Some of our most ecologically-important native plants are trees and shrubs (aka woodies). They provide critical structure and ecological function to our landscapes. Some are early pollen sources for hungry bees, some have fruits, nuts or seeds for birds and mammals, some are host plants for butterflies, some are nesting sites for songbirds, and some, primarily evergreens, provide cover to many creatures during harsh winters.
Woody plants have tremendous importance for humans, as well. Have a storm water problem? Trees, in particular, can draw up and intercept a remarkable amount of storm water. In New York City, street trees are estimated to intercept 1,525 gallons of water per year on average. Improved air quality, slowing of climate change, moderation of summer heat and winter cold, are some of the valuable benefits delivered to us by woody plants.
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