Date: 11/4/18 8:48 am
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: Native plant questions
Any native plant experts? And anyone up for a list of questions? :) 
This may get long. I numbered the three areas I'm looking for
suggestions on.

I've not been great at maintaining my yard... in some ways that's
great... the birds LOVE the jungle we have...  love it. So do other
animals. We had 6 deer RIGHT in front of the house a few days in a row
as they ate the leaves that had fallen off our peach tree. Somehow I
didn't realize they ate leaves that had fallen in the fall. But they
sure seemed to like these ones. :)  (oh look, there's one now)

Anyway... Parts of the yard start to get chocked up... vines grow over
trees I want to keep, etc... so I have to clear sections from time to
time. I need to maintain it a LITTLE more than I do but, again, my
procrastination and lack of motivation benefit nature so it works out
most of the time. I've lost a couple trees I bought because I didn't do
a good enough job preventing the shade from smothering them. But for the
most part, it's been good.

*1.* I have a half acre or so of hillside that started out with like two
trees in it when we moved in 14 years ago. I planted a loblolly pine
that's getting big and the rest just filled in on its own... well, I
have two holly trees in there as well. One of them I had to spend some
time clearing briars off so I could find it again... which had me
clearing other areas of trees I didn't necessarily want.
For the moment I'm saving a locust of some sort that's in that area(my
favorite leaf type) and some mulberry trees. I'm going to watch them and
eventually try to keep one male and several females.
But as I clear out some cedars, hickory, and a few others that I don't
want getting BIG in that area, I'm opening spots up that could
potentially benefit some understory trees.
I'm thinking about finding the right places to put in a pawpaw or two,
persimmon, serviceberry and more. I need recommendations for a few
things here. I think I recall the pawpaw being a good understory plant
that should do well even if it gets shaded some. There's a medium/large
walnut and black cherry tree in the area that will shade many of these. 
Persimmon and serviceberry? They do well with partial or more shade? Or
do I need them in the open more?
Also, are there other trees(low) that do well in the shade that also are
beneficial to wildlife?
I MIGHT be able to find some more open spots for things that need a
little more light. Most anything that needs more light will require me
clearing even more... which is okay in some areas.

*2. *Oh, I should ask if anyone has any good links to EXACTLY what kinds
of plants certain species of bird like? I'll have to dig through my
bookmarks as I think I have one somewhere that lists even grasses that
specific birds like.
We have power lines going across the property. The electric company
clears it from time to time and years back they used herbicides without
us knowing. Once I realized that I contacted them and now we just fill
out paperwork every so often to have them not do that. They've been good
about that.
Since you don't want trees under there, we still kind of ignore it and
so for a while, it's almost prairie like. To help them not need to trim
so much, and to clear out an area that should never have gotten
trees(leeching field) that area under the power lines is going to be
widened to make it more of a prairie type area. I'm not good at areas
but, I'm thinking it could end up being an acre or close to it.
I'm considering planting specific plants that might attract specific
birds. Wondering if I could lure in some grasshopper sparrows in the
summer... and maybe if I open it up a bit and make sure there's some
nice thorny stuff in there too, I could draw in a shrike. We had one in
our yard, right near the feeder, some winters ago. It was the first one
we ever saw. It's interesting how many life birds we've seen right in
the yard. :) Anyway... sites and sources? Or plant recommendations for a
small prairie area?  :)
(Side note: uphill of us, one neighbor has about 5 acres I'm guessing,
same as us, but his is almost ALL open field that he brush hogs often
enough that it's not a prairie, but a field... and below us is similar
to us. He maintains more of a lawn than we do but for the most part,
woods in the back, typical "waste area" plants under the power lines. 
Just to give an idea to the surrounding and supporting areas. We're also
not too far from a river and once in a while have a prothonotary show
up, and have had green herons nest in the yard before )

*3.* Yes, there's more.  Landscape gardening suggestions. Bird and
butterfly friendly and as native as possible. I built a flower bed for
my wife last fall because she started obsessing over mums. I keep
telling her I don't care for them a whole lot because EVERYONE has them.
I'm kind of a non-conformist. :)   So I'm looking for suggestions for
flower beds and other landscape plants that will be pretty enough to
satisfy my wife's interest in beauty and be native and beneficial.  Any
ideas welcome. Starting with ground cover and working upwards to shrubs
and all in between. Anything that smells good is a bonus. :)

I feel like there's more questions but that was long enough anyway I
suppose. :)

Also, if anyone needs any of the more common natives, especially
seedlings and such, our yard is a jungle and I can't let them ALL grow.
We have young trees of silver maples, elm, oak, cedar, black chery,
sassafras, and more. I also have an area with some young pine(not sure
what kind) that I don't really feel like digging up but, wont thrive
where they are. they're right at the road's edge. And, there's a
buckthorn with some seedlings under it.
If anyone near Siloam Springs has any need for any of those, let me
know.  Also have a 2 foot tall redbud... not sure I want to part with it
but, not sure where I want it and not sure I want to leave it where it
popped up. HA.

Sorry for the length of this.  I have big plans in my head every year
for trying to keep lots of native and bird friendly plants. I'm hoping
to actually get more done about it now. :)

Daniel Mason



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