Hey Mr. Green,
I have property where some of the assorted evergreens need to be removed. What are the best bushes or and trees to plant to keep my property earth friendly?
–-Ty, Friday Harbor, Washington
Call me a fundamentalist, or a strict constructionist, or an eco-nostalgia nut, but I recommend planting native bushes and trees as the most earth-friendly way to revamp a landscape. Planting natives on your own property is a personal way to duplicate the ecological restoration being done on some public lands. I have seen the wonderful results of native plant revival in a number of places, from vegetation on a former landfill on the San Francisco Bay, to the wilds of Wisconsin and the famous farm of Aldo Leopold, one of our greatest ecologists and author of the environmental classic Sand County Almanac.
Once your native vegetation thrives, it will probably encourage native species to visit, and you might very well hear and see more and more of them in what could become your own little wildlife refuge. The sound of just one songbird trilling in a reborn habitat will make it worth your effort.
For information on native plants in your ecological niche, you can contact the Washington Native Plant Society http://www.wnps.org/ or firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 527-3210. Anybody in any location can find native plant organizations and more information at the Center for Biodiversity’s Native Plant Conservation Campaign at http://www.plantsocieties.org/ and the North American Native Plant society at http://www.nanps.org/ or simply by searching the Web for “native plants” + your state or province’s name.