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Native species ?

I will soon have some space to fill due to the felling of some Ash trees.
I am happy to grow some native trees but I get confused if the addition of anything non native will compromise the eco system for birds, crawlies etc. or if it's ok so long as nothing invasive is involved. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,710
    How far from any buildings is it? Given a field I would plant Native Oak. Quercus robur.  However do not plant within 40ft of any house. I have two, closer to neighbours than me, and they complain that the drop leaves, acorns and the occasional branch. The trees were there at least 100 years before the houses, so I think tough luck.  Oaks support more insects than any other native species, and they support birds etc. However in a small garden, probably a rowan would be better.  You could even plant an apple, blossom for insects, fruit for you if you get there before the blackbirds.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    The size of the space, and its proximity to your house, are the main factors, as @fidgetbones says. 
    You certainly don't need to have native species in order to help wildlife, as long as you're choosing specimens that suit the site and your conditions  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Native trees are more likely to support our butterflies and moths, that are often tied to one native species and can't move about between plants types, like some bees can.
  • Thank you. Sometimes researching things on the Internet can bring more questions than answers. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,325
    I think you should grow whatever you'd like to see there.
    Almost anything that has flowers and berries will be of benefit to the birds and bees.
    I'd love to have a hawthorn, but don't have the space
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    I totally agree @Pete.8 :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • @Pete.8 - We do have Hawthorn which I also agree is lovely.

  • DaveGreigDaveGreig Posts: 109
    I have a hawthorn in a very small space that’s pruned as a basic topiary. They respond very well to pruning and will still flower but not so profusely. I planted it as a whip 30 years ago, it was easily trained and is much admired. 

    Another native I very much like is the common elder. It grows relatively quickly, flowers profusely and produces fruit that some birds seem to love. It has culinary uses for us humans as well. There are showier ornamental cultivars but I prefer the wild one, having grown both the yellow and purple leaved varieties which don’t do near so well, if at all, in the blossom and fruit department.

  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 628
    On non-natives I think it really depends what.. you should look at each on its own merit. For example, I believe non-native apple trees support plenty of native wildlife. I'm sure there are lots of examples. And of course pollinators won't care where your tree is from.

    Not only trees - lots non-native herbacious plants can support native caterpillars -  for example,  nasturtiums for cabbage whites, fucshias for elephant hawk moth..
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