Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plant Virginia Native Trees and Shrubs This Spring

A snowy landscape is the perfect setting for a new spring vision. While trees are bare and perennials invisible, take a long, hard look at bare areas of your yard. Imagine it filled with beautiful spring buds that not only spruce up the scenery, but also feed native pollinators. Now is the time to decide where there are gaps in your landscape and begin planning for spring planting. 

Each year, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District offers very affordable native trees and shrubs to the public. Because the trees are more saplings, there are several things to consider before planting:

1. mature size of the tree
2. necessary light conditions
3. soil conditions
4. bloom time

Ideally, the landscape will offer four-season interest, with bloom times stretching from early March through November. This year, they are offering:

Tree Package (6 Seedlings for $11.95)

2 River birch (Betula nigra)

River birch
Mature size of 70-80 feet. Attractive native ornamental tree tolerates a wide range of conditions, flourishes in rich soils. Only birch native to the Coastal Plain in the southeastern United States. Full to partial sun.

2 Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata)

Shortleaf pine
Reaches a mature size of 50 to 60 feet in height. This conifer has attractive reddish-brown bark in scaly plates on mature trees and provides habitat and food for a variety of birds. It prefers sandy loams but is also easily grown in a wide range of average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun and tolerates some light shade. Deep taproot; one of the few pines that can sprout from the root collar if the stem is damaged.
Photo credit: Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org

2 Willow oak (Quercus phellos)

Willow oak
Reaches a mature size of 50 to 80 feet. Excellent wildlife food source and landscape tree. Full to partial sun. Thrives in a range of conditions, from lowlands, river and swamp border to rich, sandy uplands.

Shrub and Small Tree Package (10 Seedlings for $16.95)

2 Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Inconspicuous green to white flowers especially valued by honey bees and nectar insects. Scarlet red to orange berries often remain into midwinter. Grows 6-12 feet in full sun to shade.

2 Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum)

Silky dogwood
This shrub's bright blue berries have high wildlife value. Prefers well-drained, moist soil and sunny or part-sun conditions. Good for streambanks. Fast-growing, 6-10 feet tall.

2 Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Large, multi-stemmed; grows to 20 feet. Distinctive heart-shaped leaves. Clusters of pink, pea-like blooms appear in early spring. Sun to part shade.

2 Red chokeberry (Photinia pyrifolia)

Red chokeberry
Delicate white blossoms in spring, brilliant red fall foliage and rich scarlet berry clusters in winter make this deciduous shrub and all-season favorite. Will sucker and spread, grows to 10 feet. Prefers sun to part shade.

2 Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Arrowwood viburnum
Five to eight foot shrub grows vigorously in sun to partial shade. Flat clusters of creamy white flowers in June. Bluish-black berries against glossy red foliage in fall. Birds love the fruits and seeds. Excellent as a hedge.
Photo credit: James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org

Here are the details for ordering:

2015 Seedling Sale
This year's seedling sale features shrubs and trees from the Plant NOVA Natives guide and campaign, a regional effort to promote native plants. For more information and to download a copy of the guide, see www.plantnovanatives.org<http://www.plantnovanatives.org>. These trees and shrubs help provide valuable habitat and add beauty to your landscape.
The 2015 Shrub and Small Tree Package<http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/seedlingsale.htm#shrubs> features 10 seedlings for $16.95. The Tree Package<http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/seedlingsale.htm#trees> includes 6 seedlings for $11.95. A full, nonrefundable payment must accompany your order by Wednesday, April 22, or until supplies run out.
New in 2015! Help us streamline our operations by paying online with a credit card, debit card or e-check. Please follow this link to our online seedling sale store.
Place Your 2015 Seedling Sale Order Online: http://nvswcd-velocitypayment-com.3dcartstores.com/<http://nvswcd-velocitypayment-com.3dcartstores.com/>
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 703-324-1460, TTY 711 or ConservationDistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov<mailto:ConservationDistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov>.

For more information, contact: 
Kory Kreiseder
Administrative and Technical Assistant
Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905
Fairfax, VA 22035-5512
703-324-1421 fax

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