Plants are susceptible to stress just like humans are. Drought, drowning, heat, and cold can all damage trees and may even be mistaken for insect or disease damage.

Animal Activity

Trees are essential to the existence of many species for food and shelter or just as a good scratching post. The activities of birds and mammals may therefore result in the damage or destruction of trees.

Climate

Here in Grande Prairie, we live in one of the northernmost agricultural areas in the world.  This presents some special challenges to us in choosing the proper ornamental trees, shrubs and plants for our yards and gardens.  It may be tempting for you to try and push the climate envelope and plant trees not fully hardy to Zone 3.  However, sooner or later low winter temperatures or an early frost will cause severe winterkill or may even kill your tree outright.  In order to have a landscape full of healthy plants, use only what can live in this area.

The winter of 2018-2019 saw wind chills down to -50 that truly tested Grande Prairie's trees.  Many trees showed dieback (left) and some died entirely from winterkill (right).

 

Human Activity

Human activities account for much of the tree dieback and death seen in Grande Prairie. 

Explore below to see what damages occur and how you can help keep our trees alive!

Soil

Urban soils are by definition highly disturbed.  Most likely the soil that exists in your yard hardly resembles what was there originally.  If your soil is hard clay, amend it heavily with compost, rotted manure, peat moss and sand.  Then mulch around your plants to help improve soil structure and promote soil organisms.  Topdressing with good quality topsoil and aerating also helps soil structure.