarf Blue Scotch Pine Pinus sylvestris 'Glauca Nana' Dwarf Blue Scotch Pine
Globe Blue Spruce Picea pungens 'Globosa' Globe Blue Spruce

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Other Resources

Parks Canada: Recommended Plant Species for Landscaping in Banff National Park (PDF)

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