Landscaping with Native Trees: Enhancing Boise's Beauty

Landscaping With Native Trees – Enhancing Boise’s Beauty

Unlike traditional lawns, native trees require minimal maintenance. They are low-water users and are a blessing for Idaho’s pollinators.

Native plants also sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is responsible for global warming. As opposed to invasive plant species, native trees foster biodiversity and create an ecologically resilient landscape.

1. Increased Property Value

The right combination of native trees, groundcovers, shrubs, and flowers, known as “naturescaping” or “eco-landscaping,” provides a landscape that is not only beautiful but also low-maintenance and supportive of local wildlife and pollinators. This service of creating a harmonious blend mimics natural plant communities, offering numerous benefits for the soil and the environment.

Native plants, with their deep-rooted systems, excel at absorbing water and nutrients, making them ideal choices for rain gardens and bio-retention areas. Unlike non-native landscaping plants, native species can withstand cold winters and harsh summer sun, ensuring their resilience in various weather conditions.

Moreover, many native flowers, grasses, and trees come equipped with natural defenses against indigenous insects, fungi, and diseases. This built-in resistance eliminates the need for pesticides, safeguarding our clean drinking water supplies, reducing pollution, and promoting overall environmental health. Beyond these advantages, these plants serve as vital food sources for birds, butterflies, squirrels, bees, and other essential pollinators, contributing to the delicate balance of local ecosystems.

2. Reduced Water Bills

Landscaping with native plants can help to reduce water bills, as many native species are adapted to our climate. By choosing the right native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers for your property, you can create a natural, layered ecosystem that helps to filter pollutants from the air, prevent soil erosion, block winter winds, absorb rainwater, and slow runoff.

By choosing native plants, you can also help to prevent invasive plant species from taking over our local ecosystems. Native plants provide food for pollinators and shelter for wildlife, which are essential to our local ecology.

A landscape that is full of native plants requires less maintenance than one that is dominated by turfgrass. Your lawn care professional can help to maintain your native landscaping by mowing and trimming your grass, weeding out invasive plants, and mulching the landscape.

3. Increased Property Value

When it comes to landscaping, the trees on your property make a big impact on the aesthetics of your home and yard. Choosing native trees adds to the beauty of your landscape and increases your property value.

Native plants are adapted to the climate of your region and support local wildlife. They also provide food for birds, insects and other pollinators. These plants defend themselves against indigenous pests and diseases. This reduces the need for chemical pesticides, saving you money and protecting your plants.

Landscaping with native shrubs and flowers also helps lower your water bills. Planting native ground covers like tiger lily and annual sunflowers, as well as trees such as rocky mountain juniper and water birch, makes your landscape a great place for outdoor living.

4. Reduced Soil Erosion

In addition to adding beauty and color to Idaho’s landscapes, native plants provide a host of environmental benefits. They help purify air and water, shade and cool soil in the summer, store atmospheric carbon, minimize flooding and stormwater runoff, sustain vital pollinators and birds, and promote biodiversity and stewardship of the environment.

In addition, the root systems of many native plants anchor and knit the soil together, minimizing erosion. The foliage of native species also intercepts rainfall to minimize the force of the droplets hitting the ground. Consequently, the number of nutrients that wash into streams and rivers is reduced, as are excessive algal blooms. These services have real economic value that can be measured. This was the subject of a workshop at the December 2004 Native Landscaping Conference in Chicago.

5. Increased Wildlife Habitat

Native trees, ground covers and shrubs support a wide variety of wildlife. They are naturally adapted to the Treasure Valley’s climate and soils. For example, a drought-tolerant native plant like rocky mountain juniper provides shade under the deck and lowers water bills while a beautiful deciduous tree like mock orange is covered in flowers with scents of citrus from May to June, offering vibrant color in the landscape.

Native plants also support a rich variety of birds and other wildlife. They provide food (eggs, seeds and berries), shelter, water, and nectar.

When planted properly, the layered ecosystem of native shrubs, grasses and trees can filter pollutants from air, cool in the summer, block winter winds, prevent soil erosion, help screen out noise or neighboring eyesores, reduce flooding, absorb rainwater and slow runoff. This is often called “naturescaping.”

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