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Native Habitat Trees & Shrubs
Silky dogwood grows best at the water’s edge in full to partial sun and can grow from three to eight feet tall. It is attracted to birds and small mammals. Blooms in spring and early summer, has attractive white flowers with blue flowers in late summer. It produces reddish stems in winter. It has the ability to root from cuttings and is often used in riparian and stream restoration projects.
Another native tree and shrub is the fragrant sedge. For planting, it needs a dry, elevated place and full sun. It grows from eight to twenty feet in height. It is a thicket forming shrub and is a good erosion control plant in road cuts and other sloping areas with poor dry soils. It blooms in the spring and has yellow flowers and red fruits that remain on the plant during the winter. It produces beautiful red leaves in autumn.
A third of the native trees and shrubs are PawPaw. It grows on moist uplands near the water’s edge in partial to full sun. It can grow in height from right up to twenty feet. It blooms in the spring and produces the largest edible fruit of any plant native to the Americas, and is eaten by raccoons and other small mammals. As such, it was grown by Native American tribes for food. In autumn, the flower turns yellow.
A tree that is considered native trees and shrubs is the American beech. It grows in moist hilly places with a shallow root system in partial and full sun. It blooms in the spring and can reach a height of over 50 feet. In autumn it has a golden bronze color and makes a good nest for small mammals and birds. It produces edible nuts that are eaten by turkeys and other wildlife.
Finally, a tree that is one of the native trees and shrubs is the sugar maple. It can grow in moist to dry hilly sites in full sun, partial sun and full shade. Its maximum height reaches over 50 feet. It is also called hard or rock maple, and its sap is the main source of maple syrup. Its autumn colors are brilliant yellow and orange.
Below are some beautiful native plant species:
BUSH OR SHELL (Amelanchier canadensis)
Height: 6′-20′, Width: 10′. Stems are erect, often clustered. It blends in well at the edge of the forest or the edge of bushes with an evergreen background. An important producer of berries during the early summer months. Fruit eaten by bluebirds, cardinals and tanagers. Foliage is used by browsers.
RED ARONIA (Aronia arbutifolia)
Height: 6′-10′, Width: 3′-5′. Upright multiple bush, somewhat open and rounded. Adaptable to many types of soil. Full sun to partial shade. It is used in border and mass plantings. Fruits eaten by grouse, chickadees and other songbirds.
SWEET PEPPER BUSH (Clethra alnifolia)
Height: 3′-8′, Width: 4′-6′. Oval, round top, upright, dense leafy bush. Transplant in moist, organic soil. Full sun or shade. Excellent for summer flowers, shrub border. A good plant for moist areas and strong shade. Limited wildlife value.
RED DORN (Cornus sericea)
Height: 7′-9′, Width: 10′. A loose, widespread, rounded shrub with many stems. It spreads freely. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. It thrives well in moist soil. Excellent for mass planting on large areas. Effective bank cover for soil retention. Cuttings are easy to set out in early spring: simply trim the new growth, dip the cut end in a rooting hormone, such as ROOTONE, and push the cut end into the ground. These shrubs are easily domesticated and are valuable food for wildlife. High wildlife value for fruit and browsing. It is used by a variety of mammals and songbirds, including cardinals, evening grosbeaks, robins, thrushes, vireos and woodpeckers.
Ilex glabra (Ilex glabra)
Height: 6′-8′, Width: 8′-10′. Upright multiple, rounded shrub. Prefers moist, acidic soils. Excellent for foundations, hedges, mass plantings and as an accent plant. Berries used by various wildlife. The variety “Compacta” is a dwarf variety and is more easily available.
WINTER BERRY (Ilex verticillata)
Height: 6′-10′, Spread: ditto. Oval, round, deciduous holly bush. It tends to form clumps with multiple stems. It thrives on light and heavy soils. Prefers moist, organic soils. Excellent for mass plantings and shrub borders. Red fruits are beautiful in winter. A male plant is necessary for fertilization. It is used extensively by many songbirds, especially thrushes, mockingbirds, robins, bluebirds and wagtails.
VIRGINIA SWEETSPIRE (Itea virginica)
Height: 3′-5′, Width: 6′-8′. Upright shrub with clustered branches. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Full sun or shade. Suitable for wet areas. Excellent fall color. The fruit capsules are used by some songbirds.
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