Bees, bats, butterflies, birds and beneficial insects all need our help. If you are thinking about planting this spring remember to think about our environment. Pollinators are in trouble. Many of them are mysteriously dying at alarming rates.
I include bats even though they aren’t really pollinators in NH they are very beneficial (1 adult can eat between 600 and 1200 mosquitoes in an hour).
Habitat loss and fragmented forests, environmental contamination, diseases, pesticides, invasive species and unfortunately domestic cats are some of the problems our “friends” are having, which in turn effects us all.
Think about food and shelter for wildlife. Dogwoods, crabapples, shad (Amelanchier) (one of our favorites), high bush blueberries, azalea, viburnums, hollies, butterfly bush, oaks and balsam fir are just a few of the trees and shrubs that attract birds, butterflies and bees. Put up a few birdhouses and bat houses. Leave that dead tree in the woods as long as it isn’t dangerous.
Things to remember when planting:
- The right tree in the right place. Don’t plant a tree with a large habit under power lines, it will just be chopped off.
- Give the tree room to grow.
- Remove burlap and ropes. Remove wire baskets.
- Remove soil to expose the trunk flare, failure to do this will have adverse affects in the future.
- Keep trees and shrubs well watered. Rainwater alone may not supply the consistent moisture needed.
We all know the beginning of spring by the increase in maple sap buckets that adorn maple trees throughout the area. But did you know that collecting maple sap injures the tree? There are several important facts to remember before tapping a tree:
- Large old trees should never be tapped.
- Only tap trees that are in the woods and not in the front yard of your house. Tapping causes wounds and can stress the plant. It leaves the tree vulnerable to disease and insect damage. Trees around your house provide numerous functional benefits and should be protected. They also add value to your home.
- Use a maximum of 3 buckets per tree on large trees only.
- Alternated tapping holes by 12” to the side and vertical from previous drill holes.
- Don’t forget maple sap is the trees ‘food’ so please leave some for the tree.