Some thoughts on planting native trees
Part Two 
 by Mike Miller

As you make plans for your fall planting, have a look around your garden for locations to plant a pleasing native tree or two. We highly recommend choosing native species as they will provide the best support for native pollinators and other wildlife.

These trees will be available for sale at Birdsong over a series of weekends this fall starting on Saturday, October 23.  

Tulip Poplar 

The most amazing fact about this tree is that it is not planted more frequently! It is native and easy to grow and it grows very quickly. It’s drop-dead gorgeous in both summer and fall when its broad four-pointed leaves turn a lovely yellow. Tulip poplars typically grow tall and straight and become an important fixture within any landscape in just a few years. It loves sun but does well in shady areas, and can grow to 90 feet tall. 
Here is a tulip poplar purchased at the Birdsong plant sale only ten years ago.  This is how fast they can grow!

Ashe's Magnolia and Big Leaf Magnolia

Once thought to be the same species, these notes may apply to both species. Each is a native tree although neither is considered common when found in this area; therefore it's always an exciting moment for a botanist to come upon one in the wild. Fortunately, both Ashe's and Big Leaf Magnolias have become popular with gardeners who find them easy to care for and lovely to have in their yards. Each has large leaves, deciduous, almost 'tropical' in appearance, and does well in partial shade to full sun if sufficiently watered. It has moderately large white flowers in summer and will grow to about 15 feet.   

Sweet Bay Magnolia

This is the the 'silver' tree we see at a distance when driving in the in the South. A Sweet Bay is an evergreen with silvery undersides on its leaves giving it a distinctive appearance in the wind of an afternoon thunderstorm. It's native, loves damp feet but can do well in drier sites if sufficiently watered during early growth period with smallish white flowers and leaves you can cook with. Grows up to 50 feet tall. 

Black Gum

A tupelo which is typically found on upland soils making it ideal for home sites, the Black Gum can grow up 90 feet with dark bark and vivid red leaves in the fall. It seems to do best with rich soils but can do well in poorer soils with organic matter provided during planting and with continued mulching.     


Birdsong is Open

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9-5

Sunday 1-5

Free Admission on Saturday!


$5 adults

$2.50 Children 4-12


Covid Protocols
We will continue to observe our Covid-19 protocols, including wearing a mask through the checkpoint and when encountering other individuals closer than six feet away.  Once you are out on the trails away from others, masks are not required.  Our Covid protocols can be found on our website and on the back of our trail maps onsite. 
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