Connecticut Garden Journal: Make A Long-Term Investment. Plant A Tree | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Make A Long-Term Investment. Plant A Tree

Feb 6, 2020

Americans are moving less. In 2019 less than 10 percent of the population changed homes and locations. That's the lowest level since 1947. For gardeners that means it's an opportunity to plant more longer lasting plants like trees.

We've all heard plenty about global warming and the need to sequester carbon to reduce rising temperatures by planting more trees. But it's not just about planting any old tree. What you plant and how you plant it is important, too.

When planting trees in your yard think habitat. Don't just plant one birch here and a crabapple there. Plant in groves or islands mixing and matching large deciduous trees with smaller trees and even shrubs. This will create a more interesting look in your yard and make for great bird, wildlife, and pollinator habitat.

Plant tall natives, such as oaks, maples and hickories, with small and medium-sized trees, such as serviceberries and dogwoods. Plant some native shrubs, such as viburnums and mountain laurel, in the understory. Plant evergreens, such as cedar and spruce, in your yard for the birds. Native trees are adapted to our climate and harbor more insects, which is perfect food for nesting birds.

Think trees as multi-purpose plants, too. Tall trees provide shade for summer picnics. Instead of growing strictly ornamental trees, try some fruit trees. Plant a grove of plums, cherries, and dwarf apples. They have beautiful spring flowers and delicious summer fruits. Experiment with unusual, native fruits, such as American persimmon and paw paws. If you don't pick these fruits animals, such as opossums, will be happy to take them off your hands.