Why Native Plants Are More Important Than You Think

Why Native Plants Are More Important Than You Think

Welcome, fall!

Volunteers "fluttered" about planting perennials at the Ohio Statehouse grounds in Columbus on the first official day of fall. But the shrubs and flowers they planted weren't just any old plants.

On Sept. 23, Davey Resource Group's Greg Snowden and Ken Christensen joined other volunteers at the Ohio Statehouse for Ohio's celebration of National Planting Day. Keep Ohio Beautiful hosted the public educational event at the South Plaza to help beautify the grounds by planting an Ohio Native Butterfly Forage Garden.

Read below for an excerpt from Snowden's speech about the importance of native plants and their benefits to monarch butterflies:

Like in 2012 and 2013, this year’s Keep Ohio Beautiful planting uses native species. The trees, shrubs and flowers that you see here today can be found in the forests and fields across Ohio’s 88 counties. While last year we focused on a woodland planting, the goal this year is to provide food and habitat for butterflies, with a specific focus on the monarch butterfly.

The monarch is an amazing insect; its beautiful, orange and black stained-glass wings flutter over Ohio during the summer months before the butterfly starts its annual migration to a small forest in Mexico, thousands of miles away, where it overwinters. Sadly, we have seen the population of monarchs decline rapidly over the past two decades, primarily due to habitat loss. However, butterfly gardens like this one help to counteract this loss. The buttonbush, coneflower, geranium and false sunflower all provide nectar for hungry adult butterflies. The garden also includes large numbers of several native milkweeds; the only plants where monarchs lay eggs and the only thing eaten by its caterpillars!

In addition to supporting our insects and wildlife, native plants give us so many other amazing benefits. Trees, including the pagoda dogwood installed as part of the planting, and the existing honeylocust and red maple near the butterfly garden, provide important economic, social and environmental functions:

  • They remove pollution from the air, resulting in improved air quality.
  • Trees absorb large amounts of water during storms, reducing run-off and flooding in our streams and rivers.
  • They provide connectivity to nature and support emotional health and healing.
  • Trees help reduce erosion from storms and wind, thereby protecting our land and farms.
  • They improve property values at our homes and businesses.

I think President Theodore Roosevelt really hit the nail on the head when he said, “To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees." Native trees, shrubs and flowers, like those planted today and in past years here at the Statehouse, will continue to remind visitors of this great facility, the importance of Ohio’s fields and forests and the critical roles played by the plants that form the backbones of those ecosystems.

Browse through our gallery of photos from National Planting Day at the Ohio Statehouse below! 

Are you looking for ways to incorporate native trees into your landscape? Contact us for a free consultation

Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • Home Is Where The Roots Are

    Fall arrived nearly two weeks ago and greeted us with the cooler temperatures that prompt us to layer up.

    Sweatshirt on, hood up, jacket zipped, scarf wrapped: I'm ready to go.

    These layers keep me warm and cozy as I brave the chilly air to perform tree inventories and consultations each day. After work, when I settle into the living room of my house to relax, it's the walls of my home that shield me from the weather outside. I wrap myself in a blanket and snuggle into the cushions of my couch with my dog. It's cozy and comfortable: Home.

    Read More
  • Trees Keep the Flames at Bay

    When you can't handle the heat, trees provide you with proper shelter and shade from summer's swelter. But trees can also protect you and your home from harm when the forest's fiery beast would otherwise be more difficult to control.

    As temperatures climb into the 100s and 110s this summer, your property not only faces the threat of drought but also the threat of raging, destructive wildfires. Because flames are typically relentless once momentum builds, the best offense is a good defense.

    Defensible space, or a specified radius around a home, helps protect vulnerable landowners and their properties from wildfires. "The main reason for defensible space is to reduce the amount of flammable vegetation and give the fire departments the opportunity to 'defend' your home from fire," explains Tim Morin, forester and project developer for Davey Resource Group in California. "Having your home protected with defensible space not only protects you, but your neighbors as well."

    Read More
  • Pittsburgh Bridges Urban Forestry Connections at Partners in Community Forestry Conference

    Trees matter. From eliminating air pollution to protecting our sensitive ears from the noise pollution our busy, working lives create, trees benefit urban environments in several ways. But tree care providers and their communities must realize the efforts involved to sustain our invaluable forests for the benefit of future generations-now and looking ahead in the future.

    That's where Davey and our fellow urban forest supporters step in.

    This week, attendees, exhibitors and presenters from Davey Resource Group and the Davey Institute joined several organizations in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the Partners in Community Forestry Conference, organized by Arbor Day Foundation.

    Read More
  • Davey Institute Hosts Tree Biomechanics Research Week Symposium

    Tree limbs drop from bucket truck lifts and cranes as researchers make observations, form calculations and answer questions below.

    While an individual depletes the foliage of a fallen branch by removing its leaves one-by-one, another researcher trims all limbs from the trunk of a tree to test its durability and strength without them.

    The branch of a tree receives a coat of paint before camera software begins analyzing the compression in the bark upon branch movement. 

    Read More
  • Davey Consulting Urban Forester Facilitates Fall River, Mass., Tree Farm

    A tree farm occupying the space where a vacant city lot once existed in Fall River, Mass., turns heads as local residents walk by.

    Within the ¾-acre lot stands nearly 320 trees waiting for their final transplant to streetscapes, parks and schools as they develop into mature, healthy specimens. Thanks to the helping hands of many local, young volunteers, the trees have the opportunity to help improve the community.

    Approximately 20 children from YouthBuild, an organization comprising low-income individuals, ages 16 to 24, who work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while building affordable housing, are involved with tree care responsibilities at the Fall River Tree Farm. They helped build the farm, dig holes for planting and spread mulch within the raised beds.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at info@davey.com.
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.