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Tree and Landscape Planting

Serving Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, our company is the largest locally owned tree service in the area

Selecting the right trees for your project is a complex process that takes in much more than how it looks. It helps a great deal to have an arborist such as Capital Tree Service on hand. We can recommend and design plantings that take into account all of these factors: 

Site conditions

Your trees’ long-term survival depends on a complex web of supports. They include planting space that includes room for the mature tree, shelter from the elements (if needed), location of existing plants, location of buildings, utility lines, roads and sidewalks, and how much light the location gets.

Soil conditions

To determine soil conditions, we take soil samples that determine its texture (clay, sandy or loamy or a mix), drainage, salinity, fertility, and whether it is alkaline or acidic. In addition, urban soil might be disturbed, shallow, compacted, or affected by drought. A combination of soil improvement and amendment, and choosing the right tree for the soil, will improve chances that the new planting will survive and thrive. 

Growth characteristics of the tree

It makes a difference whether you choose a slow-growing tree or a fast one, a dwarf variety or a broad shade tree. If you are planting close to overhead wires, underground pipes or other obstacles, will they interfere with the tree? What effect will the tree itself have on its surroundings? We consider all these variables and use them to narrow down the final recommendation. 


Exposure to wind and sun, or perhaps lack of sun, should help determine the right tree for your location. Not every tree can survive a windswept hill, and some need direct sunlight to reach their potential. 


Closely related to exposure considerations is the hardiness of the tree itself. In Greater Victoria, we are lucky to have one of the mildest climates in Canada, which opens up choices that would not be good ones in the Interior or Ontario. However, with more extreme weather conditions such as storms and cold snaps, hardiness is an issue even here. One need only look at the many palm trees that have not survived recent winters to know that some choices need extra care and attention. We can suggest varieties that are well suited to our west coast location, and give tips to reduce risk to more exotic species. 

Human activity

At Capital Tree Service, we will work with developers and homeowners to understand how much care and attention will go into maintaining the landscape once it’s planted. Newly planted trees need extra attention while they work to establish themselves. Even over a longer term, human error such as under- or overwatering, improper pruning, soil compaction or root damage, will contribute to tree disease and death. In fact, planting the wrong tree contributes to more tree death than all insect and disease-related tree deaths. 

To be sure you select the right trees for your location, save yourself time and worry and work with Capital Tree Service!