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Landscaping 3 to 4                                   B    efore you begin, think about                                    ...
as 35 per acre, but even one          Groups of plants are                   Keep in mind the mature size    family of fox...
songbirds of all kinds as the      chemicals, so it is in your own        The extra size and depth mean    seeds ripen on ...
A birdbath near feeding areas     Bluebirds are territorial, so the                 or build nesting boxes    will attract...
Many people already enjoy                        birds, but there are many    maintaining bird feeders, and a             ...
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Landscaping 3 to 4 Acres For Wildlife

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Before you begin, think about the four basic needs of wildlife: food, water, cover, and space. Study the existing features of your land and see
what needs are already being met, then decide what you would like to add.

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Landscaping 3 to 4 Acres For Wildlife

  1. 1. Landscaping 3 to 4 B efore you begin, think about the four basic needs of wildlife: food, water, cover, and space. Study the existing Acres For Wildlife features of your land and see what needs are already being For more nature habitat information met, then decide what you Visit these helpful websites: would like to add. A sketch of your property will be a big help, and so will notes about soil conditions, average A Plants Home rainfall, amount of sunlight, A Birds Home wind direction, and climate A Homesteaders Home zone. Remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. A budget and a timetable will help you put your plans in perspective and prioritize your improvements. The library, your local Cooperative Extension office, bookstores, nurseries, and the WindStar Wildlife Institute can all provide information on what plants will do well in your area and what wildlife you can expect to attract. With 3 to 4 acres, the size of property around which our sample landscape is designed, you may feel that you already have plenty of “space." This term means something different to wildlife than it does to people, however. What a joy it is to live in a home with some surrounding acreage – it gives you countless For wild creatures, their choices for landscaping. Sometimes, however, so space has to include sufficient many choices can be overwhelming and leave you food, water, cover, and safe wondering where to start. places to raise a family. One way to narrow your focus is to decide to The required range varies enhance your landscape for wildlife. from species to species. Voles thrive when there are as many© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 1 A Plants Home
  2. 2. as 35 per acre, but even one Groups of plants are Keep in mind the mature size family of foxes would feel generally more attractive to of any selection, and whether it crowded in an area that size. wildlife than single specimens, will block a view or crowd a and with a large property you structure. have the opportunity to Be Different landscape with clusters of One of the best ways to vegetation. Shrubs Produce Berries enhance property for wildlife is There are also many kinds of to offer as much diversity as Evergreen windbreaks are a shrubs to choose from, possible. When choosing plants, good example. Planted in providing a lower layer of strive for a variety of heights, masses, these trees are vegetation. Those in our chart bloom times, food value (seeds, striking in appearance are native plants selected for nuts, fruit, twigs), growth throughout the year, and offer their wildlife value. Most habits (dense, open), evergreen valuable winter cover for wildlife, produce berries, some of which and deciduous leaves. as well as seeds for birds. will persist into winter to supply important cold-weather The more choices you offer, As an extra bonus, they can nourishment. the more species you are likely indeed block cold winds. Shown to attract. Getting your in the sample plan are With some acreage to work neighbors interested in groupings of Colorado blue with, you have the chance to enhancing their properties at spruce (Picea pungens), white set aside large areas for the the same time will increase the pine (Pinus strobus), and red meadows that wildlife range available for larger cedar (Juniperus viginiana). appreciates so much but has animals and offer additional less and less opportunity to resources. For the unspecified evergreen find. Whether filled with flowers screen near the house, consider or grasses, meadows offer broadleaf evergreens like plenty of cover and food. There Go Native American holly (Ilex opaca), are wildflower seed mixes WindStar emphasizes “native" mountain laurel (Kalmia available for all parts of the plants because they have latifolia), or Oregon grape country, and a variety of grains evolved with wildlife to become (Mahonia aquifolium). and warm season grasses to highly suited to its needs. They choose from. are also hardier, requiring fewer chemicals to keep them healthy. Reduce Spraying Our design uses switchgrass, At the same time, there are Trees for the fruit orchard millet, grain sorghum, clover, many nonnative species that can be chosen to suit your and buckwheat. Warm season may attract your interest, and taste buds, but select cultivars grass selections can include your final design should reflect that have been bred to require little bluestem (Schizachyrium your own taste and preferences. as little chemical treatment as scoparium), blue grama possible. Sprays can affect (Bouteloua gracilis), and Indian We recommend, however, that birds and beneficial insects, as ricegrass (Ozyzopsis you do some research first. well as those that you are humenoides). “Exotic" plants may become trying to eliminate. invasive and can get out of control more easily when you Deciduous trees will lose their Songbirds Love Sunflowers have a large property to leaves in winter, but provide The areas set aside to be supervise. Once established, food, flowers, nesting sites in planted with sunflowers will lift they are very difficult to spring, and shady relief from your spirits every time you see eliminate. the summer sun. them in bloom, and delight© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 2 A Plants Home
  3. 3. songbirds of all kinds as the chemicals, so it is in your own The extra size and depth mean seeds ripen on the flower heads. interest to limit its size. that it won’t freeze as quickly as a birdbath, and because it is at You may have noticed that Ground covers can be good ground level, it can benefit many while there is an area of lawn alternatives to traditional lawn. different species. You can add included around the house, it Some choices to consider are fish and a selection of water represents only a small portion juniper (Juniperus horizontalis), plants, and should include some of the property. cotoneaster (Cotoneaster rocks or logs for sunning and horizontalis), and periwinkles perching. Mowed grass is nice for (Vinca major/minor). people to walk on, but offers There are many pond-making almost no value to wildlife. In Water is necessary for all kits on the market, as well as addition, more lawn means more living things, and a pond is a books on how to build one work, expense, and use of wonderful way to provide it. yourself. 3 to 4 Acre Habitat Design© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 3 A Plants Home
  4. 4. A birdbath near feeding areas Bluebirds are territorial, so the or build nesting boxes will attract even birds that houses should be placed at designed for specific kinds of don’t eat seeds, and moving least 100 yards apart. birds, and mount them water (a drip, waterfall, or appropriately. fountain) is especially appealing. Build a Nest Those that birds prefer are There are other birds that will simple in design and muted in Be sure that any bath is no gratefully nest in man-made color. Always place houses, more than 3" deep and includes houses (nesting boxes), but feeders, or birdbaths within 5 a safe place to perch. different species have different to 15 of a tree or shrub to nesting requirements. Choose allow escape from predators. Add a Brush Pile Rock piles, fallen logs, brush Recommended Plants piles, and dead trees (snags) – these are not features that first come to mind when Evergreen Trees Scientific Name Height Landscape and Wildlife Value American holly Ilex opaca 40 berries planning a landscape. Eastern hemlock Tsuga canadensis 40-70 seeds, twigs Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana 30-50 berries Eastern white pine Pinus strobus 80 seeds, sap, cover, fast growing In nature, however, these are Sweetbay magnolia Magnolia virginiana 15-30 seeds, twigs valuable resources for wildlife. Virginia pine Pinus virginiana 50-80 seeds, twigs Too often people tidy up their Deciduous Trees Scientific Name Height Landscape and Wildlife Value Autumn olive Osmanthus americanus 30 flowers, berries yards and remove them. Kept in Beach plum Prunus americana 30 flowers, fruit areas away from the house Beech Fagus grandifolia 50-100 nuts, sap, buds Bitternut hickory Carya cordiformis 40-60 fall color, nuts, sap behind attractive vegetation, or Black gum Nyssa sylvatica 30-60 fall color, fruit covered with a vine such as Crab apple Malus angustifolia 30 flowers, fruit Dogwood Cornus florida 15-30 flowers, fall color, berries, twigs Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 50-60 fall color, seeds, fast growing quinquefolia), they will attract Hackberry Celtis occidentalis 40-60 fruit, twigs Mountain ash Sorbus americana 30 berries many small wildlife species. Mulberry Morus rubra 60 berries Persimmon Diospyros virginiana 35-60 fruit Pin oak Quercus palustris 60-80 fall color, acorns Red maple Acer rubrum 60-90 fall color, seeds, sap Nature Trails River birch Betula nigra 30-50 fruit, sap, buds, peeling bark Shadbush Amelanchier arvorea 15-30 berries, twigs Paths will let you explore your Sugar maple Acer saccharum 70-100 fall color, sap, seeds wildlife habitat more enjoyably, Sweet gum Liquidambar styraciflua 60-100 fall color, seeds Weeping willow Salix babylonica 30-40 (nonnative) fruit, twigs and make it easy to incorporate Wild cherry Prunus serotina 80 fruit, sap a bluebird trail. The number of Willow oak Quercus phellos 50-80 acorns bluebirds had declined dramatically before people Shrubs Scientific Name Height Landscape and Wildlife Value Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica 5-12 berries stepped in with nesting boxes Blackberries Rubus fruticosas 3-6 berries to replace tree cavities that Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis 3-6 nectar, seeds Chickasaw plum Prunus angustifolia 5- 15 fruit were lost to increasing Elderberry Sambucus canadensis 5-12 flowers, berries, nectar development. Flame leaf sumac Rhus copallina 10-25 fall color, seeds Gray dogwood Cornus racemosa 10-15 flowers, berries, twigs Rasberries Rubus idaeus 2-5 berries Because bluebirds are often Red twig dogwood Cornus alba Siberica 6 berries, winter color Shrub rose Rosa palustris 5-8 flowers, berries displaced by more aggressive Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus 1-4 berries birds, the trail lets you monitor Spicebush Lindera benzoin 6-12 berries Sweet pepper bush Clethra alnifolia 9 flowers, nectar the boxes and take action Winterberry Ilex verticillata 5- 10 berries, winter color against any predators.© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 4 A Plants Home
  5. 5. Many people already enjoy birds, but there are many maintaining bird feeders, and a selections of seeds and nectars designated area near the house available. lets you watch the activity and keep the feeders easily filled. There are specific plants Mimicking nature, feeders (see list below) for butterfly should be placed at different and hummingbird gardens and heights. your local nursery and mail order catalogues can provide a Overall, black oil sunflower seemingly endless array of seed is the most popular with choices. Flowers for Hummingbirds and Butterflies Bee Balm ..................................................Monarda didyma Butterfly bush ........................................Buddleia Butterfly weed........................................Asclepias tuberosa Cardinal flower........................................Lobelia cardinalis Coral honeysuckle ..................................Lonicera sempervirens Cosmos.....................................................Cosmos sulphureous Cross vine ................................................Bignonia capreolata Joe-Pye weed ..........................................Eupatorium spp. Lantana ....................................................Lantana camara Pentas.......................................................Pentas lanciolata Purple coneflower ...................................Echinacea purpurea Scarlet sage ...........................................Salvia coccinea Native Plants for a Shady Garden This article was written by Maryland Master Wildlife Habitat Alumroot ..................................................Heuchera americana Naturalist Cathy Gilleland. Bellflower ..................................................Campanula rotundifolia For more information or for the Bleeding heart ........................................Dicentra eximia name of a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist in your area, Bugbane ...................................................Cimicifuga racemosa please contact: Goatsbeard.............................................Aruncus dioicus WindStar Wildlife Institute Jack-in-the-Pulpit .................................Arisaema triphyllum Oakleaf hydrangea ................................Hydrangea quercifolia E-mail: wildalife@windstar.org http://www.windstar.org Sweet shrub ............................................Calycanthus floridus Strawberry bush ....................................Euonymus americanus Turtlehead ...............................................Chelone glabra WindStar Wildlife Institute is a national, non-profit, conservation Violet .........................................................Viola spp. organization whose mission is to help individuals and families White wood aster ..................................Aster divaricatus establish or improve the wildlife Wild indigo ................................................Baptisa australis habitat on their properties.© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 5 A Plants Home

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