When we think of native plants, our minds often turn toward those flowers beloved by butterflies.
But have you considered planting a tree native to your area?
Where I live, white oaks are an especially important (and majestic) tree, but they struggle to survive marauding deer. They can also be difficult to transplant because of their long taproot. Planting an acorn or carefully moving a seedling when it pops up in a flower bed are great options. More and more tree growers are learning how to offer white oaks for transplanting, and I love to shop for trees at Bower&Branch.
Every area is different, but taking the time to ask around and observe the wilder parts of your local area can tell you a lot about the trees native to you.
Of course, there is a lot of debate about what makes a native a native. If a tree is native to mountains a few hundred miles from your non-mountain home, can it really be considered native for you? Perhaps the answer is properly no, but don’t let that stop you or discourage you. Planting trees is almost without exception a great idea, and while it’s worth doing the research to choose the right tree for the right spot, trees can offer so much to us no matter if they are growing miles from their natural habitat.
Here are some native trees (loosely defined!) that I love growing at Maplehurst:
- White Fringetree (chionanthus virginicus): A small, multi-stemmed tree with beautiful, scented white feathery blossoms in spring
- Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina): An elegant, medium-sized tree with spring blossoms just like delicate “silver bells”
- Eastern Red Cedar (juniperus virginiana): Not a true cedar, females of this evergreen have lovely pale-blue fruits
- Northern Red Oak (quercus rubra): Like the white oak, this is an excellent tree to shelter and feed wildlife