Which native species tree should I plant in my backyard?


backyard with wooden fence, view off of a porchI am not sure if you cover this type of question, but here goes! πŸ™‚ I would like to plant a tree in my backyard and I want to ensure that I plant something that is native and supportive to the wildlife in my town of Westbook β€” do you have any suggestions? Perhaps a shorter list would be trees to avoid, which might be helpful as well? I was hoping for something that would flower in the spring or summer, but not a must-have.


Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional   

This is just the type of question we love to answer. Planting native trees is such a great idea, a real win-win. You mentioned you would like it to flower so we need to rule out most evergreen trees. Flowering in the Spring or Summer gives you lots of options. The photo provided shows that you do have some full sun which is what most flowering trees need. You don’t say what size tree you are looking for so I am going to give you a few references that might help you with your decision:

For traditional trees, the best resource is an online reference from the state: Forest Trees of Maine, Centennial Edition – 1908 to 2008 (Maine Forest Service). Any of these would be appropriate but you want to consider height (is it going to get too big?) and for flowering, look at the “MISC Broadleafs” and consider Hawthorne, Serviceberry, or Witch Hazel for autumn bloom.

We have a series of bulletins on native plants as well that might be helpful in our manual, it can be found at Plants for the Maine Landscape (UMaine Extension) and specifically Bulletin #2500 Gardening to Conserve Maine’s Native Landscape: Plants to Use and Plants to Avoid (UMaine Extension).

The Wild Seed Project website also has lots of great information as well.

I hope you find this helpful.  Happy hunting for that perfect plant for your yard!