Re: Arbustus in PEI I would say that South Vancouver Island is the mildest area of BC. It is sheltered by the Olympic peninsula and it has the moderating effect of the Pacific Ocean all around it. The Saanich peninsula is in a rain shadow of sorts, as is much of the east island and gulf islands. The terrain is at best low and rolling, and where it isn't--like around Arrowsmith--you won't find any Arbutus. You'd be hard pressed to find and Arbutus east of Burnaby on the mainland. What I mean by barely clinging to life is that you live in the last fringe of it's range. The species clings to very small toehold on very specific areas of the south coast. A 1/2 degree east or north, a thousand feet of elevation, a few more milimeters of rain per year...make difference between life or death for this species--although I assume there must be some localized cultivars here that are cold or wet hardy. In a general sense, this species is very climate and terrain specific, and you live in the sweet spot. I used to live on the south island myself. Aside from the winter winds, I might as well have been living in Elysium, the climate and terrain was so sedate. Don't get me wrong, I know it grows like mad where you live, but I would say that area is noticeably milder than most of the lower mainland north of the Fraser River. My guess is you have never seen ice and arbutus in the same spot. That's the rule of thumb I was taught by some BC old timers. If you can make snowballs in your back yard a few times a year or the puddles on your driveway freeze up into 1 cm black ice, I think it would be hard (not impossble) to grow one there outdoors. We had a lot of snow last year and the year before, so you can bet I am not going to be planting mine in my back yard.