Why choose native plants, shrubs and trees?
- To help preserve the food web. Naturally occurring species are the foundation for supporting the insects that provide a food source for local birds. Oak trees alone are capable of supporting over 500 species of caterpillars. Birds depend on caterpillars to feed their young.
- To help combat climate change. Many native trees effectively store greenhouse gases.
- To conserve water. Native plantings are adapted to local conditions and therefore require far less water and are more drought tolerant.
- To aid local wildlife. Fruits, berries and nuts are a healthy food source for birds and other animals. Pollinator plants support bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Increasing the local bird population helps to combat mosquitoes and ticks as well.
Read this comprehensive homeowner's guide to ecological landscaping, prepared by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs