Fall Planting With Woodies – Native Trees & Shrubs

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…

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Plant It and They Will Come: Cedar Waxwings & Serviceberries

The Cedar Waxwing is one of my favorite bird species – the adults with their sleek tan and gray Cardinal-like bodies, bright red spots on their wing tips and yellow “paint” on the tips of their tails, but best of all – their Zorro-like masks. Chances are, you have Cedar Waxwings around at some point in the year, as they…

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Latest Research on Honey Bee Deaths: What Does it Mean for EcoBeneficial Gardeners?

A new research study was released this week that points to a variant of Tobacco Ringspot Virus as a possible culprit in the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, Emory University and the University of North…

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What Your Native Plants Are Doing When You’re Not Looking: In the Garden with Doug Tallamy

It is estimated that more than 90% of the insects in our home landscapes are benign or beneficial.   Why then do so many folks spray pesticides that kill not only insect “pests” but all the beneficial insects, too?  Instead of reaching for the spray, let’s use native plants to support beneficial insects and the natural predators that keep pests under…

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Last Minute Gift Idea: Think Native Woody Plants!

Stuck trying to find a last minute holiday gift?  Why not give an easy gift that keeps on giving to your loved one and the environment? A coupon for a native tree or shrub will do the trick!  Make it simple by creating your own coupon on a holiday card: “Good for one native tree or shrub.” In the spring,…

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Native Edibles: The Tropical Looking Pawpaw

As the chill of winter sets in, it’s a great time to start making plans for your spring planting.  Start with the structural “bones” of your landscape – native trees.   In mature landscapes it may be difficult to find the space for another large tree, in that case “go small” with an understory, or smaller native tree.  A smaller tree…

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7 EcoBeneficial Tips for Planting Native Trees this Fall

Fall is a fantastic time to plant many trees.   In most parts of the country, the warm days and cool nights of autumn favor healthy root development before winter arrives.   Choosing appropriate plants and using proper planting methods are critical to your planting success and to the long-term health of the trees.  Here are 7 tips to help you get…

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Preserving Native Species: Lessons from the American Chestnut

Prior to the year 1900 the American Chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) was the predominant tree in Eastern forests.  It is estimated that there were almost 4 billion American Chestnut trees in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century, accounting for 1 in every 4 trees in Eastern hardwood forests. American Chestnut was a “keystone species” playing a critical…

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Helping Bees in Crisis: 7 Steps to Creating a Bee-Friendly Landscape

A version of this post was just published in the magazine, Westchester Home.  Read below, or follow this link to the published version: http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Westchester-Magazine/Westchester-Home/Summer-2013/How-to-Grow-a-Garden-that-Fosters-Bee-Activity-and-Pollination/ Please share this post with family and friends.  Knowledge is power!  If we all garden this way, we can help bees in crisis.   The European honey bee and many of our 4,000 species of native bees…

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