Rare & Native Plants used in Restoration Plantings

Over the past few years the Macphail Woods nursery has made great progress in increasing our numbers and varieties of rarer Island plants that can be used in a variety of landscape and restoration projects.

This documents explains who looks after the status of rare plants in the Maritime provinces, lists some of our rarer Island plants, and looks at some the species that we, at Macphail Woods, use in our restoration plantings.

Great plants for Wildlife

Restoration plantings help a site to develop new seed sources and increase biodiversity, but they also provide shelter and food for the local wildlife. Choosing the appropriate species for the local conditions and climate is one consideration when restoring natural areas but looking at the needs of wildlife requires additional knowledge of both our local flora and fauna.

This document helps to explain some of the more common plants we like to use in our restoration plantings that greatly benefit the local wildlife. Are there enough seeds and nuts available for squirrels & birds? Are there plants that flower early in the spring providing nectar for early migrants returning from the south & newly awakened pollinators? Are their species of plants providing year-round shelter for our Island animal residents during our cold & sometimes harsh winters?

Overview of Fish Kills on PEI 1962-2011

Water quality and quantity has become a number one priority for watershed groups across Prince Edward Island. Since 1962, there have been at least 50 documented fish kills in Island waterways.

Over the past two decades, we have seen marked increases in nitrate and sediment inputs into watercourses. Increased nitrate levels are causinghypoxia and anoxia in many estuaries with alarming frequency. This lack of oxygen in the water causes severe habitat degradation for fish and other wildlife and has a dramatic effect on recreational and commercial uses of our waterways.

Planting Bed Design Ideas

Take a look at two sample designs for your yard using native plants. One of these designs caters to sunny areas while the other works well in more shaded spots. Plantings like these provide food and shelter for local wildlife, and provide native seed sources for your surrounding woodlands, helping to add diversity to Island forests. If you are interested in mowing less, and enjoying birds and flower more than check out these planting ideas!

Planting a White Spruce Hedge

Hedges provide privacy, protection from the wind and reduce erosion. They also can keep snow on your fields and off the roads, as well as provide habitat and food sources for all kinds of wildlife. White Spruce are a common, and hearty tree which responds well to pruning. With propre spacing and maintanance, these trees can become a wonderfully thick hedge providing shelter year-round.

Planning a Productive Acre

The idea for “Planning a Productive Acre” comes from seeing many older lsland farm homes tucked into a grove of mixed woods. Think of all the benefits that good site planning provides – an attractive, comfortable setting; a close source of fuelwood and lumber; shelter from the prevailing winds; lots of nearby wildlife to appreciate. But what if your house is stuck in a field, like so many are today? What options do you have? Fortunately, you have choices available.

Native Trees & Shrubs

In this publication, your find planting, transplanting, propagation and identification information on many of our native trees and shrubs. If you are interested in knowing a little more about our native flora, then this is a great place to start.

How to Plant Trees & Shrubs

Here are some tips & techniques on planting trees & shrubs. This document will introduce techniques for bare-rooted plants, container-grown plants, and transplanted specimens. If you have some landscaping around your house or in your woods, this 2-page publication could help you get your plants established faster and healthier.

Hedgerows & Windbreaks

Hedgerows, also called windbreaks or shelterbelts, once divided lsland farms into a pattern of small fields. They provided shelter for livestock, protected houses and barns from winter winds and helped cool the buildings in the summer. The micro-climate in the fields was im- proved as the trees provided wind protection for the crops; the soil held heat and moisture and wind erosion was minimal.

Community Nurseries

Community nurseries are a source of inexpensive plants for environmental restoration, beautification or wildlife en- hancement. The following pages lay out the steps you can take to start your own nursery, large or small. Since many of our more unusual native trees and shrubs are not available commercially, a community nursery may be the only source of these valuable species. The nurseries already set up across the province are promoting the use of native trees and shrubs, which must be present if we hope to preserve and restore natural ecosystems.

Attracting Wildlife to your Backyard

The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project has been working for years to promote the values of native plants and forest restoration. Native plants are usually very reliable – they have adapted to the climatic conditions of the area and serve a variety of functions within the ecosystem. More important they are proven performers – hardy, fitting into a wide variety of habitats, valuable to wildlife, useful for stabilizing streambanks and/or controlling soil erosion.

Areas to be Planted and Appropriate Species

Interested in design your own landscaping? Own some woods but aren’t sure what kind of plants should be added? This simple 2 page break down gives you a great start on what kinds of conditions our native plants will tolerate and in which they will thrive. The second page lists how to cheaply acquire native trees and shrubs all by yourself, through seed propagation, cuttings, or transplanting.

Schoolground Naturalization

Most Prince Edward lsland schools are situated on old fields – large brick buildings in the midst of grassland. At many schools, teachers and students have recognized that planting trees would help to make the schoolyards more interesting and attractive. A few schools have done outstanding work in improving their sunoundings. The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project is trying to encourage others to recognize the many benefits that plantings can bring to a school. Every year we help students plant trees and shrubs at schools and we hope to assist even more schools in the future with not only schoolyard plantings but also woodlot manage- ment and Acadian forest restoration.

Woodlands & Wildlife: What you can do

This Booklet provides information on how to restore healthy, productive forest communities and avoid potentially harmful practices.

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