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Largest Conifer Plantation In Western Canada

Gaudet Trees located 24 km south of Prince Albert along Highway No. 11 (just follow the signs), is a tree plantation that offers landscape, fruit and Christmas trees to a variety of markets. It is the largest conifer plantation in Western Canada. The nursery is a long-term investment, and has grown within the industry by providing quality stock in the wholesale, commercial and private-market sector for decades, shipping from Winnipeg to Yellowknife.

“We are committed to providing quality products and excellent service to all of our customers regardless of order size,” said owner Ray Gaudet, who established the tree farm as a means of diversifying.

The plantation has been providing trees, shrubs and service since 1989, specializing in conifers. Conifer seed is placed in the outdoor nursery bed to germinate and grow. All stock started at Gaudet Trees is from seed and are Prairie hardy. The seedlings develop in the nursery bed until three to five years old, and then are transplanted in rows within the plantation. Gaudet Trees has 450 acres with over 300 acres planted with trees at varying stages of development. The balance of acres is dedicated wetlands.

The unique aspect of growing conifers is the time factor. Once they are field planted, seven to 15 years are required to produce four-to 15-foot trees, thus long-term plans are critical.

Operating a tree plantation is very labour intensive as most of the work is manual, requiring “hands-on” methods from transplanting seedlings and pruning, to wrapping and cutting.

“Each tree in the plantation is touched by human hands at least once a year,” said nursery manager Anne Bitschy.

“We do the best we can to create a proper environment to produce healthy stock,” said Gaudet. The staff containerize selected trees from the open ground. These trees are pruned annually and selected only based on high standards.

The public may have a misconception about appropriate transplanting times. All trees may be planted throughout the entire growing season until freeze-up. The nursery digs trees in spring until the buds break open, and digging conifers resumes in later August until freeze-up. Fall digging for deciduous trees such as poplar, linden and birch resumes after leaf drop.

Stock should be planted at the same depth as what was at the nursery, and watered up to five feet away to encourage the roots to expand outwards and to build adaptive growth that can withstand drought conditions.

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) has a general set of rules that guide the grade standards. Gaudet Trees is a member of CNLA and operates according to those standards. Quality service is tailored to the client’s needs and is the same whether the order is for two trees or 2,000.

The staff has many years of experience so well-informed advice will be given by phone: 306-922-1052, at the office: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, or visit www.treesrus.ca for their online catalogue.

VivianNemishwritesfromBlaineLake, Saskatchewan.

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The plantation has been providing trees, shrubs and service since 1989, specializing in conifers

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