Master Gardener: Trees and Shrubs at SWCD’s Annual Sale Provide Natural Benefits | Lifestyles


The Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District again offers bare root tree and shrub seedlings at very affordable prices: most are $1 each, minimum quantity 10 per variety. Evergreens are three years old and 10 to 18 inches tall; deciduous tree and shrub seedlings are 1 to 2 years old and 10 to 24 inches tall. Most are available in groups of a minimum of 10 single species, for land conservation purposes.

These seedlings are made available to homeowners for use on their own property, not for resale. Landscaping with trees and shrubs is more beneficial to our ecosystem than lawns. Areas of your garden with trees and shrubs will attract more birds and other wildlife, providing shelter and sometimes food.

For optimal success, be sure to select plants that are well suited to your land. The most adaptable trees on this list include Black Tupelo “Gum Tree”, Sawtooth Oak, and River Birch. The Black Tupelo has beautiful red fall foliage, small flowers that attract bees, and half-inch fruits that birds like.

Additional deciduous tree offerings include northern red oak, white oak, pine oak, and sycamore. Native white birch is also available. Evergreen trees include Colorado blue spruce and white spruce, Norway spruce, and Douglas fir.

Shrubs offered this year include Butterfly Bush, Rose of Sharon, Purple Lilac, Eastern Redbud, American Hazlenut, Witch Hazel, Elderberry (great for birds) and a white dogwood shrub (cornus florida). The colors produced by these plants may surprise you. The plants in these offers are locally adapted plants and are not necessarily the same varieties sold in garden centres. The native hazelnut/filbert offered here produces smaller nuts, but is much more resistant to filbert blight. Many species of wildlife enjoy these nuts and produce colorful fall foliage. Because it is salt tolerant, it would be excellent as a roadside hedge.

Ornamental Fountain Grass, Stella DeOro Yellow/Orange Short Daylily, Blazing Star flowering plants (liatris), and Hosta Ventricosa (with green leaves) are also available as ground cover. Two varieties of Siberian iris are also offered, Blue King and Snow Queen. These grow well in poor soil or partial shade, but are less attractive to borers if placed in a well-drained location. Blazing Star flowers produce seeds that birds love.

The 13 varieties of trees, eight shrubs and six ground covers available are listed on a well-designed order form, containing the necessary information to enable you to make wise selections. Growth rate, size at maturity, soil and light preferences, and best uses are included.

You can get the order form by emailing [email protected]; or call (585) 489-6274. The order and payment deadline is March 25. Your purchase must be picked up April 22 or 23 behind the Livingston Highway Department in Groveland.

Plants sold under this program are generally adapted to our weather and soil conditions. Your purchase of these plants supports Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District programs.

Additional seedling selections are listed on the State Department of Conservation website, minimum order 25 per species; Google “Saratoga Tree Nursery” or search for that phrase on the DEC website to find out what’s available.

Julie Brocklehurst-Woods has been a volunteer Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County since 2002. She enjoys helping all gardeners become successful gardeners, especially helping people identify tools and strategies to prioritize and simplify their tasks. of gardening. She will answer gardening questions by email: [email protected]

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