• Okotoks Olde Towne Plaza

Gardening & Horticulture

Community Gardens

Healthy Okotoks Coalition Community Garden

The Healthy Okotoks Coalition operates the Community Garden at Kinsmen Park at the east end of McRae Street.  Raised garden beds are available for residents to grow their own produce. The gardens are pesticide-free, and there are 56 individual plots. A $30 fee is charged to cover the cost of water. The wait list for plots opens on January 1 of each year.  

The Okotoks Food Bank Association has a community learning garden in this space, which is a large growing area that helps the Food Bank provide fresh produce to their clients.

Contact Info: 403-995-2773 or contact us online.

Fruit Collection

Okotoks Food Forest

Check out what the Okotoks Food Forest has to offer!  Many of our public parks and natural areas contain edible fruit.  To find out where, have a look at the fruit collection map by clicking the button below.

  • Saskatoon: small to medium sized shrubs; dark bluish purple fruit; good fresh and in jam; jellies; pies or crisps.
  • Western and Schubert Chokecherry: medium to large sized shrubs, dark purple to black fruit, good for jellies, syrup, juice.
  • Dolgo crabapple: green leaves; rosy red fruit about 2.5 cm across; fruit ripens about mid-august; good for jelly; syrup and ciders.                    
  • Currant: medium sized shrub; red to red-orange and black fruit; good fresh and in jam and jellies.


Things to Know

  1. The general public is authorized to collect fruit for personal use only from public trees for the list of locations below. Other locations, such as along roadsides or on medians, fruit picking is prohibited for safety reasons.
  2. The Town does not spray pesticides on these trees and shrubs.
  3. Please be certain that any fruit that is picked is properly identified. There is Tatarian honeysuckle in the river valley that is not edible. It has grey shaggy bark and the berries are bright red to orange.
Recommended Trees & Shrubs

Selecting the types of trees and shrubs that will thrive in Okotoks can save you time, money and disappointment. Heat, drought, hail, Chinook winds and lack of winter snowc over all affect the health and longevity of plants here.  As well, many diseases threaten our urban forest.  Below are a list of hardy trees and shrubs that will survive the environmental challenges in Okotoks. To get them off to a good start, plant them in the right location, use mulch and water regularly:


Amur Maple (single-stemmed, red fall colour)Bur Oak (brown acorns) - slow growing
Colorado Spruce (green or blue foliage and columnar choices)Douglas Fir (green foliage)
Golden Willow (yellow branches, distinctive in winter)Japanese Tree Lilac (cream flowers)
Laurel Leaf Willow  (shiny green foliage)Limber Pine (green foliage)​
Lodgepole Pine (green foliage)Ohio Buckeye (cream white flowers, yellow fall colour)
Little Leaf Linden (yellow – green flowers) - requires wind protectionSwedish Columnar Aspen (tighter form and more drought tolerant)
Tower PoplarSwiss Stone Pine
Trembling Aspen​Ussurian Pear (white flowers, thorns, yellow fall colour)
White Spruce 


Amur Maple (multi-stemmed, red fall colour)Canadian Buffaloberry
Double flowering plumEvans Cherry
Hardy Prairie Shrub Roses (white, pink, yellow, red flowers)​Highbush Cranberry (red fall colour, edible fruit)
HoneysuckleHydrangeas (hardy varieties Snow Ball or Pee Gee)
Junipers (various, try upright varieties instead of less hardy cedars)Lilacs 
Mock Orange (spectacular white flowers and fragrance)​Nanking Cherry​
NannyberryPotentilla (yellow, pink, white, orange flowers)
Saskatoon Silver Buffaloberry (red fruit)
Spirea (various varieties)Sumac (red fall colour) – needs wind protectionSumac (red fall colour) – needs wind protection
WayfaringWeigela (hardy varieties)
Wild Roses (three species) 

To learn more about pests and diseases affecting trees & shrubs, click button below.

Weed & Pest Management


Spring Tree Care & Mulch


  • All trees could all benefit from an extra drink of water in the spring – it’s hard work budding all those leaves.
  • Generally, newly planted and/or young trees, under five years old, require more frequent watering. During extended periods of dry conditions all trees benefit from some extra watering. 

Watering tips:

  • Before watering, check the soil moisture. Using your hands, check to see if the ground is moist in the top 25cm (10 inches).
  • Ensure the flow coming from your garden hose is a slow trickle to allow the soil enough time to absorb water. 
  • Always water the root ball  out to the dripline of establishing trees. Feeder tree roots on mature established trees are found away from the trunk at the drip line, which is the spot where adsorbing roots generally are. Tree roots  are usually in the top meter of soil and can extend  laterally 2 – 3 times the height of the tree in favourable conditions.  
  • Only apply enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 10 inches or more for mature trees, approximately 30 minutes at various locations around the drip line at a slow trickle. 
  • Avoid over-watering. A good indication of over-watering is if you squeeze a ball of soil and water runs out it may be too wet.  


Try adding some mulch around your tree, about 3-4 inches but don’t bury the trunk because this can cause decay.  Mulching helps trees retain water, moderates soil temperature and reduces grass and weeds from growing around tree trunks.   If you need more info please submit an inquiry to the Horticulture Hotline by clicking the button below.

Horticulture Hotline

If you have questions or concerns about a Town-owned tree please submit an inquiry by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

Tree Donation Program

The Town of Okotoks is pleased to offer a tree donation program as a means for residents to add to the urban forest.  Click the button below to access the donation form.

donation form

Horticulture Hotline

The Horticulture Hotline provides information and advice on landscaping and gardening, water use reduction strategies, and pest and disease diagnosis. 

Contact Info: