Make an impact on the Atlanta ecosystem with your landscaping choices. This spring, choose to plant native tree species for a healthier and more sustainable environment. This article discusses four key benefits of planting native trees over non-native and invasive species.
Invasive Tree Species Upset Nature’s Balance
Healthy ecosystems rely on the balance of various species that interact with one another. Non-native, invasive trees disrupt this balance by spreading unchecked without natural predators or competitors to regulate their growth. This can lead to a decline in local wildlife, such as birds, who may have to relocate due to the loss of native trees as a source of food and shelter.
Invasive trees also provide a haven for insects that are harmful to Georgia’s forests. For example, if you have tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) in your yard, you may notice an increase in brown marmorated stinkbugs, as they are attracted to this species as a place to reproduce.
By planting native trees in your landscape, you can help protect and preserve the ecosystem. Choosing to plant native species supports the balance of the local environment and the well-being of its wildlife.
Invasive Tree Species Present Hazards
Native tree species are better suited for the local ecosystem. They have adapted to the local conditions, including temperature fluctuations, rainfall patterns, and wind pressures. In contrast, non-native trees may grow quickly, but their fast growth often results in weak and brittle wood that is prone to breakage.
For example, trees such as mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) and paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) are known for their weak wood, which can snap during thunderstorms. Additionally, ornamental pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) which are commonly found around metro areas, have a tendency to grow in an unsound manner and are vulnerable to falling during windy conditions.
On the other hand, when native trees are planted in the right location and using proper methods, they tend to have a stronger and more stable structure. They grow roots and branches that make them more resilient and durable in the landscape. Investing in native trees will result in a more sustainable and attractive landscape in the long run.
Invasive Trees Inundate the Landscape
Invasive tree species in your yard can spread quickly into the surrounding environment through seeds or other means. Some popular ornamental specimens, such as black locust, sawtooth oak, lilac chastetree, Callery pear, camphir tree, and royal paulownia, are notorious for producing a large amount of seeds that can take over your yard.
These invasive trees can litter the landscape with debris and have extensive roots beneath the soil. For instance, mimosa trees can drop seedpods that later grow into new trees.
In addition to overtaking your yard, some invasive species, such as chinaberry and amur corktree, can also harm local forests. Chinaberry trees contain toxic seeds and release chemicals that prevent the growth of native plants, while amur corktrees impede the regeneration of native oak trees.
Native Trees Choices Are Abundant
When it comes to planting trees in your Georgia landscape, there’s a wide range of native species to choose from. To make the best decision for your yard, consider reaching out to an arborist or tree service professional for guidance. They can help you pick the most suitable trees for your specific location based on factors such as soil quality and the mature size of the trees.
Here are some native trees that are well-suited for Atlanta-area landscapes:
- Florida or Southern sugar maple (Acer floridanum)
- Hazel adder (Alnus serrulata)
- Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)
- Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
- Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
- American holly (Ilex opaca)
- Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria)
- Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
For North Georgia landscapes, white oak (Quercus alba), southern red oak (Quercus falcata), and willow oak (Quercus phellos) are also excellent options. Your tree service professional can inform you of additional native trees that may be suitable for your area.
Get rid of invasive trees and shrubs in your Greater Atlanta yard with the help of R & R Tree and Landscaping. Our team is equipped with the right tools and expertise to effectively remove roots, trees, and stumps, making way for you to plant healthy native trees in your landscape. Contact us today to restore the natural balance to your Georgia property.