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Q. How far north in Ontario can a golden spirit smokebush survive and thrive? The tag on the plant in the nursery says zone 5, and I live in Aurora on the borderline between zone 5 and zone 4.

A. You're quite right that smoke bushes are usually listed as zone 5 trees. However, my Sudbury (350 km north of you) smokebush has been very happy for about 10 years now. I lose some wood each winter, but by the end of June it is again more than a metre high and just lovely.

My advice to you is to find a protected micro-climate type location in your garden and watch it thrive!

Linda Hugli,
Master Gardener


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