Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Tree and Shrub Descriptions for State Nursery-Raised Seedlings

All seedlings typically range from 5-14 inches in height, depending on the species and the year. Species are bare-root stock unless otherwise indicated.

Jump to:

Conifer Species

Minimum seedling height 6". See Nursery Stock Availability page for status of availability since some species sell out quickly.

bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder indicates native species that support at least 60 species of insects that birds rely on to raise their young. (96% of our songbirds require insect larvae to raise their young.)

bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators indicates native species that provide food for pollinators. The icons match those used within the brochure.

Austrian Pine

Latin name: Pinus nigra
Height: 50 to 80 feet
Width: 20 to 40 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, well-drained soil.
Physical Description: Evergreen conifer tree. Dense pyramidal shape when young, becoming more open and flat-topped with age. Shiny dark green stiff needles, 3 inches to 5 inches long, sharp tipped, arranged in bundles of 2. Cones stiff, 2 to 3 inches long. Bark dark gray brown becoming deeply furrowed.
Wildlife Value: Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals.
Uses: Christmas trees, windbreak, pulp.
Interesting Facts: Native of Europe, popular for landscape planting because more tolerant of heavy soils and pollution than many native pines.

Pitch Pine

Latin name: Pinus rigida
Height: 40 to 60 feet
Width: 20 to 30 feet
Growth rate: Medium to slow
Site requirements: Full sun; well-drained soil. Does well on dry, rocky sites and in sterile, sandy soils. Grows well in coastal areas and sand dunes.
Physical description: Evergreen tree. Form rounded and conical when young, becoming open with age. Foliage yellowish-green, needles in bundles of three, 2 to 5 inches long. Cones reddish-brown with distinct spine on each cone scale. Needles may sprout directly from bark, a unique trait that is part of pitch pine's fire adaptation.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals. Bark eaten by porcupines.
Uses: Coastal planting, restoration of inland pine barrens

Red Pine

red pine needles and cone
red pine needles and cone

Latin name: Pinus resinosa
Height: 50 to 80 feet
Width: 30 to 40 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, well drained soil. Does well on sterile sandy soils.
Physical Description: Evergreen tree. Form rounded and conical with dense foliage when young, becoming more open with age. Develops very long straight trunk, especially in plantations. Needles dark green, in bundles of two. Cone reddish- brown, 2 to 3 inches long, stiff with thickened scale tips. Attached directly to branches, persistent. Bark reddish, becoming gray, platy and flaking with age.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals. Bark eaten by porcupines.
Uses: Poles, Christmas trees, lumber, pulp.
Interesting Facts: One of the primary reforestation species during early to mid 20th century. Ability to grow in dry sandy soil led to widespread planting of red pine for reclamation of abandoned and ruined farmland. These pine plantations stabilized the soil and provided shelter for eventual regeneration of hardwoods. Long straight trunks of plantation trees made outstanding poles for telephone lines, log buildings and pole construction. Also widely planted around reservoirs for water quality protection.

Scotch Pine

Latin name: Pinus sylvestris
Height: 30 to 60 feet
Width: 20 to 40 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, well drained soil.
Physical Description: Evergreen tree. Rounded conical form with dense foliage when young, growing more open with age. Foliage bluish-green. Needles in bundles of two, 1 ½ inches to 3 inches long, thick and twisted. Cones small and stiff, 1 to 2 inches long. Bark red-brown, scaly when young, becoming grayer and furrowed with age. Older trees very distinctive because upper trunk and limbs are reddish and lower trunk is gray. Danish or Boonville Strain.
Wildlife Value: Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals. Bark eaten by porcupines.
Uses: Christmas trees, windbreak, pulp.
Interesting Facts: Has become one of the top Christmas tree species because of long-lasting needles and dense sturdy foliage.

White Pine

Latin name: Pinus strobus
Height: 60 to 100 feet
Width: 30 to 50 feet
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Site Requirements: Sun, well drained soil.
Physical Description: Evergreen tree. Rounded conical shape with dense foliage when young, becoming more open with age. Straight long trunk. Foliage bluefish-green, soft looking. Needles in bundles of five, very thin, 3 to 5 inches long. Cones narrow and flexible, 4 to 8 inches long with thick tipped scales. Bark dark gray-brown, smooth when young, becoming rough and furrowed with age.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Cover and nest sites, especially for larger birds. Height and open branches on old trees make white pine a prime species for large raptor nests. Large diameter of trunk especially valuable as nest site for pileated woodpeckers. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals. Bark eaten by porcupines.
Uses: Lumber, pulp, poles, windbreak. Used for furniture, paneling and boat planking. Soft white wood is prized by carvers because it cuts and sands cleanly without any fuzzing.
Interesting Facts: In colonial times, tall straight white pines marked by British as king's pines to reserve them for use as masts by royal navy ships. Tallest-growing tree species in Northeast growing to 120 feet tall and with trunks up to 4 feet in diameter. Most valuable timber species in historic times, used for almost every purpose.

Norway Spruce

Norway spruce forest
Norway spruce forest

Latin name: Picea abies
Height: 60 to 100 feet.
Width: 30 to 50 feet
Growth Rate: Fast to medium.
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade. Moist, well drained soil. Tolerates very wide range of soil types.
Physical Description: Evergreen conifer. Conical shape, older trees with long upswept branches. Dark green needles, ¾ inch to 1 inch long, four sided with sharp tip. Leaf scar is a raised woody peg. Cone red-brown, very large, 6 inches to 8 inches long with thin stiff scales. Bark gray-brown, smooth when young, becoming rough and platy with age.
Wildlife Value: Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals.
Uses: Lumber, windbreak, Christmas trees, pulp. Soft, light wood is valued for soundboards of musical instruments.
Interesting Facts: Big outdoor Christmas trees, such as those at Rockefeller Center, are often Norway spruce. Grows very large, and is most widely planted spruce for windbreaks and plantations.

White Spruce

Latin name: Picea glauca
Height: 40 to 60 feet
Width: 15 to 20 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, well drained soil. Hardy to zone 2. Does not like shade.
Physical Description: Evergreen conifer tree. Full pyramidal shape when young, growing to tall narrow conical form. Foliage dull blue-green. Sharp-tipped, four-sided needles ½ inch to ¾ inch long, pointing upward. Cones brown with wavy scales, 1 ½ inches to 2 inches long. Bark brown to grayish brown, becoming rough and flaky.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by many birds and small mammals.
Uses: Lumber, windbreak, pulp, Christmas trees.
Interesting Facts: Inner bark is silvery white, hence the name white spruce.

Douglas Fir

Latin name: Pseudotsuga menziesii
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Width: 20 to 40 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade. Moist well drained soil.
Physical Description: Evergreen conifer tree. Dense foliage when young, becoming tall open and conical with age. Foliage often grayish green to blue-green, needles 1 inch to 1 ½ inch long. Cones oval, light brown, 3 to 4 inches long, with long tongue-like bracts hanging out between the scales.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Cover and nest sites. Seeds eaten by birds and rodents.
Uses: Christmas trees , lumber, pulp. Popular as Christmas tree because of long-lasting attractive foliage.
Interesting Facts: Native to western U.S., grows very tall and large in coastal forests and is major timber species in Pacific Northwest, and in the Rocky Mountains.

European Larch

Latin name: Larix decidua
Height: 60 to 80 feet
Width: 25 to 30 feet
Growth Rate: Fast to medium
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil. Hardy to zone 3.
Physical Description: Deciduous conifer tree. Conical open habit with soft green foliage. Turns yellow in fall, then drops needles. Soft flexible needles 1 to 1 ½ inches long, bright to dark green, arranged in whorls of 30 to 40 on short woody spurs. Twigs gray to yellowish, furrowed, without hair. Cones stiff, oval, 1 to 1 ½ inches long with wavy edged scales. Cones often persist for several seasons, and old silvery cones may be present alongside new brown cones. Bark thin and grayish brown, becoming rough and furrowed with age.
Wildlife Value: Seeds eaten by birds and rodents. Provides cover and nest sites for birds.
Uses: Lumber, pulp. Strong heavy rot-resistant wood used for construction, poles, railroad ties. One of the top lumber species in Europe, usually grown in plantations.
Interesting Facts: Makes a good nurse tree for shade tolerant hardwood species.

Japanese Larch

Latin name: Larix kaempferi
Height: 70 to 90 feet
Width: 25 to 40 feet
Growth rate: Fast
Site requirements: Sun and moist, well-drained soil
Physical description: Deciduous conifer tree. Conical, open habit with soft, blue-green foliage. Turns yellow in fall, then drops needles. Bark thin and grayish-brown, becoming rough and furrowed with age.
Wildlife value: Seeds eaten by birds and rodents. Provides cover and nest sites for birds.
Uses: Lumber, pulpwood. Strong, heavy, rot-resistant wood used for construction

(back to top)

Hardwood Species

Height: 5" - 14". New York source when available. See Nursery Stock Availability page for status of availability since some species sell out quickly.

bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder indicates native species that support at least 60 species of insects that birds rely on to raise their young. (96% of our songbirds require insect larvae to raise their young.)

bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators indicates native species that provide food for pollinators. The icons match those used within the brochure.

American Hazelnut

Latin name: Corylus Americana
Height: 5 to 15 feet
Growth rate: Medium fast
Site requirements: Sun to partial sun; dry to moist soil. Well-drained soil preferable, but will grow at wetland margins and on dry, rocky slopes
Physical description: Deciduous multi-stemmed shrub. Dense, compact canopy. Slender, flexible stems with smooth, grayish-brown bark. Leaves alternate, 2 to 4 inches long, roughly oval, with coarse double-toothed margin. Leaves dark green above, lighter green below. Fall color is excellent, often a coppery orange, but also many shades of red and yellow.
Wildlife value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Nuts eagerly sought by many wildlife species. Catkins and buds are important winter food source for grouse. Host to more than 100 moth and butterfly species.
Uses: Wildlife planting, riparian restoration, native food plant

American Hornbeam

Latin name: Carpinus caroliniana
Height: 15 to 25 feet
Width: 10 to 15 feet
Growth rate: Slow to medium
Site requirements: Partial sun to shade. Moist, well-drained soil. Can tolerate seasonal flooding. Will grow on drier sites, but not very drought tolerant.
Physical description: Small deciduous tree. Crown broad to conical, trunk and branches often somewhat irregular and twisted. Leaves alternate, 2 to 4 inches long, with smooth, bright green upper surfaces and lighter undersides. Bark is tight and smooth like beech's, but usually a darker shade of gray. Trunk and large limbs have a sculpted look of "flexed muscles."
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Seeds, buds, and catkins eaten by many birds and squirrels. Since hornbeam is often found near water, it is frequently used by beavers for construction as well as for food. Host plant for at least 60 species of moths and butterflies.
Uses: Useful for sites too restricted for a large tree. Street tree candidate; riparian plantings

Black Walnut

Latin name: Juglans nigra
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Width: 30 to 60 feet
Growth Rate: Medium fast
Site Requirements: sun, deep moist well drained soil
Physical Description: Deciduous tree. Often has rather short trunk and open spreading branches. Compound leaves, 12 to 24 inches long with 10 to 24 narrow leaflets. Terminal leaflet often absent. Nuts almost round, about 1 inch long covered with thick husk. Unripe nuts have green husk and are perfectly round 1 ½ inch spheres. Husk turns brown and begins to disintegrate when nuts are ripe. Bark dark brown with narrow ridges.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Rich oily nutmeats are high calorie food for squirrels who open the nuts, and also for birds who clean out the shells.
Uses: Primary use is lumber from the valuable dark brown heartwood. Prized for furniture. Nuts are used for baking. Nut husks were once an important source of brown dye. Ripe nut husks will stain hands.
Interesting Facts: Spreads very readily where there are nut-bearing trees, because squirrels bury so many of the nuts.

Black Cherry

Latin name: Prunus serotina
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Width: 20 to 40 feet
Growth Rate: Fast to medium
Site Requirements: Full sun, deep, moist well drained soil. On good sites black cherry can grow very large, with a long straight trunk.
Physical Description: Deciduous tree. Dense pyramidal form when young, developing more drooping branches with age. Leaves shiny, finely toothed, oval shaped with pointed tip. Fall color often in shades of reds and oranges. Small white flowers in narrow, hanging clusters followed by small reddish black, sweet berries. Bark on young trees smooth shiny dark gray brown with prominent horizontal lenticels. Older bark very distinctive blackish flakes resembling burnt potato chips.
Wildlife Value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Stems browsed by deer and rabbits. Fruit eaten by many birds and mammals. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Heartwood is beautiful reddish brown color, hard and strong. Used for furniture, veneer and dimensional lumber.
Interesting Facts: One of our most valuable hardwoods and prized since colonial times for fine furniture.

Butternut

Latin name: Juglans cinerea
Height: 40 to 60 feet
Width: 20 to 35 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Sun; deep, moist, well-drained soil
Physical description: Deciduous tree. Open, branching habit. Large, compound leaves, 15 to 25 inches long, with 7 to 17 oval leaflets. Oval-shaped nuts. Bark light gray with distinctive diamond-shaped ridges.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder The very rich nut is valuable food for wildlife such as squirrels
and birds.
Uses: Rich, sweet nuts used for baking. Lumber light golden-brown takes very fine finish, used for cabinetry and paneling

Hybrid Poplar

Latin name: Populus deltoides x Populus sp. (Eastern cottonwood crosses with other poplar species)
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Width: 30 to 50 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil. The cottonwood parent is a riparian species and grows in floodplain areas.
Physical Description: Deciduous tree. Upright, somewhat spreading habit. Leaves large rounded triangle shape like cottonwood, 2 to 5 inches long. Bark variable, usually light gray brown.
Wildlife Value: Shoots and leaves provide browse for deer and rabbits. Cover and nest sites for birds. Soft wood on old trees is easily excavated by woodpeckers for nest cavities.
Uses: Pulp, biofuel, windbreaks
Interesting Facts: Extremely fast growing, and can be coppiced for fuel crops.

Flowering Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus florida
Height: 25'
Width: 25'
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: The flowering dogwood is very versatile-growing in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It prefers moist conditions. It grows best in full sun and partial shade.
Physical Description: A small deciduous tree that blooms April-May, with distinctive white bracts (modified leaves) that give the appearance of large, white flowers. Produces glossy red fruit that is inedible to humans, but widely eaten by birds. Provides great fall color, with leaves turning red-purple. Grows in a rounded shape. The flowering dogwood is a good choice for planting near utility lines, larger buildings or patios. This tree has dark green leaves that are 4-8" long and oval or ovate in shape.
Wildlife Value:bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder The seed, fruit, flowers, twigs, bark and leaves are all used as food by various animals. Nearly 40 species of birds-including ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail and wild turkey-are known to eat the fruit. Large and small mammals such as chipmunks, foxes and deer also browse the fruit and bark.
Interesting Facts: This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mountain Ash

Latin name: Sorbus spp.
Height: 15 to 30 feet
Width: 15 to 25 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Full sun; moist, acidic, well-drained soil. Not tolerant of urban conditions. Prefers cool, mountain climates.
Physical description: Small deciduous tree or shrub. Normally has an open, rounded crown that is noteworthy. Member of the rose family (not a true ash tree), but has ash-like compound-pinnate leaves with orangish-red fall color. Small, white flowers in spring and bright red berries in fall. Bark is smooth and gray with pronounced lenticels when young and forms scales with age.
Wildlife value: Birds and small mammals enjoy the autumn fruits
Uses: Berries can be made into jellies

Sugar Maple

Latin name: Acer saccharum
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Width: 30 to 60 feet
Growth rate: Fast
Site requirements: Full to partial sun; moist, well-drained soils and prefers slightly acidic soils
Physical description: Deciduous tree. Dense, rounded crown with notable trunk. Bark smooth, light gray on young trees, becoming shaggy and furrowed on older trees.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Deer browse, seeds and buds eaten by mammals. Attracts pollinating insects
Uses: Maple syrup production. Fast-growing shade tree

Red Oak

Latin name: Quercus rubra
Height: 60 to 80 feet
Width: 40 to 50 feet
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil. Grows well on upland sites. most cold-tolerant oak species, hardy to zone 4.
Physical Description: Deciduous tree. Dense foliage, pyramidal form when young, developing long straight trunk in forest conditions, and shorter thick trunk in open situations. Rounded crown, usually more symmetrical than white oak. Leaves glossy, 5 to 8 inches long with lobes ending in sharp points. Fall color ranges from vivid red to russet brown. Big acorns, about 1 inch long, with very shallow caps like little berets. Ripen in two years, bitter taste. Bark smooth when young, becoming ridged with age.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Foliage browsed by deer. Acorns a major food source for wildlife species, especially deer, bear, turkeys, squirrels and many birds, especially jays and woodpeckers.
Uses: Very strong heavy, reddish wood, used for beams, framing, flooring and furniture. Tolerant of urban conditions and does well in larger areas like parks.
Interesting Facts: Unusually fast growing for an oak.

Bear Oak

Latin name: Quercus ilicifolia
Height: 6 to 20 feet
Width: 6 to 10 feet
Growth rate: Medium to slow
Site requirements: Full sun; well-drained soil. Grows in pine barrens and on dry, rocky slopes. Very drought tolerant.
Physical description: Small tree or multi-stemmed shrub. The leaves are densely arranged on thin, angular branches, often with numerous small acorns. Fall color usually vivid orange or dark red.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Excellent food and cover for many wildlife species. Acorns especially valuable food source for turkeys and grouse. An important food for many insect species.
Uses: Many potential uses in drought-resistant landscaping

River Birch

Latin name: Betula nigra
Height: 40 to 70 feet
Width: 5 to 10 feet
Growth rate: Fast
Site requirements: Sun to partial shade; moist, acidic soil; heat-tolerant
Physical description: Deciduous tree. Pyramidal to rounded form, often with multiple trunks. Leaves triangular to diamond-shaped, margins double-toothed.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Seeds, buds, and catkins eaten by many birds and small mammals. Foliage browsed by deer
Uses: Great for streamside plantings because it is adaptable to clay soils and wetter areas

Wild Apple

Latin name: Malus pumila
Height: 20 to 40 feet
Width: 10 to 30 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil
Physical description: Deciduous tree. Form variable, sometimes with short trunk and wide, spreading crown, or upright and pyramidal with narrower crown. Leaves oval, light green with fuzzy, whitish undersides, growing from short spur shoots on older branches. Clusters of white flowers with pink buds produced on spurs, followed by familiar apple fruit.
Wildlife value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder Fruit and seeds eaten by many species, bark and twigs are favored winter browse. Flowers attract pollinating insects and birds.
Uses: Primarily planted for wildlife, but also have value as genetic resource for improvement of domestic apples.

(back to top)

Shrubs/Small Trees

Minimum Height 5". New York source. See Nursery Stock Availability page for status of availability since some species sell out quickly.

bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder indicates native species that support at least 60 species of insects that birds rely on to raise their young. (96% of our songbirds require insect larvae to raise their young.)

bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators indicates native species that provide food for pollinators. The icons match those used within the brochure.

American Plum

Latin name: Prunus americanus
Height: 5-30 feet
Width: 5 to 20 feet
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade. Soil moist, well drained.
Physical Description: Small tree or spreading shrub. In the wild, grows as small understory tree in open forests, but also grows in open areas. Can spread by root suckers. Broad open crown and short trunk. Young bark smooth, dark gray, becoming rough and scaly with age. Branches may have spines. Blooms in spring before leaves open. Flowers white, about 1 inch across with five petals and are very fragrant. Leaves 2 to 4 inches long, oval with pointed tip and finely toothed margin. Upper surface is dark green, looks rather rough textured. Fruit about 1 inch in diameter, occurring singly or in clusters, yellow to red when ripe. Ripe fruit become soft and succulent, and have delicious flavor. Single stone (seed) is not as large as might be expected in a wild fruit.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Important pollinator plant, especially for native bees. Much used by wildlife for food, browse and cover.
Uses: Beautiful native fruit tree with outstanding flowers. Used for wildlife planting, windbreaks, and restoration planting. Good for erosion control because of spreading root system. Can be used as native hedge plant.
Interesting Facts: The taste of wild plum is much more intense than that of larger cultivated plums, and a reminder that our wild fruit species are well worth growing for people as well as for wildlife. There is a special value to seasonal wild fruits which are not available year around (except as preserves). They are fruits to anticipate and to savor.

Arrowwood

Latin name: Viburnum dentatum
Height: 6 to 10 feet
Width: 4 to 8 feet
Growth Rate: Medium to fast
Site Requirements: Sun to light shade. Soil well drained to wet. Observed growing on open sites ranging from dry hillsides to cattail wetlands.
Physical Description: Deciduous multi-stemmed shrub. General form - straight slender trunks with much branched stems forming a rounded crown. New shoots are straight as an arrow. Bark grayish brown, smooth. Leaves are opposite, 1 to 3 inches long, shining green on top, lighter below. Leaf shape ranges from pointed oval to pointed elliptical, strongly veined, and has regular, rather coarse teeth. Arrowwood foliage is quite distinctive with its markedly opposite leaves, clear fresh green color and rather crisp texture. Fall color is remarkably varied, ranging from purples, reds and pinks to shades of orange peach and yellow. Flowers small, creamy white, in flat top clusters 2 to 4 inches in diameter, nicely held above the leaves. Berries are dark blue to black, rather small, about ¼ inch in diameter, in flat topped clusters, sometimes with pinkish stems. The fruit is held far longer than most shrubs, usually well into winter.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Outstanding shrub for wildlife, especially as winter food for birds. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Very versatile shrub for riparian areas, wildlife planting, and wetland restoration. Also useful for multi-species living snow fences and for wildlife fence rows.
Interesting Facts: The very straight new shoots were used to make arrows, hence the name.

Northern Bayberry

Latin name: Morella pensylvanica, formerly Myrica pensylvanica
Height: 5 to 10 feet
Width: 5-10 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade, moist, well drained soil. tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but as one of the few shrubs which can fix nitrogen, grows well on even the poorest sandy soils. Extremely salt tolerant. Hardy in Saratoga.
Physical Description: A remarkably versatile shrub, bayberry is equally at home in Long Island sand dunes and in wooded inland fens. This sun-loving shrub is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but as one of the few shrubs which can fix nitrogen, it can grow well on even the poorest sandy soils. In warmer zones it is often evergreen, holding its aromatic leathery green leaves all winter. Deciduous (sometimes evergreen) spreading shrub. Multi-stemmed with dense foliage, rounded form. Leaves glossy, fragrant, 2 to 4 inches long, narrow oval with teeth near the tip. Leaves are alternate along the stem, often clustered densely at branch tips. Female plants have 1/8 inch waxy gray berries on lower stems.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder The berries are held well into winter and are eaten by many bird species
Uses: Bayberry makes a fine urban or roadside shrub because of its high salt tolerance and its resistance to insects and diseases. It can be pruned as a hedge or allowed to spread as a low maintenance ground cover shrub.
Interesting Facts: The leaves make great potpourri, and the waxy gray berries are the source of fragrant bayberry candles.

Beach Plum

Latin name: Prunus maritima
Height: 4 to 10 feet
Width: 4 to 10 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun, well drained soil. Although it is a coastal species, beach plum grows on a wide range of sites and is hardy in Saratoga. It prefers well drained soils, dislikes clay. Highly salt tolerant
Physical Description: Deciduous spread shrub. Usually multi-stemmed but may grow as single stemmed small tree. Leaves alternate, oval and finely toothed, 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long. White flowers with 5 petals, fruit round plums ¾ inch to 1 inch long, yellow or red to black with whitish bloom. Bark on young stems shiny reddish brown with horizontal lenticels, becoming rough and dark brown on older stems.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators A top wildlife food. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Coastal planting, wildlife areas, dune stabilization. Small size, interesting form and salt tolerance make beach plum an attractive choice for many urban and suburban situations, particularly for natural areas and wildlife plantings.
Interesting Facts: Beach plum thrives far from beaches. At the Saratoga State Tree Nursery, the beach plums in the seed production orchard have excellent crops of plump, delicious-looking, little plums. Alas for lovers of beach plum jelly, these plums are strictly reserved for seed to grow more seedlings.

Bristly Locust

Latin name: Robinia hispida
Height: 3 to 8 feet
Width: 3 to 8 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun, medium to dry soils. Because it is a nitrogen-fixing species, it can grow on extremely poor soils. Has been grown on acid soils with pH as low as 3.5, and on alkaline soils with pH up to 8. Note: Despite its small size and beautiful flowers, this shrub should not be planted on confined sites or in yards. It is intended for reclamation of mined land and other barren sites where its fast spread by root sprouting is an advantage rather than a liability.
Physical Description: Deciduous running shrub. Stems upright, with branched flared crowns. Will spread naturally by root sprouts into extensive thickets, especially in eroding soil. Intriguing looking shrub because it is literally covered with stiff reddish brown bristles, especially on young stems. Older bark is brownish with conspicuous lenticels. Leaves alternate, 7 to 9 inches long, compound, with 9 to 13 leaflets. Leaf stems have a pair of small spines at the base. Leaflets oval, about 1 inch long, soft green above and lighter green below. Flowers are stunning, big hanging clusters of rose pink, pea-like blossoms each almost an inch long. They are followed by 2 to 3 inch long, hanging seed pods. Although the pods are fairly flat, they look much plumper because of their thick coat of stiff, upright, reddish bristles. The plants look quite fierce with their bristles, but aside from the paired thorns at bases of the leaves, they are not as thorny as they appear to be. The bristles are more like scrub brush bristles, stiff enough to stand straight, but flexible enough to be easily bent.
Wildlife Value: Flowers have value for honey, thickets provide some cover for various species. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Reclamation of mined land, slope stabilization and soil improvement. Especially useful for anchoring eroding soils and gravels because exposed roots quickly develop suckers.

Buttonbush

Latin name: Cephalanthus occidentalis
Height: 5 to 10 feet
Width: 4 to 8 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, moist to wet soil. Will grow on well drained sites with adequate moisture. Often found in cattail marshes and pond shorelines.
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Often multi-stemmed, but may have single trunk. May sometimes show distinctive right angle branching. Habit ranges from rounded, dense shrub to open irregular habit in the wild. Leaves opposite, 3 to 4 inches long, rather leathery, smooth margin.
Wonderful snowball-like spheres of tiny white fragrant flowers about 1 inch in diameter. Decorative round green seed heads on long stems turn brown when ripe. Bark smooth on young plants, developing flaking texture.
Wildlife Value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Nectar plant for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Seeds eaten by many birds.
Uses: Riparian restoration, rain gardens, wildlife habitat and butterfly gardens
Interesting Facts: Attractive flaking bark, unusual branching, and the round seed heads make buttonbush striking even in winter. Truly unique in bloom.

Eastern Red Cedar

Latin name: Juniperus virginiana
Height: 10 to 40 feet
Width: 6 to 20 feet
Growth Rate: Slow
Site Requirements: Full sun, well drained soil. Often found on dry ridges and rock outcrops. Does well on limestone soils as well as more acid soils. Although highly drought resistant, it will make better growth in well drained, deep soils - as long as it has full sun.
Physical Description: Evergreen tree with dense foliage. Very fragrant. Narrow habit when young, becoming more spreading and conical with age.Has two types of foliage, juvenile and adult. Juvenile foliage (found on seedlings and young trees): bluefish-green needles ¼ inch long, with sharp ends. Adult foliage: smooth, dark olive green, 1/16 long, scale-like needles held close to twigs. Separate male and female trees. Males have tiny yellowish pollen cones. Females produce berry-like, blue cones about 1/8 to ¼ inch in diameter. Bark thin, red-brown and gray, shredding in strips.
Wildlife Value: Berries are important food for many birds. Dense foliage provides good cover for many species. Foliage browsed by deer.
Uses: Wildlife, reclamation planting on dry sites. Aromatic red heartwood is used to line cedar closets. Wood is very rot-resistant, but uses limited due to small size. Used for rough, but long-lasting, fence posts.
Interesting Facts: Traditional wood for cedar pencils.

Gray Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus racemosa
Height: 4 to 10 feet
Width: 4 to 10 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun to light shade, well drained to moist soils. Quite drought tolerant.
Physical Description: Deciduous spreading shrub. Upright habit, stems not sprawling. Spreads by root suckers, will form a smoothly rounded mound. Thin red-brown to gray twigs. Opposite leaves, oval to elliptical shape, 2 ½ inches long, medium green. Clusters of small white flowers followed by white berries on bright red-pink stems. Bark light gray, smooth in younger plants, becoming rougher with age. Leaves turn a distinctive purplish-burgundy color in fall, which contrasts nicely with the white berries held on conspicuous hot pink stems.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Berries are a bird magnet, flowers attract butterflies and other pollinating insects.
Uses: Soil stabilization, windbreaks, fence rows.
Interesting Facts: Gray dogwood, once considered a bit of a weed for its ability to spread in disturbed areas, is one of the few native shrubs that can persist along roadsides invaded by buckthorn and shrub honeysuckle. In the wild, gray dogwood grows on a remarkably wide range of sites, from wetland edges to extremely dry rocky areas. Tough as nails.

Highbush Cranberry

Latin name: Viburnum opulus
Height: 8 to 12 feet
Width: 8 to 12 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Upright growth habit. Leaves opposite, 3 lobed, 2 to 4 inches long. Fall color shades of red. White flowers in flat topped clusters, followed by bright red berries.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Berries a top favorite of many birds. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Hedges, windbreaks, riparian planting, wildlife habitat
Interesting Facts: Not a true cranberry. There are two subspecies of highbush cranberry, one European and one American, both equally attractive to birds.

Nannyberry

Latin name: Viburnum lentago
Height: 8 to 15 feet
Width: 4 to 10 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil. Will tolerate wide range of soil types including limestone soils.
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Form often tall, rather narrow form with rounded top. Usually multi-stemmed. Leaves glossy, oval, 2 to 4 inches long with very finely serrated margin. Leaf stems may be slightly winged. Small white flowers in flat umbels, followed by clusters of oval, 3/8 inch berries which turn dark blue then black. Bark is dark grey, looks nearly black.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators A favorite of many birds. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Wildlife, hedges and windbreaks, riparian habitat restoration.
Interesting Facts: One of the taller viburnums, can make attractive small tree when grown as single stem.

Ninebark

Latin name: Physocarpus opulifolius
Height: 5 to 8 feet
Width: 4 to 6 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Prefers full sun to partial shade; moist, well drained soil. Will tolerate wide range of soil types, including shallow, rocky soils.
Physical description: Deciduous spreading shrub, usually multi-stemmed. Mature branches have reddish, flaking, exfoliated bark that gives the plant a distinct look. Small, pink or white clustered flowers appearing in spring.
Wildlife value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Attracts pollinating insects
Uses: Can be used for erosion control on streambanks, good for planting in harsh conditions

Winterberry

Latin name: Ilex verticillata
Height: 5 feet to 15 feet
Width: 3 feet to 12 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Grows well in wet or acidic soil. Is also versatile enough to grow in dry or sandy soil. This shrub is erosion and air pollution tolerant. It prefers full sun to partial shade.
Physical Description: Medium sized shrub with grey to black bark with knobby lenticels. The branches are densely set and grow upwards in a zigzagging pattern. The leaves are an oblong shape that is sharply double-toothed. The leaves turn yellow or maroon in the fall. The winterberry plant produces small white flowers and scarlet red berry-like fruit that remain on the plant until mid winter.
Wildlife Value:bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinatorsThe fruit of the winterberry is eaten by small mammals and nearly 50 species of birds. Rabbits, moose, and deer browse on the bark of this plant.
Uses: The persistent bright red fruits of this shrub make it a popular shrub for landscaping. Can be used in hedges or rain gardens.
Interesting Facts: This shrub is sometimes nicknamed "fever bush", as its fruits were traditionally used medicinally by Native Americans.

Prairie Willow

Latin name: Salix humilis var. humilis
Height: 2 to 8 feet
Width: 4 to 8 feet
Growth Rate: Medium to slow.
Site Requirements: Sun to light shade. Soil well drained to moist. Upland species which grows in drier habitats than most willows. Does well on sandy soil.
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Can form dense thickets, but not an aggressive spreader. Leaves alternate, 2 to 4 inches long and ½ to ¾ inch wide. Leaf shape is typically oblong with a rounded tip. Upper surface is grayish green to dark green, and not shiny. Lower surface is lighter green to whitish, softly fuzzy, with prominently raised veins. The edges of the leaves are often revolute (slightly rolled under). Unlike many somewhat similar willows, prairie willow does not have noticeable stipules (leafy projections at the bases of the leaves). Blooms very early in spring before leaves emerge. Male and female catkins on separate plants.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Special value for native bees because it provides early spring food resources when few other plants are in bloom. Like other willows, it is valuable to wildlife for food and cover. Leaves and bark valuable for browse, buds and catkins eaten by many birds.
Uses: Used for wildlife habitat, restoration planting and for soil stabilization. Can be used for bioengineering on sites too dry for most willows. Can be coppiced to produce willow rods for basketry.
Interesting Facts: One of New York's few upland willows which thrives in seemingly willow-unfriendly dry areas, such as the Albany Pine Bush. Other upland willows are the comparatively rare dwarf prairie willow, Salix humilis var. tristis, also at home in the Pine Bush, and the endangered sand dune willow, Salix cordata, which grows in Great Lakes shoreline sand dunes.

Red Osier Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus sericea
Height: 6 to 9 feet
Width: 6 to 9 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade. Moist, well drained soil to seasonally wet soils. Will grow in wetlands.
Physical Description: Deciduous spreading shrub. Multi-stemmed, growing in wide mound, spreads by rooting stems. Bright red twigs and younger branches. Leaves opposite, oval, 1 ½ to 3 inches long. Clusters of small white flowers, followed by white berries. Bark smooth and red, becoming gray and slightly furrowed on older stems.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Flowers draw butterflies and other pollinators, berries eaten by many birds, stems and leaves browsed by deer and small mammals
Uses: Soil stabilization, wildlife planting, hedges, windbreaks, basketry.

Sand Cherry

Latin name: Punus pumila var. depressa
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Width: 3 to 10 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Sun; moist, well-drained soil. Grows well on unstable shifting substrates such as gravel bars or inland coastal sand dunes.
Physical description: Deciduous trailing shrub. Leaves gray-green, long and fairly narrow, with rounded tips. White, five-petaled flowers on lower half of shoots, followed by dark red fruit. Bark on trailing branches typically reddish to dark brown.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Fruit is eaten by many animals and birds. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Used for riparian planting and soil stabilization, it also makes an excellent dense ground cover

Black Chokeberry

Latin name: Aronia melanocarpa
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Width: 3 to 6 feet
Growth rate: Medium
Site requirements: Full sun to partial shade; tolerates wet soils, including bog-like conditions
Physical description: Deciduous upright shrub. Flowers in spring with five to six white flowers in each cluster. Leaves are a deep green and glossy, with a finely toothed edge. Fruits in fall with dark black berries that contrast with its purplish-red autumn leaves.
Wildlife value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Known to attract a variety of birds with its fruit
Uses: Hedges, rain gardens, supporting bird habitat

Silky Dogwood

Latin name: Cornus amomum ssp. amomum, also known as swamp dogwood
Height: 6 to 10 feet
Width: 6 to 10 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade, well drained to wet soils. Needs some moisture, is not highly drought tolerant.
Physical Description: Deciduous spreading shrub. Multi-stemmed shrub with dense foliage and rounded form. New stems reddish purple with fine silky hair. Flexible stems will root where they are in contact with the ground. Leaves opposite, oval with sharp tip, 2 to 4 inches long. Clusters of small white flowers in spring, followed by blue berries which ripen to black. Young bark smooth, greenish or brown, becoming brown, slightly furrowed .
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Flowers attract butterflies and other pollinating insects. Fruit eaten by many birds. Leaves and twigs browsed by deer, rabbits.
Uses: Riparian restoration, stream bank stabilization, windbreaks.
Interesting Facts: One of the more shade tolerant shrubs for moist soil. Much used for restoration and stabilization because of ability to readily root from stems.

Streamco Willow

Latin name: Salix purpurea "Streamco," also known as purpleosier willow
Height: 10 to 15 feet
Width: 10 to 15 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil.
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Upright clumping habit, forms long stems, especially when coppiced. Young stems purplish to reddish brown. Leaves alternate, but often appear to be opposite. Narrow leaves 2 to 4 inches long, bluish green with silvery white undersides.
Wildlife Value: Important browse species for many animals and birds. Willow buds, leaves twigs and bark provide food year around. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Streambank stabilization, rain gardens, bioengineering structures, riparian protection. Also used for basket-making, rustic furniture, living structures.
Interesting facts: A variety of European basket willow that will produce long flexible shoots when coppiced. During late 19th early 20th century, willow basket making was a major industry in central NY.

Virginia Rose

Latin name: Rosa virginiana
Height: 4 to 6 feet
Width: 2 to 6 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun, moist well drained soil. Does well in sandy soils, tolerant of salt spray.
Physical Description: Deciduous spreading shrub. New canes dark red, paired slightly curved thorns. Leaves dark green and shiny with distinctive broad "wings" or stipules at the base of the stem. Flowers large, pink, single, about 1 ½ to 2 inches across. Blooms in late spring- early summer. Smooth red hips.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Hips excellent food for many birds, leaves and stems are browsed by deer and rabbits. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Soil and dune stabilization, roadside and beach planting, wildlife cover and food, hedges.
Interesting Facts: Can be used as native replacement for rugosa rose because of similar site preferences.

Wetland Rose

Latin name: Rosa palustris
Height: 4 to 7 feet
Width: 2 to 4 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun, wet to well drained soils. Often found growing with other wetland shrubs such as buttonbush and red osier dogwood in cattail marshes or along stream banks. Will also grow well on non-wetland sites, but does not like drought.
Physical Description: Deciduous spreading shrub. Upright, often narrow shrub with rounded top. New stems red, with slightly hooked thorns in pairs. Older stems often show lengthwise striping of light and dark brown bark. Leaves can be distinguished from those of other roses by the very narrow stipules at the base of each leaf stem. Leaflets often distinctly toothed, soft to glossy looking. Fall color: wines, reds, oranges and yellows. Blooms in late spring- early summer.Fragrant, pink 5 petaled flowers followed by 3/8 inch red hips with soft prickles.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Hips excellent food for many birds, leaves and stems are browsed by deer and rabbits. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: Riparian planting, wetlands, hedges.
Interesting Facts: Although species can grow fairly large and will spread into extensive colonies in wetlands, it does not form impassable tangles like the invasive multiflora rose.

Rugosa Rose

Latin name: Rosa rugosa
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Width: 2 to 6 feet
Growth rate: Fast
Site requirements: Sun; moist, well-drained soil. Does well in sandy soils, tolerant of salt spray.
Physical description: This shrub is considered invasive in some habitats and should be planted with caution; cannot be sold in the NYC, Long Island, and Albany Pine Bush areas. Fragrant flowers of pink or white. Prickly stems of green to brown, depending on age.
Uses: Soil stabilization

Wild Grape

Latin name: Vitis riparia, also known as river grape, riverbank grape
Height: 40 to 70 feet
Width: Variable
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Moist well drained soil. Although wild grape is a riparian species, it grows on a remarkably wide range of sites, thriving even in blighted industrial areas. Fairly drought tolerant, probably the most cold-hardy woody vine.
Physical Description: Deciduous woody vine. Long stems with attractive reddish-brown shredding bark. Young shoots light green, climbing with large forked tendrils, which coil strongly around supports. Leaves 2 to 6 inches long, light green, thin, shining, usually three lobed. Leaf form variable; some leaves may be very deeply lobed and toothed. Fruit tight clumps of dark blue to black grapes, about ¼ inch in diameter.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Berries are winter food for many bird and animal species, the bark is used by birds for nest material, and the vines are preferred nest sites for species such as cardinals. It is one of the most valuable species for wildlife, not only because of the fruit, but also because the swinging vine stems provide nest sites safe from the majority of predators.
Uses: Tough, hardy and fast-growing, it can be used to cover fences and shade structures. It climbs with strong coiling tendrils and can be grown on wall trellises as green walls to help cool buildings. It can grow tall enough to shade sides of multi-story buildings and is recommended as a native substitute for invasive wisteria vines. Although wild grape has a reputation for being aggressive, regular pruning makes it a beautiful asset for shading a house or covering a fence. Plus, grapevine prunings make excellent wreaths and decorations.
Interesting Facts: The fruit is very tart when it first ripens and makes excellent preserves. After a hard frost the berries become very sweet. A magnificent and under-rated vine that has tremendous potential for green infrastructure, particularly for cooling and air quality improvement. Attracts pollinating insects.
Note: Do not allow any vines to climb up trees. Encourage them to climb trellises, fences, buildings and other supports where they can provide shade and other benefits while getting the light that they want.

Staghorn Sumac

Latin name: Rhus typhina
Height: 30-35 feet
Width: 20 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Tolerates a wide variety of conditions.
Physical Description: A woody plant that can be considered either a large shrub or a small tree. Produces small clusters of greenish-yellow flowers and red, hairy fruit which are important to wildlife.
Wildlife Value: Cover and nest sites. Fruits and seeds eaten by pheasants, rabbits, quail and over 300 species of songbirds.
Uses: Ornamental plantings, hedges, pioneer species
Interesting Facts: This highly tolerant species can be planted on drastically disturbed sites. The plant is named for its forking, velvety textured branches that resemble stag horns.

Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac, Dwarf Sumac

Latin Name: Rhus copallinum
Height: 4 to 20 feet
Width: 5 to 15 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade. Soil moist to dry. Tolerates drought, salt spray. Found in a variety of challenging habitats, including coastal grasslands, maritime forests, dry rocky summits, and serpentine barrens.
Physical Description: Small deciduous tree, often spreading into multi-stemmed shrub. May be dwarfed by salt spray or shallow dry rocky soils, but will grow to full size on deeper soil. Habit resembles that of the familiar staghorn sumac, but smaller and less symmetrical. Stems often crooked, becoming quite picturesque with age. Leaves 12 to 18 inches long, alternate, and compound, with 7 to 15 narrow leaflets. The main leaf stem has distinctive wing. Leaflet margins are entire. Upper leaf surface dark green and very shiny. Fall color is spectacular, with the same brilliant color range of staghorn sumac, enhanced by the varnished look of the leaves. Male and female flowers on separate plants, both yellowish, conical clusters at the ends of the branches. Female flowers develop into clusters of small hard red fruit. The fruit clusters are less upright than those of staghorn sumac. Fruit held well into winter.
Wildlife Value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators Seeds reliable fall and winter food for many birds. Browsed by deer and rabbits. Host for over 50 moth and butterfly species. Of special value to native bees who use hollow twigs for nest material.
Uses: Highly ornamental small tree for dry demanding sites. Will spread by root suckering, especially if crowded by shade. Ideally it should have some space to spread, but can be kept in bounds in smaller yard by cutting/mowing unwanted root suckers. Important species for restoration of coastal habitats. Good species for restoration planting on poor dry soil.
Interesting facts: Sumac fruits can be used to make lemonade-flavored drink. Dried fruit can be ground to make lemony flavored spice. Twigs have core of soft pith, which can be removed to make hollow tubes for whistles, pipe stems and beads.

Witch Hazel

Latin name: Hamamelis virginiana
Height: 15 to 20 feet
Width: 15 to 20 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Site Requirements: Sun to shade, moist well drained soil. In the wild, often grows as an understory species and tolerates considerable shade.
Physical Description: Deciduous shrub. Multi-stemmed habit, spreading and open in shade, upright and pyramidal in full sun. Leaves 3 to 5 inches long, oval to almost round. Bright yellow leaves in early fall are followed by tiny highly fragrant yellow flowers.
Wildlife Value: bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder The seeds and buds are a favorite winter food for grouse. Attracts pollinating insects.
Uses: It is the source of medicinal witch hazel. Witch Hazel can grow nicely in urban areas with adequate soil moisture. Because it is highly shade tolerant, Witch Hazel is a wonderful species to plant in the shade of a woodlot, where it can develop an interesting open habit.
Interesting facts: It is one of the only native plants which blooms in late fall and early winter. When ripe, the seed capsules explode open and may shoot seeds 30 feet or more.

(back to top)

Mixed Species Packets

  • Pollinator Packet #1 - Contains 30 each of the following: Ninebark, highbush cranberry, silky dogwood (90 plants)
  • Wildlife Habitat Packet #2 - Contains 10 each of the following: Gray dogwood, silky dogwood, winged sumac (30 plants)
  • Long Island Packet #3A - Contains 10 each of the following: Bayberry, beach plum, eastern red cedar (30 plants)
  • Riparian Packet #4 - Contains 20 each of the following: Winterberry, wetland rose, red oak, white spruce, streamco willow (100 plants)
  • Ruffed Grouse Packet #6 - Contains 10 each of the following: Red osier dogwood, silky dogwood, black cherry, white spruce, witch hazel, birch (Nursery's choice of birch) (60 plants).

**Nursery will chose the species

The Nursery reserves the right to make substitutions in any wildlife packet using a species suitable for the area to be planted.

Containerized Stock

2-year plugs. Minimum height 6". New York source. Containerized seedlings have been grown in plug trays in a greenhouse and are able to be planted summer through mid-fall since they are not bare-root. Depending on stock, these seedlings may be available until October each year.

bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder indicates native species that support at least 60 species of insects that birds rely on to raise their young. (96% of our songbirds require insect larvae to raise their young.)

bee icon showing tree species acts as a feeder for pollinators indicates native species that provide food for pollinators. The icons match those used within the brochure.

Atlantic White Cedar

Latin name: Chamaecyparis thyoides
Height: 40 to 60 feet
Width: 10 to 20 feet
Growth rate: Slow
Site requirements: Full sun, moist soils. Prefers acidic soils and does not tolerate drought
Physical description: Evergreen tree. Narrow, column-like form. Grayish-tan bark, flaky with notable ridges and furrows. Thin needles that come to a point, similar to juniper and arborvitae needles but in the cypress family. Cones are small and rounded, blueish when young and brown when mature.
Wildlife value: Deer, rabbits, and mice feed on foliage or seedlings
Uses: Riparian areas, promoting bird habitat, shade tree (when mature)

Balsam Fir

Latin name: Abies balsamea
Height: 40 to 70 feet
Width: 20 to 30 feet
Growth Rate: Slow
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade, moist well drained soil. Prefers cool conditions.
Physical Description: Evergreen tree. Conical shape with narrow crown. Needles ¾ inch long, dark green, with rounded ends, very fragrant. Leaf scar round and flat. Cones upright, 2 to 3 inches long, disintegrate on tree leaving persistent central spike. Bark gray-brown, smooth with
blisters filled with fragrant resin.
Wildlife Value: bird icon showing the tree acts as a bird feeder wildlife cover, foliage and buds eaten by deer, seeds eaten by birds and squirrels.
Uses: Christmas trees, wreaths, pulpwood and lumber.
Interesting Facts: Traditional Christmas tree species long prized for its wonderful fragrance. Resin from bark, known as Canada Balsam, formerly used as optical adhesive for glass lenses and microscope slides.

Blue Spruce

Latin name: Picea pungens
Height: 50 to 75 feet
Width: 10 to 20 feet
Growth rate: Slow to medium
Site requirements: Full sun. Adaptable to many soil types but prefers moist, well-drained soil. Moderate tolerance to flooding and drought.
Physical description: Evergreen tree. Native to western US. Shaped like a pyramid with a more cone-shaped crown. Needles are stiff, prickly (spine-like), bark is gray to red-brown.
Wildlife value: Provides food and shelter for siskins, nuthatches, and crossbills
Uses: Provides privacy and a windbreak, often planted as a "privacy screen" along property lines

(back to top)