The fourth issue in this exciting series that explores the diversity and beauty of Canada’s forests! The Boreal forest is what typically comes to mind when people think of Canada—a wall of conifer trees covered with snow. And while conifers do dominate the landscape, the Boreal forest does have a smattering of deciduous trees daring enough to take on its harsh environment. One of them is the Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera), one of Canada’s hardiest deciduous trees. No other North American hardwood grows this far north. And while the Balsam Poplar does well among the conifers, it prefers open areas near water.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Margaret Best features the mountainous western reach of the boreal forest with a Balsam Poplar in the foreground growing in its preferred habitat—an open space near water. Only a single branch is visible in this design, and it is beautifully crafted in colour to highlight the textural qualities of the tree’s bark, its emerging springtime buds and the delicate colouration of its red catkins. These drooping, cylinder-shaped flower clusters are designed for cross-pollination. Male flowers are red while female flowers are yellow, much larger, and grow on separate trees.
An original gift for nature lovers and tree-appreciators across Canada from coast to coast who are proud of the great Boreal forest that defines their nation by braving the harsh environment of the North.