Pines in the Normand Boucher Community Arboretum.


Isn’t the foliage of this whitebark pine simply LUXURIOUS?

This Pinus albicaulis specimen is part of a collection of 170 trees and shrubs in the Normand Boucher Community Arboretum, located in the town of Peace River, in northern Alberta.  Named for the founder of a local family-owned sawmill, the Arboretum was established in 1990 to honour the town’s designation as the provincial  “Forest Capital.”  A revitalization project six years later doubled the size of the Arboretum and allowed for the planting of many more trees. My hubby and I were delighted to attend our niece’s wedding at the Arboretum last July…and of course, I couldn’t help but take a bit of a tour while we were in town.

Of all the trees in the Arboretum, the pines captivated me the most.  I’m partial to conifers, anyway – growing up in northern Alberta will do that to a person.  I love living on the Prairies, but we don’t have nearly enough trees here!  🙂


Limber pine (Pinus flexilis)

What are your favourite trees (in your garden or otherwise)?  What do you love most about them? 


  1. I have many mature white ash and I love their strength and structure…but as i will lose them to the emerald ash borer I am having to cut them down before they become infected and replace them…it will take at least 10 yrs to get the immense canopy back and my garden will be forever changed…

  2. Wow, those really are crisp and green or maybe it’s the monitor on my new Macbook. Gorgeous, I didn’t even know about the Arboretum in Peace River…see another great thing about Blogging, I learn things even in my backyard. I always loved the Red Twigged Willow in the Garden, I had a variety, I think called Halo. Light green leaves outlined in white. Twinkly in the summer garden and added colour to the winter garden. I also love the Weeping Willow you see at a lot of lake area’s in BC. My parents had one in their yard and it was great to sit under…with the branches sweeping in the breeze.

    • I didn’t know about the Arboretum before, either, and I’ve been to Peace River several times! I guess I never really did a full “tour” of the town…. 🙂

      Willows of all kinds are spectacular – I’m especially fond of the silver types. I love your description of the weeping willow in your parents’ yard! Weeping birch are lovely, too – it’s that gorgeous flowing habit.

    • Colorado spruce are tough as nails – they seem more adaptable than many other conifers. They’re a fairly common landscape tree here in Calgary…but only in older neighbourhoods. These postage-stamp sized yards in the newer developments could never accommodate one.

  3. I remember visiting a Sugar Pine forest stand down in the Tumut area of NSW over a decade ago. They too were an arboretum. These pines were very tall and the cones from them were huge (about the twice the size of a “normal” pine cone). Anyway, the stand had an “aisle” and was a favourite for wedding ceremonies too. Our visiting class however had a concern for the safety of the guests, considering the height of the trees and the size of the cones … hopefully no birds are hungry and the wind is still on wedding days!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. In my garden I must have a soft spot for our white pine as we paid over $300 (it is a good size) to move it from the front yard to the backyard when it started to run out of room to grow. For other trees, I love the smell of a cedar and the shape and color of an arbutus.

  5. That white pine is beautiful! I love white bark and that is why I treasure the silver birches in our garden, even though many are far too tall; the way they move in the wind is magical. I also love acers for autumn colour, weeping willows for their romantic branches, and larch for their fresh spring green. 😀

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