Native Species

The MD of Bighorn is surrounded by breathtaking scenery and contains a variety of ecosystems within its borders. The use of native plant species whenever possible is highly encouraged for residential and commercial development. Learning what is able to grow in the area and is native to the surrounding environment will increase your chance of establishment and decrease your maintenance and replacement costs.

BUYER BEWARE: The purchase of Wildflower Mixes is NOT recommended. Rarely are all species included within the wildflower mix seed packets listed and even if they are, some invasive plant species can be referred to by multiple common names. Seed mixes that list both the common and scientific (Latin) name are preferred as it is easier to determine the contents.

Contact the MD of Bighorn for a Native Wildflower seed mix packet.

For examples or suggestions of native plant species suitable for your area please contact the Environmental Fieldman or the Assistant Environmental Fieldman or searchthe Native Plant Database at

Wildlife Friendly Plant Species

Co-existing with wildlife is part of living in the MD of Bighorn. While we must learn to live with the animals that call the area home we also must not encourage them into our residential areas. Bears are attracted to plants that produce ripened fruit or berries and these should be removed and are not considered appropriate species for planting on your property.

There are many tree and shrub species that are still aesthetically pleasing and do not produce fruit. Some examples of these include:

  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
  • Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica)
  • Spring Snow Flowering Crab (Malus ‘Spring Snow’)
  • White Spruce (Picea glauca)
  • Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
  • Double Flowering Plum (Prunus triloba)
  • Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Goldflame Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda)

Some examples of fruit bearing trees and shrubs that should be AVOIDED for plantings are:

  • Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea, syn. Cornus stolonifera)
  • Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
  • Wolf Willow (Elaeagnus commutata)
  • Canadian Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis)
  • Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
  • Wild Rose (Rosa acicularis)
  • Western Mountain Ash (Sorbus scopulina)
  • Any fruit bearing trees or shrubs

To view more species or for more information on making your property WildSmart visit

Hazardous Trees & Removing Trees in the MD

The MD of Bighorn Agricultural Services department is responsible for assisting with hazardous tree inquiries on municipal property. If you feel there is a hazardous tree on MD property that needs to be addressed, please contact the Environmental Fieldman at 403-673-3611 Ext. 234.

As per the Hamlet Reserve Protection Bylaw, no person within any Hamlet is permitted to cut down and remove any living or dead tree or shrub that is on MD property without the written permission of the CAO. This includes the removal of deadfall for firewood purposes. Any person that contravenes this bylaw is subject to a $250 fine.
Hamlet Reserve Protection Bylaw

Tree Care

An effective tree maintenance program that includes regular inspections, mulching, fertilizing and pruning is essential to maximize the benefits trees have to offer. This also allows home owners to detect problems before they can become fatal to their trees. Signs of poor or declining tree health can present themselves as trunk decay, decreased leaf or shoot generation, deformed or discolored leaves and abnormal growths. Insects, diseases and environmental factors can also play a role in decreasing the health of your trees. The MD of Bighorn Agricultural Services staff can assist home owners with trying to determine what is impacting your trees or you can seek the help of a professional certified Arborist.

Homeowner pruning tips fact sheet

For more information on caring for your trees you can visit Trees Are Good at

For examples of insects and diseases that can be harmful visit the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Forest Health and Adaptation website.

Browning of evergreen trees is a common problem and can be caused by many different factors. This link will show some examples of what might be causing your evergreen tree needles to turn brown.