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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

February 1996

Readers Write

Going for Natives

Please send the listing of native trees and shrubs mentioned in your October 1995 story, "Growing native." I am on the Board of Directors of the Navarino Nature Center where we are developing a Backyard Habitat (native landscaping program with directions from the National Wildlife Federation). I am also on the City of Shawano's Tree Advisory Committee and the information would be most valuable for our educational brochures.

Geraldine V.L. Stephens

I would like the free listing of 84 suggested native tree and shrub species. I hope the listing is specific to species as local nurseries carry two different elderberries, two amelanchiers and two chokecherries. I'd be disappointed to purchase the non-native variety if purchasing the native variety was my intent.

Betty Borucki

Thanks for your timely offer of native tree and shrub listings. We are presently digging up honeysuckle bushes. We hope to identify and remove other non-native vegetation and replace it with native plantings.

Mr. and Mrs. D. Kostush

I especially enjoyed the "Growing native" story. I am working on the design and specifications for a prairie at Kiswaukee College in Malta, Illinois. Approximately one third of the prairie will be started in spring. I find your magazine a great resource for projects like this. Thank you very much.

David G. Klick
Batavia, Ill.

We wish to develop our 25-acre parcel with native landscaping to benefit wildlife and would love to have the complete listing of trees and shrubs you offered.

Daniel H. Antolec

My husband and I were quite excited to read "Growing native," especially since we recently purchased 25 acres of land and are hoping to plant some native species to enhance the southern oak forest and prairie habitat. Our "prairie" already hosts some pasqueflower, side oats gramma and prickly pear cactus. Thanks so much for this article!

Calico Schmidt

Editor's note: More than 200 readers took the time to write us, talk about their interest in planting native vegetation and request our list of native plant species for the upper Midwest. Whether they are planting their back yards, revamping a few acres, working with community parks programs or managing larger parcels, many readers are hooked on the merits of bringing back native plants to their property. Many of you also expressed interest in forming a wildlife plan for your property. We will certainly cover that topic in a future issue.

Which Honeysuckle?

There was an error in the information we provided about native plants and exotic, invasive species in the October issue. The troublesome species of honeysuckle is Lonicera x bella which results from a cross between L. tatarica and L. morrowii, natives of Eurasia and Japan, respectively. All three species will naturalize, but bella is particularly aggressive and it is the hybrid that has taken over large areas at the Arboretum. The species referred to on p.13 of the article (Lonicera canadensis) is actually a native honeysuckle that is found in northern Wisconsin. It is not aggressive.

Donna Scott Thomas
UW-Madison Arboretum

The alien honeysuckles invading our native woodlands are Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and Amur honeysuckle (L. maackii), not L. canadensis, which is among a half dozen native species occurring in the state. Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) though naturalized to some extent, is not native to the southern oak forests of Wisconsin. The similar Rafinesque viburnum (V. rafinesquianum) is a native. I think a photo and brief description of another invasive plant pest, garlic mustard, would have added educational value to this nice article.

Dave Grant
West Bend

Exotic Fish, Too

I was pleasantly surprised by your native landscaping article. As a former Madison resident, I remember all too well the problems introduced species caused us when we restored our old Cape Cod home inside and out. We spent over a year clearing, digging, pulling and burning (when you could do that) endless clumps of honeysuckle. I wonder if you could further elaborate on some of the introduced fish that similarly cause problems in Wisconsin. I remember a conversation I had with George Becker (author of Fishes of Wisconsin) some years back. He expressed concern about the carp and the eradication program enacted to control it. I think readers would be interested to learn about the number of introduced species and from whence they came.

Robert Rice
North American Native Fish Association
Navarre, Fla.

Trillium Plus Two

We were interested in your August letter from David A. Lee with a picture of a four-petaled trillium. We came upon a five-petaled trillium while hiking in a state park in Door County. We will look for it again next spring. Even if this condition is caused by a fungal disease, as your response suggests, it was exciting to see.

Kay Shrader
Big Bend

Remembering Good Sticks

I enjoyed "The stick" (October, 1995) by Justin Isherwood tremendously! It took me back to when I was a skinny tow-headed 7-8-year-old gal on a big sheep farm in northern Wisconsin. My stick gave me status and power on the male-dominated acreage. When told to fetch the ewes in the "lower 60," my stick got me across the endless bumpy pastures into the woods where we prodded and coaxed the reluctant sheep back onto the trail toward the barn. "We" ruled the chicken yard and my stick protected me from the huge gander who never liked me and from the big rams when they took after me. On my Indian pony, I often wielded a spear against bad knights in imaginary conflict. Now, some 60 years later, outside the door of our log cabin home on the Wisconsin River are 6-8 sticks made of various woods in varying lengths and widths. All are sized for grandparents, parents, college kids on down to grade-school size. All are waiting patiently for a hike along the river shore, across the floodplain, through the woods or just up to the mailbox. Thanks Mr. Isherwood!

Ann S. Hanson
Wisconsin Dells