My husband and I started cleansing out a small part of woods close to the home in order that we might plant extra fascinating native tree seedlings and small shrubs.
Vegetation and timber that wanted to be eliminated comparable to elm, hackberry, bush honeysuckle, Japanese honeysuckle vine, buck brush, plantain, and simply different plain previous weeds.
Throughout this course of, I used to be very excited to find a number of native shrubs and small timber that I had not beforehand identified had been rising on this space of the forest.
• Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) is one among ten species of Viburnums which might be native to Missouri and surrounding states within the Midwest. They develop to a peak of 30 ft with a ramification of 20 ft. In April and Might, they’re adorned with quite a few, small white flowers in flattened, round-topped clusters 2-Four inches vast. The blue-black berry is a half-inch lengthy and elliptical with a whitish coating on lengthy purple stalks, occuring in September and October. The flesh of the fruits are skinny and dry, however edible and candy.
• Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), also called Wild Allspice, will get its title for the fragrant scent when the leaves are crushed, and the style of the spicy bark. The leaves keep inexperienced till mid to late autumn, after they flip to greenish yellow. It flowers March by means of Might earlier than the leaves seem. The yellow, aromatic flowers are a quarter-inch vast in clusters of 3-6 alongside the stem of the shrub, with female and male flowers on separate vegetation (dioecious). The shiny purple, fleshy berries seem in September and October, solitary or in small clusters on brief stalks. These are additionally spicy.
• Possum Haw (Ilex decidua) was one other good shock hidden away simply 50 ft from my entrance door. This native shrub is also called Deciduous Holly, and is immediately associated to all hollies. Whereas it typically grows as a small shrub, it might develop as tall as 30 ft and take the type of a tree. The leaves aren’t like the everyday holly you see in the course of the Christmas season, however they do have brief spherical, or blunt “tooth.” White flowers seem in April and Might, with orange to purple globe-shaped berries showing in September and October. Berries persist by means of winter even after the leaves drop. The shrubs are dioecious, and solely the feminine timber produce the berries.
Throughout my forest cleansing challenge, I additionally discovered a number of dogwoods, together with Spherical-leaved Dogwood (Cornus rugosa) and Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii). One dogwood that I noticed a couple of years in the past on this space was a tree that my husband I planted about 15 years in the past once I first confirmed him the land earlier than we started constructing our residence. We planted about 20 flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida). I discovered one among these, now about 12 ft tall. It was coated by elm timber and didn’t have sufficient solar to flower. That’s why it is very important clear out a number of the much less fascinating timber and vegetation.
All the timber and shrubs that I’ve talked about listed below are lovely to see, native to the realm, and supply fruits for wildlife. Take a stroll within the woods and see what you may uncover.
Lynn Youngblood is the manager director of the Blue River Watershed Affiliation in Kansas Metropolis. Attain her at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.internet.