British Columbia: Native trees/shrubs for Steveston (Finn Road)

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by Jacqueline Hohmann, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Jacqueline Hohmann

    Jacqueline Hohmann New Member

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    I'm a landscape designer and have been asked by a client on Finn Road in Steveston to design and plant a two-acre stand of native trees and shrubs. Currently, the site is agricultural (buckwheat has been planted as a cover crop). I understand the soil is clay and the water table is high. From my research, I've learned that the Lulu Island area was historically populated by spruce, alder, cedar, hemlock, yew, cottonwood, crab apple, elderberry and wild roses (from the 'History of Lulu Island' by Thomas Kidd, 1927). However, one person I've spoken to recently said nothing would have grown that close to the water. I'd be very interested to have other opinions, especially as to what would actually grow there now! Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Lulu Island historically had a lot of Lodgepole Pine, apparently of the inland subspecies Pinus contorta subsp. contorta, derived from cones / seeds washed downriver from the interior. This was discovered when seed from it imported to Britain perfomed very badly in plantations.

    Otherwise, Red Alder, Sitka Spruce and Black Cottonwood should do reasonably well.
     
  3. Jacqueline Hohmann

    Jacqueline Hohmann New Member

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    Thank you for that info
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    this sounds like an interesting project - I come from a point of view of not trying to change but rather to work with - so in that vein -

    1. the alder grows so fast - and is rotted out soon (hi maintenance in the winds and possible snow that falls at the cold mouth of Fraser) cottonwood grows fast and big too - and drops those sticky things in spring - messy

    2. have you sampled the soil for analysis? drainage? (dig test pits like for septic)

    3. vine maples? Acer circinatum --- and yes those boggy pines as already suggested. Kinnikinnek? (spell) ---- salal ---- oregon grape ---- go and look at UBC - lots of ideas. Also - the plantings at Vancouver YVR airport - the usual cedars etc - however, they stand up well - etc. And also out at Iona. Very windy.

    is there a prevailing wind? I'd look at that too.

    4. In addition to the recent human history you cite - i'd consider the geologic history and future - it's an interesting mix of earth there - there must be soils from current day Prince George - or Moose Lake for that matter (the Fraser continental divide Jasper AB headwaters) ---- we find bits on the beach of trees we don't even have here in this part of Georgia Strait. Clearly from the Interior.

    i hope you post some photos before, during, after.
     
  5. Jacqueline Hohmann

    Jacqueline Hohmann New Member

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    Thanks for this info. A soil sample will definitely be necessary. I have some pics (not much to see!) but I'll figure out how to post so you can view. Thanks again for the suggestions.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    You might be interested in this.

    Foresters have long been interested in using plants as indicators in predicting the growth performance of reforestation sites, but the data have not been readily available. Indicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia fully discusses how indicator plants are recognized and demonstrates how indicator plants can be used in site diagnosis.

    http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=1443
     
  7. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    hello - I have been observing around the coast since reading your initial question - one plant that might work well is "Ocean Spray"

    also - going back to my prev post - I have a really nice look with a "vine maple" (acer circinatum) that has a simple looking pink rose (looks like a Nootka Rose but is not) vining around under it and up into the maple leaves. It looks great! (I like layering like that)

    http://portlandnursery.com/plants/natives/holodiscus.shtml

    the other idea I think looks great is large (legally obtained) driftwood which would likely have been found at the mouth of the Fraser historically (not necessarliy from logging but instead from natural erosion upstream).

    the other idea I like for natural-scaping is like what they did along Still Creek in Burnaby (near Costco and the train tracks) - they re-made the swampy scape - and there are upright "snags" for the birds and to add height to the design.
     

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