While Janet Carson is undoubtedly an expert in her field, she does often recommend species that are not native & are invasive as well. I have been fighting Winter honeysuckle for years which she recommends for bees. Invasive species crowd out native trees, shrubs & grasses. Proof? Look at Callery pear, Japanese honeysuckle, privet, Kudzu and on & on.
Native species are best to use if you want to feed birds. Oaks are at the top of the list for having caterpillars which birds eat for protein & rearing their young.
In the pine woods northwest of London
UA Cooperative Extension Service. Janet Carson in the Little Rock office is an expert on yards.
Sally Jo Gibson
This is for bird-ers, plant-ers, and animal-ers alike. We live in a neighborhood in eastern Fayetteville which is well-treed and well-lawned. This time of year, we frequently see trucks from one or another of the various lawn maintenance companies, as well as many of our DIY neighbors fertilizing and spreading other stuff on their lawns. The result in the summer is a lot of very green and carefully mowed carpets. We've resisted, with the result that our front and back yards are largely pretty bare ground. We would like some advice on "in-between" choices which are relatively low-maintenance and benign/supportive of birds and other animals (and plants). We're trying to find out more about micro-clover as an alternative to lawn grasses. Thoughts?
Jonathan Perry, Ph.D.