When it comes to planting trees and shrubs, many homeowners pick based on appearance and what’s available at their local nursery. Although this can sometimes work out often times what they pick isn’t suitable for their yard or region. We’ve talked about picking trees made for small spaces before but today we want to showcase the benefits of choosing plants that are native to this area.
Provide Habitat & Food For Birds & Wildlife
Native trees help support local ecosystems. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the local ecosystems have developed a delicate balance. The native birds and wildlife have come to depend on native trees and shrubs for food and shelter. When there aren’t enough native trees around, wildlife like birds, bees, and butterflies have trouble supporting themselves and their populations decline.
By planting native trees you can help stop the decline of native wildlife populations; all while enjoying the beautiful birds, butterflies, and other wildlife native plants bring to your yard.
Fewer Pest Problems
Native trees have developed natural defenses to pests that are found in our area. With natural defenses, native plants are less susceptible to native pests and diseases. Even if a native tree does fall ill with an infestation of native insects or from a native disease it has a higher likelihood of survival than a non-native tree. This is helpful because your tree/shrub will be healthier overall and you will save money on insect/disease treatments.
A Note On Invasive Pests & Native Trees: Although native trees have built-in defenses against native pests they may be susceptible to invasive insects and diseases. Planting native trees/shrubs overall is still a good idea; however, we do not recommend planting native trees that are currently being targeted by invasive pests. The most recent example being Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer.
Well Adapted To Native Climate
Our area is no stranger to temperature swings and extreme temperatures. In winter we experience freezing temperatures with some days almost making it into the single digits. While our summers bring temperatures in the high 90s. Our native trees have evolved to deal with this kind of weather giving them a better chance of survival compared to non natives.
For example, a non-native tree that’s used to warm weather may do well in our summers but the cold winters may shorten its lifespan. And a non-native that’s evolved in colder weather may do great in the winter but die from heat stress in the summer. By choosing a native plant you know it’s equipped to deal with all of our seasons here in the DC metro area.
Trees & Shrubs Native To Our Area
Below are a list of some trees and shrubs that are native to the DC Metro area.
Native Large Trees:
|Maple (Red & Sugar)||Yellow Buckeye||River Birch|
|American Persimmon||American Beech||Black Walnut|
|Sweet Gum||Tulip Tree||Bald Cypress|
|Pine (Eastern White, Loblolly, Virginia)||Sycamore||Sour Gum, Black Tupelo, Black Gum|
|American Elm||Oak (White, Swamp White, Scarlet, Shingle, Pin, Willow, Red, Shumard, Southern Red, Laurel, Bur, Blackjack, Chinkapin, Chestnut, Post, Black)|
Native Medium Trees:
|American Hornbeam||Sassafras||Mountain Silverbell|
|Magnolia (Bigleaf & Umbrella)||American Hop Hornbeam||Sourwood|
|Eastern Red Cedar||Atlantic White Cedar||American Holly|
|Eastern Red Cedar|
Native Small Trees/Large Shrubs:
|Striped Maple/Moosewood||Viburnum (Blackhaw & Southern Blackhaw)||Juneberry, Serviceberry, Shadblow|
|Pawpaw||Eastern Redbud||White Fringetree|
|Dogwood (Flowering, Alternateleaf)||Common Witch Hazel||Possumhaw Holly|
|Eastern Arborvitae||Foster’s Holly||Sweet Bay Magnolia|
If you need help taking care of your native tree or shrub we can help. Give us a call at 703-573-3029 or book a consultation online.
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