Upland Plantings

Materials and Tools needed varies by project.

Trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses in the upland landscape can serve many purposes from shade, to access control, to framing views, to providing wildlife habitat. Upland planting can provide:

• Wildlife Habitat & Food
• Shade
• Access
• Views
• Fall Color
• Erosion Control

You may choose to plant trees, shrubs, flowers and seed or sod on your property for a variety of reasons. You may want to define your property boundary, or maybe you want to provide shade over a patio. Regardless of the reason, there are some considerations that you should take into account. Always consider using native plants when possible as they are suited for survival in your area and they are much less likely to become invasive.

First, consider what purpose you want the planting to serve, as well as how local wildlife will use them. For example, you may want to avoid planting shrubs or flowers that attract a lot of bees next to a patio. Similarly, it may not be a good idea to plant dense shrubs that wildlife will live in close to trash containers or garages.

Photo courtesy of: The Garden Consultants, Inc.

As with any planting, it is important to consider the mature size of the tree or shrub. One of the reasons you are planting these is to see them grow; don’t forget that as they grow they will become larger and take up more space.

Your property’s location, elevation, sun exposure and available water are also other important factors that will determine what type of plants will be successful. Consulting your local nursery is a good first step in selecting plants.

In terms of groundcover, you may want to add grasses to your property. This can be in the form of native grasses or manicured turf. Typically, property owners will not mow native grasses or will only mow them a couple times a season. Native grass is  usually installed with seeding and will  sometimes have wildflower seeds mixed in.

Although pretty, manicured turf is not a good choice for the streambank area next to the creek

Manicured turf can be installed with seed or sod. Sod will establish quicker, but is more expensive. Manicured turf grasses will require frequent irrigation, mowing and periodic fertilization. As a result, areas next to streams and streambanks are not an ideal location for manicured turf. There are many environmental benefits to keeping a riparian buffer between manicured turf areas and the stream corridor.

In addition to turf grass sod, wildflower sod is available. This sod is more expensive than turf grass and it is meant for different types of applications. Wildflower sod may be a good option if you want to quickly establish native wildflower plants in small areas. Examples could include pockets in or on top of boulder retaining walls, strips next to pathways or areas in between flagstone steppers.

More Strategies to help accomplish Objectives you identified in the Questionnaires: