Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Question blitz: The Arboretum's trees

Photo of deltoid poplars from the Jardin botanique de Montréal

© Jardin botanique de Montréal (Lise Servant)

What do you do with the fruits of your fruit trees? How can trees from different climates survive in the Arboretum? How much tree species do you have? What are your biggest, your smallest and your oldest trees? Marianne, Saint-Georges de Champlain, Quebec

Do your fruit trees bear fruit? If so, what do you do with them?

Our fruit trees produce fruit just like all other trees. For the trees grown outside, such as crabapples, when their fruits are of good quality and in sufficient quantity, we give them to a non-profit group dedicated to provide food to less fortunate citizens. With regard to fruit growing in our greenhouses, we do not always necessarily grow the best tasting species. For example, our carambola tree produces fruits that are not very good, so we just throw them away. In any case, production is rarely high.

How do you keep trees that usually live in climates different from ours?
When trees come from colder climates, there is usually no problem to keep them in our climate. However, when trees come from warmer climates, we must keep them in our greenhouses. As we have limited space in our greenhouses, we have to make choices. We can't grow many at the same time, and we have to limit their height. Some bonsai are semi-hardy: they are placed in the gardens outside the summer and in cold greenhouse in the winter so they can benefit the dormancy period they need.

How many tree species do you have?
It is difficult to give you an answer because our plants are not classified according to whether they are a tree or another plant type, but rather by family. I would therefore have to go through our complete list to determine which ones are trees. Unfortunately, we cannot give you numbers. If you feel like it, you can see our statistics, by family, on this page:

What are your biggest (height), smallest, and oldest trees?
You will find the answers in the Guinness records of the Garden, on this page (in French only):
As for the smallest one, it certainly is a bonsai that would be champion, but we can't tell you which one!

Sylvie M.
Horticultural information expert
Montréal Botanical Garden