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At Tree Amigos, ‘dishing the dirt’ means something a little different than your typical gossip session. Our planning and design experts commonly ‘dish the dirt’ during the concept design proposal stage of any landscaping project. We aren’t gossiping, however: We’re taking soil samples.

We want to know what your soil needs to make it the perfect home for any plantings that might be part of your landscaping plans. Our goal is to improve the soil and give you the largest number of choices possible for your plantings, including trees, shrubs, flowers, veggie plot, etc.

Dirt’s dirt, though – right?

Well … not all dirt is created equal! Sometimes, you need to experiment to figure this out, although when you’re talking landscaping, this can get expensive. That’s why we test: To see what your soil needs, so we can be sure it will be right for your wish list of green things.

Depending on where you live in Niagara, our Tree Amigos teams have encountered clay (lots of it!); sandy soil; rich black soil; rocky, stony soil; soil that is too acidic; soil that is not acidic enough, and mixtures of all of the above.

As a result, we plan your soil’s renovation, before we finish planning your complete landscaping project. Depending on where you’re located in Niagara, and what type of soil you have will determine whether your desired list of plantings is even feasible.

Niagara resides in two different plant hardiness zones. If you click the previous link, you’ll see a map that outlines the different areas in Canada, showing minimum winter temperatures at which various types of trees, shrubs and flowers will most likely survive. We say “most likely,” because over the years the temperatures set to the zones in the 1960s have slowly transitioned to warmer temps.

If you draw a straight line from Hamilton to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, all territory north of your line to the edge of Lake Ontario falls into Zone 7a (0F to 5F); while everything south of your line – the rest of Niagara – to the edge of Lake Erie falls into Zone 6b (-5F to 0F). 

That’s one of the reasons why tender fruit, like grapes and peaches, do so well in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, where the zone is a little more temperate.

Combined with the information we attain on your soil conditions, our Tree Amigos landscaping experts take into consideration the plant hardiness zone in which your property resides. This helps guide our planting suggestions as part of your concept design proposal.

So regardless of the condition of your soil, our Tree Amigos teams are ready to start planning your landscape renovation! We can dish the dirt, then work with what’s there to improve your yard’s growing capabilities.

April is the perfect month to start planning! Give us a call soon, so we can get your proposal started!


To meet with one of our planning experts about the yard of your dreams, contact Tree Amigos at 905-937-5353. You can email questions to, or fill out the this form on our website to request a quote for services.

Want to see more photos of recent Tree Amigos landscaping projects? Visit the Houzz app at and put our name in the search bar. You’ll find photos of our landscaping design; stonework; water features; driveways; decks and much more.