Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Forest Diversity

More tree species in a forest make the trees more productive.  Among the reasons is less direct competition, as different species seek different nutrients and have diverse shapes of leaves, branches, and roots.  So restoration efforts should plant a high mix of species all jumbled together, and home landscapers can make yard trees healthier by combining many species.

Among the species in my yard ...

Black walnut, silver maple, mulberry, and hackberry are among the most common.  Black walnut is tall with a very open pattern, allowing lots of sun through, but puts off toxic compounds to discourage other plants.  Hackberry is very tall with a moderately open shape.  Silver maple is large and leafy, but fragile.  Mulberry is a little smaller and even more fragile.  All of these are good trees for wildlife.  We also have one big old sycamore, with an open habit and huge leaves.  There is also one mature oak, also tall with a fairly open habit, old enough to yield acorns.  The Midwinter Grove holds several spruce and pine trees.

Smaller trees include crabapple, pear, cherry, wild cherry, Cornelian cherry dogwood, white dogwood, nannyberry, serviceberry, linden, persimmon, apricot, plum, and redbud.  Many of these are also popular with wildlife.

A lot of the trees and shrubs I've planted are still pretty small like the hazelnut, contorta hazelnut, cypress, and oaks.


Tags: gardening, illinois, nature, networking, personal, science
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