The Project Forest Siksika Nation Community Shelterbelt Program is designed to harness the power of shelterbelts—a proven nature-based solution—to mitigate the impacts of climate change, sequester carbon, and take meaningful steps towards equitably distributing trees, and their associated benefits, to the people living on Siksika Nation. 

It is estimated that caragana has been present on Siksika Nation land for over 50 years. Due to the benefits it provides community members and its ability to perform well in this location, Siksika Nation and Project Forest have decided to include this species as part of our shelterbelt program.

Caragana (Caragana arborescens) is extremely drought, wind, and cold tolerant. The caragana plants will create the natural infrastructure necessary to support the locally-adapted and native plants included in the shelterbelt by reducing wind, mitigating extreme temperatures, trapping moisture, and creating shade to lower soil surface temperatures. 

Project Forest and Siksika Nation understand the risks associated with planting caragana, especially in sensitive ecosystems. The shelterbelts will be planted along roadsides in populated areas and on the edges of agricultural fields, land that has been disturbed by human activity. 

  • Spreads in forest understories and edge habitats
  • Very dense and extensive root system
  • Reproduces from seeds and root suckers
  • Has chemical properties that can be allelopathic to other plants 
  • Extremely drought tolerant 
  • Extremely winter hardy
  • Long-lived, up to 50 years
  • Creates shade to lower soil surface temperatures
  • Tolerates nutrient-poor soils
  • Nitrogen-fixing plant (to help remedy poor soil conditions)
  • Attracts bees, butterflies and many other beneficial insects with its yellow flowers
  • Provides a food source for many animals, including grasshoppers, birds, and deer

Caragana has not been classified as an invasive species in Alberta, however it is a species that should be planted with care and in the right places for the right reasons. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please make an appointment to speak with a representative from the Siksika Nation Lands Department by emailing