2017 Spring Tree Sale
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The 2017 Spring Tree Sale order form is now available! Download the form here, print it out, and mail in your order and payment to 1611 S Hanover St, Suite 105 Hastings MI 49058. Pick up will be on April 21st and 22nd at Charlton Park. We have limited quantities of each species, so don’t delay, get your order in today!
We are very excited to continue to offer a wide variety of native species at our future spring tree sales. What are native species and why are they important? “Native species” is a term used to describe a species, in this case a tree or shrub, which has historically been found in an area without having been brought here by humans.
What makes this so important is that it means that individual plants of these species have a complex combination of traits that have been selected for over millions of years so that they are particularly well-suited to this area and the other organisms that are found here.
What this means for you is that, when planted in the appropriate spot, native plants require less watering and maintenance over the years than non-native species and are more likely to withstand the wide range of extreme weather conditions in this area. They are also more resistant to local “pests”. Native plants are better-suited for sustaining diverse native wildlife communities and are much less likely to become problematic.
Here are profiles of some of the native trees and shrubs we offer. Keep checking back to learn more and let us know if there is a native tree or shrub you would like to see sold next year by contacting us at email@example.com.
American chestnut can grow to nearly 100 feet in height and 10 feet in diameter. Given the right conditions, it can begin producing nuts around 7-8 years and deer, turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse, wood ducks, squirrels, and songbirds all crack open the spiny burs to reveal the tasty chestnuts within. The tree’s small green flowers arranged as long, drooping catkins also attract wildlife. Keep in mind that these trees require at least two individuals for pollination, but it is recommended you plant more than that in case not all survive to maturity. American chestnut is a great tree for timber harvest as well and, if you look hard enough, you can still find chestnut built into many of the barns in the county.
The American chestnut was once a dominant tree in its natural range, a belt stretching from Maine to Missouri across the Great Appalachian Valley. An airborne bark fungus causing chestnut blight was discovered in 1904 and it is estimated that three to four billion individual trees were lost to the disease in the first half of the twentieth century. The chestnut’s range now includes most of the US east of the Mississippi River and Michigan is blessed with one of the few remaining productive groves in the nation.
The American Chestnut Council, based out of Cadillac, is working with BCD to sell trees grown from the nuts produced by that grove. The council has been running this program for decades and the district is thrilled to be able to offer these trees in the spring. Although they are not guaranteed blight-free and are not hybridized to be blight-resistant, if adequately protected from drought and wildlife until mature, the trees should grow well for many years.
American hazelnut is an amazing wildlife shrub with nuts high in nutrition, exceeding acorns and beechnuts. Fox, deer, ruffed grouse, turkey, woodpeckers, and pheasants love these nuts. The hazelnut shrub also produces catkins, which are a valuable winter food source for turkey and ruffed grouse, while its dense branches provide cover. Hazelnut grows to 18 feet tall and 12 feet wide in moist, well-drained soils in full to partial sunlight. In the fall, the leaves change to a deep red or a fiery orange.
Michigan’s majestic state tree, the white pine stretches 150 feet in the sky with a trunk nearly 40 inches wide. The soft evergreen needles provide beauty year round either around your home or in your woods. It grows on a wide variety of sites, particularly thriving in partially shaded spots with sandier soils. As a tall and strong tree, the white pine is great for windbreaks, shading, and creating a grand entrance along your driveway. It is a valuable timber species for cabinets, boxes, and furniture. White pine provides a wide range of benefits for wildlife as well. The seeds and needles are a food source for songbirds, squirrels, and rabbits and the canopy provides strong branches preferred by nesting bald eagles.
Red Osier Dogwood
The vibrant red osier dogwood provides a welcome splash of color in the gray winter months. Its beauty continues throughout the year, offering delicate white flowers in the summer and clusters of plump white berries in the fall. Red osier dogwood is perfect around the edges of ponds and streams where the nitrogen-rich soil is saturated for at least part of the year. The fibrous roots are also useful in anchoring stream banks and prevent erosion. Its uses go back hundreds of years to the Native Americans when they used it for health remedies, basket weaving, and bows and arrows. The berries attract a wide variety of songbirds and game birds to the property and the dense network of twigs provide them cover as well as browse for deer.
Swamp White Oak
The swamp white oak is one of those trees that makes you take a step back and admire all it has to offer. Plant it in full sun and watch it rapidly take hold and grow. Swamp white oak is great for tricky spots because it can grow where the soil is dry, poorly drained and wet, occasionally flooded, or even compacted. One of the first things you will notice is its attractive bi-color leaves, dark green on top and pale green underneath. They change to yellow and sometimes a red purple in the fall. These leaves are sometimes mulched and used to repel nuisance slugs and grubs. Besides the beautiful leaves, these trees produce a buffet of acorns, attracting deer, squirrels, ducks, and turkeys. As the swamp white oak grows ever closer to its typical 50-65 ft. height, you may enjoy watching the myriad animals that take refuge in its stately branches, or taking a lazy summer nap in its shade. If you choose to harvest it, the strong wood can be used in a wide range of timber products. As a species that lives past 300 years, this majestic tree certainly provides a lifetime of enjoyment.
Highbush cranberry is a beneficial shrub to plant in your yard. It is a very durable species that grows to 15 ft. tall with dense, arching branches making it an ideal choice for hedge screening. It prefers areas that are consistently moist but well-drained and in full sun or partial shade. Small white flowers develop in May through July and the vibrant red fruit clusters are produced August through September and persist through winter. The maple shaped leaves change to a showy yellow-red or reddish-purple in the fall. A variety of wildlife are known to feed on the berries including deer, fox, turkey, rabbits, pheasants, robins, cardinals and other songbirds. They are also fit for human consumption and are sometimes used in preserves and jellies. These beautiful red berries are sure to give you a smile amidst the grays of next winter.