Do you have an open spot for a new tree in your yard? Maybe you could use some added shade.

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This article was published 26/7/2021 (305 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Do you have an open spot for a new tree in your yard? Maybe you could use some added shade.

Now’s the time for planting if you want to participate in the City of Winnipeg’s Million Tree Challenge.

A newly planted tree in Wildwood adds to tally for Winnipeg’s Million Tree Challenge

SUPPLIED PHOTO BY DANA MOHR

A newly planted tree in Wildwood adds to tally for Winnipeg’s Million Tree Challenge

Some types of trees grow naturally in the Winnipeg area, and planting tips may give your new tree a better chance to thrive.

Since moving into my house in Wildwood, I’ve had some big tree stumps removed. I’ve planted a few replacement trees, but I’ll have to make do with shade umbrellas until they grow.
Oh well, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now," says the Chinese proverb.

The Winnipeg Free Press article "Historic heat wave sets records across Manitoba" (July 3, 2021), addresses the benefits of a city tree canopy to offset increasing temperatures. The article shares an experiment run by Brent Bellamy, a local architect involved in green building. On a recent hot day, Bellamy compared the temperature on a downtown street with a tree canopy to a street one block over without the canopy. He discovered almost an eight-degree temperature difference between the streets.

The city’s 2021 One Million Tree Challenge aims to inspire residents, non-profits, and businesses to join in the effort to plant more trees. You can have some fun by going to the Challenge’s website to register your new tree and see the tree number rise online (Winnipeg.ca/milliontrees).

When planting, you may want to choose a tree type that is native to the Winnipeg area.
Hugh Penwarden, former head gardener of Riding Mountain National Park, recommends trees Wildwood uses in its efforts to naturalize the neighbourhood:
Large trees:
• Manitoba maple;
• Bur oak;
• American basswood;
• Delta hackberry;
• Cottonwood.
Small trees:
• Nannyberry;
• Mountain ash;
• Pincherry;
• Hawthorn.
Penwarden also shares some planting tips to give your new tree a good start:
1. Dig the hole twice the size of the root ball;
2. Massage/break up roots;
3. Avoid amending soil with store-bought topsoil. Reuse the soil you dug out to encourage root growth;
4. Water, water, water;
5. Spread mulch or woodchips around the new tree to conserve soil moisture and inhibit grass growth;

A tree planted this summer will provide shade for generations to come.

Kirby Gilman is a community correspondent for Wildwood. Email her at kirby.gilman@shaw.ca

Kirby Gilman

Kirby Gilman
Wildwood community correspondent

Kirby Gilman is a community correspondent for Wildwood. Email her at kirby.gilman@shaw.ca