Monday, March 5, 2007

Native Landscaping Seminar

This annual event on Saturday Feb 24 by The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee was well attended, despite the weather. The talks were very good, great info and pictures in the powerpoints, funny and upbeat. They had a book sale, and the defenders had a used book sale table. It was mostly focused on wildflowers, but there seems to be an increasing interest in Native trees and shrubs. Overall it was a nice little event.

Here is a small bite of the huge amount of information provided:

Dr. Michael Jeffords- photographer for IL Steward Magazine wrote the Book ‘Illinois Wilds’ and gave a really great presentation on pollinators.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology Booklet – Water: from Trouble to Treasure Free copies to download

Guy Sternberg- Starhill Forest Arboretum- wrote the book ‘Native Trees for North American Landscapes’ gave a great talk on tough native trees that work well in this area.

  • River Birch- only dependable birch for heat and disease tolerance, Fox Valley is a compact form, good for bird nesting
  • Bur Oak- grows almost anywhere
  • Black Oak- The most colorful catkins- up to 4”, nice branching, nice woolly red spring leaves
  • Soft Hickory- Pecan, Bitternut
  • Hard Hickory- Shagbark, Mockernut, Pignut- hard hickories have bright fall color, Bud scales open up and look light bright flowers
  • Black Walnut- Best tree for turf situations if you can control litter
  • Hackberry- Can grow almost anywhere
  • Nyssa sylv.- Swamps, wetlands, Slow growing- plant from a small container, Good clean foliage- nice fall color, Birds eat the fruit
  • Kentucky Coffeetree- alkaline soils, river bottoms, Forms groves from suckers
  • Hawthorns- A hawthorn for any site, C. mollis- most common hawthorn in IL- early ripening fruit, C. viridus- late ripening fruit
  • Ostrya virg. and Carpinus carol.- interchangeable depending on wetness of site, Competition is a big issue when young
  • Sumac- Staghorn and Smooth, Form groves of suckers, Up to 10” fruit clusters- birds eat as last resort in late winter, Cutleaf Smooth- less suckering, 6-8ft, female clone for fruit
  • Understory Shrubs- Lindera, Viburnum, Rubus, Ribes, Corylus, Amelanchier- laevis and arborea