Lower Trent Conservation

Why Plant Native Species?

What are native plants? They are plants that evolved with other plants and animals over millennia in a specific location. Non-native plants came from outside of Ontario or Canada and were introduced to our watershed either intentionally or accidentally. Native plants are essential to a healthy natural environment, because they are part of the local ecological food web. They get eaten by a variety of insects like caterpillars of moths and butterflies, which in turn nourish birds and other animals. Non-native plants can taste bad or be toxic to wildlife.

Simply put, native trees, shrubs and wildflowers support more biodiversity than non-native ones. Take the example of a bur oak tree growing on a front lawn. Oaks can feed over 500 species of butterflies, where as a non-native plant like Tree of Heaven (native to Asia) support only six species of butterflies. So imagine planting just one native tree on your property, and perhaps some of your neighbours doing the same. The neighbourhood butterflies and birds would definitely notice!

Anyone with a lawn, backyard garden or any little bit of land needing care can help nature out. Even planting just one native tree, or a few native shrubs or some wildflowers can have a positive impact on your neighbourhood’s ecology. That’s because our wildlife depends on native plants for sustenance.

You can purchase tree and shrub seedlings, tree saplings and wildflowers through Lower Trent Conservation’s Native Plant Sale. All the available native species are part of the ecological food web of the Lower Trent watershed and the Bay of Quinte region. This means you can plant them knowing they will directly benefit nature.

Starting each fall orders are accepted for pick up and planting in the spring. Ordering early ensures the best selection of species. If you would like to receive notifications regarding the Native Plant Sale including ordering deadlines, species availability, etc., sign up for email notifications here.

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