Advice for types of trees to plant

Asked September 27, 2017, 1:03 PM EDT

I have two place on my property where I would like to plant trees. I would like to plant a native tree which would be good for the environment and such, perhaps a local tree that is in need of conservation or some such. One of the spots is in a shady area, about thirty feet from any other tree trunk, but with a well established canopy overhead. The other is clear overhead and gets some morning and full mid-day sun. The ground in both places is rocky with clay. We have many tulip poplars, oaks, hickory, and maples. What would the ecologists like to see more of in my yard, if they cared at all? What would be the most responsible source for these trees? Thanks,

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Oaks support more wildlife than just about any other tree. Since red oaks have been having problems with bacterial leaf scorch and, possibly, drought/heat, you might want to consider that. Doug Tallamy has great lists of beneficial native trees in his book, "Bringing Nature Home."

We'd recommend that you look through the tree section in the online publication, "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping." It has easy to read charts giving the growing conditions for each that you can match with your site, including soil and light conditions but also where in Maryland they are found, Mountain, Piedmont or Coastal and the habitat, such as rocky ridges and dry upland ridges. Find your best matches.

Many of the understory trees are not often seen nowadays. Anything you can plant would be great, since deer are eating new tree seedlings as quickly as they emerge.

There is no particular tree that we've been alerted about. See what you can find in local nurseries. You should be able to find dogwoods and redbuds, but Ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana), or eastern hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virgininiana) for example, will be harder. If you can't find native trees there, request that they carry more.