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Recommended trees and shrubs for Okotoks

Selecting the types of trees and shrubs that will thrive in Okotoks can save you time, money and disappointment. Heat, drought, hail drying Chinook winds and lack of winter snow cover all affect the health and longevity of plants in Okotoks. As well, many diseases threaten the urban forest in Okotoks.

Below is a list of hardy trees and shrubs that will survive the environmental challenges in Okotoks. To get them off to a good start, plant them in the right location, use mulch and water regularly:


Amur Maple (single-stemmed, red fall colour)

Bur Oak (brown acorns) - slow growing;

Colorado Spruce (green or blue foliage and columnar choices)

Douglas Fir (green foliage)

Golden Willow (yellow branches, distinctive in winter)

Japanese Tree Lilac (cream flowers;

Laurel Leaf Willow  (shiny green foliage)

Limber Pine (green foliage)

Lodgepole Pine (green foliage)

Ohio Buckeye (cream white flowers, yellow fall colour;

Little Leaf Linden (yellow – green flowers) - requires wind protection;

Swedish Columnar Aspen (tighter form and more drought tolerant than Tower Poplar);

Swiss Stone Pine

Trembling Aspen

Ussurian Pear (white flowers, thorns, yellow fall colour;

White Spruce


Amur Maple (multi-stemmed, red fall colour;

Canadian Buffaloberry

Double flowering plum

Evans Cherry

Hardy Prairie Shrub Roses (white, pink, yellow, red flowers)

Highbush Cranberry (red fall colour, edible fruit);

Honeysuckle (very tough and attractive;

Hydrangeas (hardy varieties Snow Ball or Pee Gee)

Junipers (various, try upright varieties instead of less hardy cedars)


Mock Orange (spectacular white flowers and fragrance)

Mugo Pine (deer like them)

Nanking Cherry


Potentilla (yellow, pink, white, orange flowers;

Saskatoon (white flowers, edible fruit;

Silver Buffaloberry (red fruit)

Spirea (various varieties)

Sumac (red fall colour) – needs wind protection;


Weigela (hardy varieties)

Wild Roses (three species)

Big Rock Garden Tour - CANCELED IN 2019

Due to lack of gardens nominated for the tour, the 2019 tour has been canceled.  If you have a tour quality garden and are willing to showcase it for next year's tour (tentatively June 20, 2020), please email okparks@okotoks.ca to indicate your interest.

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Pests & Diseases
Tree Donation Program
black knot