<![CDATA[Great Garden Alternatives - Pro Blog]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:58:48 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Common baby's breath - amazing ability to spread along the Sask/Alberta border]]>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 21:36:30 GMThttp://www.greatgardenalternatives.com/pro-blog/common-babys-breath-amazing-ability-to-spread-along-the-saskalberta-border
The above photos were taken in late summer, 2015 near the Saskatchewan border along Highway 7 there, and along Trans Canada Highway 1, just inside the Saskatchewan border in roughly in the same longitude as the others.
The amount of the common baby's breath was breathtaking, there and at a gravel pit nearby, but...
when I traveled by the same location at Flaxcombe in January of 2016, mid winter, and in the same location, there was only one dead baby's breath still standing!!!
All the other dead baby's breath were gone except one plant in the middle of the field shown above, and also there were none standing in a gravel pit area near this location where the edges also were loaded with baby's breath.
In both locations, there were none left, except one plant!
WHERE DID THEY GO?
I know how they went, but I don' know how far all of the hundreds of mature dead plants blew away.

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<![CDATA[Russian Olive wild south of 50.7 degrees latitude - warnings to Toronto area and appeal again to nursery growers for help]]>Tue, 27 Aug 2013 19:13:53 GMThttp://www.greatgardenalternatives.com/pro-blog/russian-olive-wild-south-of-507-degrees-latitude-warnings-to-toronto-area-and-appeal-again-to-nursery-growers-for-help Latitude about 48.5 degrees latitude. Photo: Don Battiste I was astounded in my recent trip to Toronto this summer of 2013. Russian Olive was wild seemingly everywhere along major highways from the Don Valley Parkway in the eastern part of the city, to the Toronto Airport area in the west,  and [...] ]]>
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Near Toronto Airport Latitude 43.7 degrees. Photo: Don Battiste
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Just south of the Alberta-Montana border> Latitude about 48.5 degrees latitude. Photo: Don Battiste
I was astounded in my recent trip to Toronto this summer of 2013. Russian Olive was wild seemingly everywhere along major highways from the Don Valley Parkway in the eastern part of the city, to the Toronto Airport area in the west,  and then south along the highway to Niagara Falls all the way to Burlington. Toronto's latitude is 43.7.

I have seen a flood plain full of Russian Olive near Billings (latitude 45.8). I have seen it proliferate in Medicine Hat area and Brooks both in Alberta, latitudes about 50.5 and 50.6 respectively, and in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan area about the same latitude. I just received a report that it is a "target" species in the area of Kamloops, BC latitude 50.7 along the Thompson River there.

I am saying again to the Nursery industry, find some alternatives to this bright silver tree that is so striking to customers in a retail lot, and maybe the only species I know that is a medium size and has silver leaves.

I am saying to Toronto area, if you haven't put this on your radar, you better. The cost is enormous to take these out.And the safety hazard due to the thorniness is high for the maintenance of grass or areas around them is almost impossible without special safety equipment. See these video links from Wyoming:

Russian Olive Removal Demonstration on 2/16/08   http://www.mywyoming.org/video/gqgey55cet
Advance the video to the people talking with it to gain their insights
Russian Olive - A Noxious Weed   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTv3DW0fyD0
This short video gives some good video images of infestations and a few reasons why it is a Noxious Weed in Wyoming.

I hate to say it, but  I guess that sooner than later there will be regulations against Russian Olives in some provinces in Canada. I always say to my friends in the retail garden industry, "Be the leaders. Do what is right with ornamentals that are proven problems. It is good business." So be the leader in this and start to market alternatives to Russian Olive.

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<![CDATA[Need silver leaf woody alternatives]]>Mon, 13 May 2013 12:58:24 GMThttp://www.greatgardenalternatives.com/pro-blog/need-silver-leaf-woody-alternativesAfter years of traveling and educating on invasives on the Canadian Prairies, talking to garden industry professionals, and working in retail garden sales, I have seen first hand the rapid expansion of Russian Olive stands in areas of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. I have also seen a site along an industrial area in Winnipeg which is full of seedlings.
You can draw a line from Medicine Hat to the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies and extend that line eastwards to Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan, just east of Moose Jaw, to see expansion of Russian Olive stands reminiscent to me of the river flood plains and stream banks of Montana full of these trees to the detriment of man and beast and native habitat.
The main objections by both regulators and nursery professionals alike to regulating this species on the Canadian Prairies is that presently Russian Olive seems to be able to invade and expand only south of a certain latitude, and that there are so few good silver leaf alternatives available to consumers on the Prairies.
While I can validate the truth of both arguments, I find them to be excuses to first protecting our waterways, and second, for the industry taking up the challenge and finding eye catching silver leaf species other than Russian Olive that have the same consumer appeal.
Let's get on with it and quit turning a blind eye. Governments lets see some incentives. Industry lets see some new species.
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