In the past we have not designed gardens that play a critical ecological role in the landscape, but we must do so in the future. The importance of our doing this cannot be overstated. We need to quickly replace unnecessary lawn with densely planted woodlots in the East and West, and natural prairies in the Midwest; whatever can serve as habitat for our local biodiversity. Homeowners can do this by planting the borders of their properties with plants native to their region: In the East, native trees such as white oaks (Quercus alba), black willows (Salix nigra), red maples (Acer rubrum), green ashes (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), black walnuts (Juglans nigra), river birches (Betula nigra) and shagbark hickories (Carya ovata), under-planted with woodies like serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), hazelnut (Corylus americanus), and blueberries (Vaccinium spp). Our studies have shown that even modest increases in the native plant cover on suburban properties significantly increases the number and species of breeding birds, including birds of conservation concern.
Article Published in Wild Ones Journal