December Landscaping: Plant for the birds!
Native berry-bearing and evergreen plant species provide important habitat and food for overwintering bird species. Additionally, many animal species depend on winter cover to protect their young. These plants can also provide a pop of color to brighten up winters’ dreariest days!
Some native species that provide winter cover and food include American holly (Ilex opaca), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Inkberry (Ilex glabra), Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and White pine (Pinus strobus).
Using native plants in your landscaping helps to preserve the biodiversity of our region. Native plants are adapted to our climate and require less water or fertilizer (if any). Their roots often extend deep into the ground preventing soil erosion while providing organic matter to the soil. Native plants attract wildlife and increase diversity in our landscape all while reducing the threat of non-native plant species. To add winter interest to your home landscape visit your local tree farm or nursery.
Check out the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District website and the Native Plants Program page, cuyahogaswcd.org/programs/native-plants, to find a nursery selling native plants near you.
– Elizabeth Hiser, Watershed Program Manager, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District
Elizabeth Hiser, Watershed Program Manager, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District