For anyone interested in taking steps toward supporting greater biodiversity on your property, planting just one tree species and one shrub species can result in biodiversity benefits. Black Cherry and Aronia are a great starting point.
BLACK CHERRY, Prunus seratina
Natives of the cherry family rank among the top three biodiversity-supporting tree species one can plant in our area. (The entire Prunus group includes beach plum, cherry, chokecherry, peach plum, sweet cherry, wild plum, and almond which, across North America, support 377 different butterfly and moth species.) The oaks and willows are the other two top tree genera. If you’d like to add trees to your landscape, selecting from these three genera is a great way to go. The web site I like to use and from which I quote below is www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds. About Black Cherry they say: “This deciduous, perennial tree reaches 60 to 100 feet in height and 1 to 4 feet in diameter with a long trunk and oblong crown. It produces small, white flowers in the spring and purple to black fruit in the summer eaten by birds and many mammals. It grows in moist, well-drained soils, in full sun to partial shade.” This Audubon site goes on to say that planting Black Cherry will help attract a wide variety of birds.
ARONIA/CHOKEBERRY, Aronia melanocarpa
The Audobon site describes the aronia shrub this way: “This deciduous, spreading shrub typically grows 3 to 6 feet in height and width. It grows clusters of showy white flowers that give way to black, bitter berries often used to make jams and jellies. This plant can grow in full sun to partial shade and in moist, well-drained soils, though it grows fruits best in full sun.” And, the site goes on to say that Chokeberry also attracts a wide variety of birds.
As you can see from just these two examples, if we choose to plant native plants utilizing the Audubon website mentioned above, we will be taking steps to enrichen and protect local biodiversity.