EcoBlog

The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Flickr_Amelanchier blossom

Spring Planting With Environmental Impact!

Still wondering what to plant this spring? How about boosting the ecosystem in your yard with some native woody plants.  Replace invasive, exotic plants in your yard with some regionally native plants.  Check out the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower plant database to see if the plants suggested below are native to your area. Give me a shout if you need some help for your area.

And, let us know what natives you are planting in your yard this spring.

TREE SUGGESTIONS:

Remove: Japanese Angelica Tree (Aralia Alata)
Plant: Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

Remove: Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Plant: Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

Remove: Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
Plant: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Remove: White Mulberry (Morus alba)
Plant: Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)

Remove: Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
Plant: Apple Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora)

Remove: Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Plant: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Remove: Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
Plant: Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

SHRUB SUGGESTIONS:

Remove: Arrow Bamboo (Pseudosasa japonica)
Plant: Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

Remove: Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Plant: Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina)

Remove: Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
Plant: Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Remove: Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
Plant: Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Remove: Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Plant: Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Remove: Russian Olive (Elaegnus angustifolia)
Plant: Groundsel (Baccharis halimifolia)

Remove: Autumn Olive (Elaegnus umbellata)
Plant: Silverberry (Elaegnus commutatus)

Remove: Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
Plant: Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana)

Remove: Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)
Plant: American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum)

Remove: Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinensis)
Plant: Arrowood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Remove: European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Plant: Possum Haw (Viburnum nudum)

Happy Spring Planting from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo:  Serviceberry Blossom (followed by edible fruit!)

Photo credit: Flickr_Peter Stevens
www.flickr.com/photos/nordique/5835024584/

6 Comments

  1. MarkG on April 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Great ideas, but unfortunately this list is totally misleading for all of us in deer country. Also, one might wish to check the Cornell site for ratings of various native Viburnum species for resistance to Viburnum beetle.



  2. Donna Lassiter. on April 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Natives I’m planting this spring are gray dogwood, heuchera americans, phlox paniculata, ilex glabra, monarda didyma, physostegia, clethra alnifolia, kalmia angustifolia.



  3. Kim Eierman on April 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Mark. Thanks for the shout out. I have a bit of a different view about planting for the ecosystem in the face of deer pressure. I believe that restricting our plant choices to deer-proof only plants has a significantly negative impact on the the food web. There are other strategies for dealing with the insanely high deer population: proactive culling of deer, designing with target plants, planting less palatable plants in front of tasty ones, using deer repellents, and always planting diversely. These strategies will not eliminate the deer problem, but will certainly help with deer pressure while supporting biodiversity.

    With regard to Viburnum Leaf Beetle, I do suggest Viburnum nudum as the most resistant choice in the NE, but I still advocate planting a diverse palate of native Viburnum. If we eliminate these plants in our landscapes, we will lose them altogether. I haven’t had any damage to their favorite target, Viburnum dentatum, so there may be some individual resistance among plants of the same species. Thanks for sharing your opinions.



  4. Kim Eierman on April 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Great choices, all! I am a particular fan of gray dogwood. Takes more upland siting than most other shrubby dogwoods. Thanks for sharing your plant list.



  5. heather sandifer on April 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi, Kim, Is Amelanchier a good understory plant and does it thrive in both sun and shade? Also how does it benefit the environment? Great work!!



  6. Kim Eierman on April 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for the question, Heather. We have a number of native Amelanchier species in the US ranging from the short and sprawling Amerlanchier stolonifera (Running Serviceberry) to the much taller Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry) which can grow to more than 40 feet. They all produce fruits which are valuable to wildlife, and will bear the most fruit in full sun conditions. Most species will grow well in part sun, but you won’t see as much fruit production.

    More than 40 bird species relish Amelanchier berries, including Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Baltimore Orioles, and Eastern Towhees. The fruit is edible for us humans, too. I think the tastiest fruit comes from Amelanchier x grandifolia (a naturally occurring hybrid). The berries are very nutritious and quite high in antioxidants – great with morning cereal!



More from EcoBlog

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More

Dwarf Nativars – Do They Measure Up?

For those of us with small landscapes, dwarf cultivars of native plants can seem like a gift from heaven.  Want to grow a particular native plant, but just don’t have the room?  Have a straight species plant, like a native viburnum, that needs a pollinator partner for fruit production –…

Read More