In Fall 2020, a 2nd edition was published, featuring an expanded map that includes the proposed Trail extension along the Laurens Road corridor and showcasing a few more plants!
SCNPS is pleased to announce a 2nd edition of the popular “Wild Plants on the Rabbit” —
SCNPS announces the second edition of “Wild Plants on the Rabbit”, a pocket-sized brochure showcasing native and naturalized plants on the highly acclaimed Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail. In addition to a few more plants, the revised brochure’s map includes the proposed Laurens Road corridor extension.
The 20-mile Trail allows people to get up close and personal with plants outside a cultivated setting. A common misconception is that a plant growing “wild” must be native to this area, but many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail.
The brochure features over 100 trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and wildflowers, with a photograph and a short description. SCNPS encourages people to use Wild Plants on the Rabbit as a checklist, checking off plants as they see them. Sharp eyes may spot Beardtongue, Trillium, Bloodroot, Devil’s Walkingstick, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, various Sunflowers, and even the small white flowers of the globally rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead!
Almost 400 species have been documented on the Trail. Visit https://SCNPS.org/swamprabbit for links to this more complete inventory and to submit photos for identification.
You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to appreciate the benefit of trees. Just look at the children, the birds, and the butterflies. I always pause to consider the expression ‘preserving our way of life’ and how relevant that is when speaking of the conservation mission of the SCNPS and so many other great organizations. Trees are quite literally a part of our ‘way-of-life’. We humans and the wildlife so necessary to our own existence are imperiled hand-in-glove with that of our tree population.
Most of us are aware today that the incredibly rapid economic growth in the world, and that however unwittingly or unintentioned, that development has and continues to seriously degrade the earth’s capacity to sustain its plants and animals. In doing so, we threaten our own well-being today and our children’s future.
This essay then, addresses the question we so often ask ourselves; “What can I do?”.
Douglas Tallamy is professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at Univ of Delaware and author of Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope. His reports on the subject find that our residential landscapes today can average as much as 92% turf grass lawn. In the remaining 8% is shared by trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals, with only 20% of those native plants. It’s worse, of course, in commercial, and municipal areas.
Do the math: Consider if you will that the Arthropods are the largest group in the Animal Kingdom, including insects like beetles, moths & butterflies, spiders and other such critters. Collectively this group are responsible for the pollination of 87.5% of all plants, and the number of arthropods has reduced globally by 45% since 1974. Science has evidenced that the disappearance of these pollinators would result in the collateral disappearance of 87-90% of our plants. Now add to that the further realization that many, if not most pollinators have a narrow band of ‘host’ plants which are critical to their reproduction cycle. This unique combination of realities is one of the driving motivations behind our own SC Native Plant Society, and others, to prevent further loss of habitat and promote the restoration of natives species. This is a very serious challenge and one that’s catching fire in the form of a cultural revolution in our own society today.
Westminster Presbyterian Oak, Photo by Doug Lockard
From that broader perspective of habitat loss, let’s drill down a bit into the role of trees generally and native trees specifically in this worthwhile effort. While we usually think of perennials like our native asters as important for our pollinators, in fact oak trees rank 1stor 2ndin wildlife food production for 84% of all U.S. counties. And it’s not just oaks, here’s a short-list of the highest impact pollinator plants in our ecosystem:
Oak trees host >500 species
Black cherry host > 300 species
Willow trees host >250
Hickory & Maples host >200 species each
After trees, then next plant species in line would be Asters hosting over 80 species so there’s a tremendous gap between the benefit of trees and perennials. It’s also very important to match up the wildlife in the area with the plants that they recognize as a food source. In other words, indiginous species, or ‘natives’. For more about native trees in South Carolina click HERE.
The take-away here is that habitat loss is a critical issue and trees are at the forefront of benefit in many ways; especially in the contribution of critical food webs for our wildlife.
Tree Economics 101:
Okay, so set-aside bugs for a minute and let’s talk economics. Let’s turn now to the area of economics to broaden our awareness of the benefit of trees. In 2006 the U.S. Forestry Service launched the Urban Tree Assessment which provided a protocol and tools for cities and counties across the country to obtain factual data regarding the tree canopy in their area.
By way of example, overflights by the USFS for the city of Greenville reflected a loss of approximately 33.1 million square feet of tree canopy between 2001 and 2011. Using this data and growth mapping for the city, it’s projected that without some changes to planning and codes, that loss could grow to 59.6 million square feet by 2021; meaning 75% of the city could be covered in asphalt. If you have any doubts about that, look-up Greenville 2040 Plan https://greenvillesc.gov/1398/GVL-2040-Comprehensive-Plan to see what kind of changes are under discussion for the next 20 years here. Clearly, our city planners are getting a grasp on the importance of this situation.
Utility Costs: According to Dr. Puskar Khanal, Associate Professor, Dept of Forestry & Environmental Conservation at Clemson, every $1 invested in trees can provide a potential return of $6in economic value to the community. In cities like Greenville, where future development forecasts reflect an ever-increasing population density and traffic, this density alone could increase the ‘heat island’ impact by as much as +5°F in temperatures, resulting in higher energy costs.
Property Values: Real estate values are typically thought to be 8-20% higher in areas adjoining naturalist settings like parks and tree-lined streets.
Income and Tax Revenue: The net value of the tree industry SC is about $1.35 billion annually, including about $30 million in salaries and operating spend for tree maintenance which in turn generates about $15.3 million in tax revenue.
Retail Sales: In central business districts with tree-line streets and canopies like our downtown Main Street, shoppers confess to spending 9-12% more.
One final point on tree economics. I took UpstateTrees Tree Keepers course on tree care and planting last year and learned that the average life-expectancy of an urban tree is only 15 years. Those wonderful heritage trees that grace our communities today, are a dying breed. And if urban trees are averaging only 15 years life, that means they will be smaller, and require a much greater commitment to planting in series. To replace one might 150 year old oak; an estimated 40 smaller trees. There are numerous factors contributing to that, but one of the most common is that most trees today are often planted improperly by homeowners and far too many professionals. The TreesUpstate website has a wealth of knowledge on the subject at https://www.treesupstate.org/resources/
What Can I Do?
Okay, okay, so we have a problem; but let’s think of it as a collective challenge. Hugging a tree may be spiritually rewarding, but
Tree Keeper’s Course, Photo by Doug Lockard
it’s going to take more than that.
Becoming more aware is the first step, and then, helping to make incremental changes around you. Here are some thoughts:
Visit the SCNPS website EDUCATION page to find a listing of native trees for our state ecosystems HERE.
Tune in to the TreesUpstate organization at https://www.treesupstate.org/. They are a terrific group of enthusiastic people with a goal of installing thousands annually here in the Upstate. They also work with Duke Power to give away free trees several times a year, and they offer an outstanding educational program in tree pruning and planting.
We have outstanding professionally trained arborists in our city and we need to utilize them. To find a list of the companies that employ certified arborists in SC go to the SC Forestry Commission’s link at https://www.state.sc.us/forest/ptreeservice.pdf
Educate yourself by visiting any of the amazing programs easily available online, including:
The 1 Trillion Trees campaign which aims to “grow, restore and conserve one trillion trees around the world in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change,” https://www.trilliontrees.org/
We need to change the paradigm on how we, as a society, think of trees. Trees are a common resource essential to life as we know
Deodor Cedar, Photo by Doug Lockard
it and we it’s time to re-think our role as ‘stewards-of-the-land’ to embrace individual trees as a shared resource, much the same way we do air and water. We need to also look more critically at the role of government in assuring this shared resource is not denied us by non-sustainable development.
Sheila Stanbeck founded the Oshun Mountain Sanctuary, a 42 acres of cove and oak urban forest boardering the French Broad River near Asheville to preserve native habitat that’s becoming scarce, placing many of the native flora and fauna at risk. I leave you with her fitting words, just replace ‘natural spaces’ with the word ‘trees’:
“Natural places are essential for human health. Once they are lost to development, they are gone forever. We must preserve them now and for our sake, and for the sake of the future.”
Douglas Tallamy, professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at Univ of Delaware and author of Nature’s Best Hope.
There are many wonderful trees native to our ecosystems here in South Carolina, and as such, are beneficial to the wildlife that evolved her alongside them. This list below is compliments of the US Forestry Service here in our state. These trees, if propertly planted, will very likely live longer, require less maintenance, and bring more benefit than the wide variety of non-native trees available commercially here.
White Turtlehead, Photo by Janie Marlow
My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park. It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting. We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’. It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot. It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.
Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence. It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project. There are other plant identification aps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well. If anyone is interested in this project, drop me a line at [email protected].
FERNS, MOSSES, & CLUB MOSSES
Bublet BladderfernCystopteris bulbifera (2)
Greater Tickseed, Photo by Doug Lockard
Christmas FernPolystichum acrostichoides
Western BrackenfernPteridium aquilinum
Broom ForkmossDicranum scoparium
Common HairmossPolytrichum commune
Juniper HaircapPolytrichum juniperinum
Flowering SpurgeEujphorbia corollata
BasketgrassOplismenus hirtellusConsidered an invasive native
Pam Shucker and Bill Robertson will present our online program in October on their recently published book “Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge”. Bill Robertson is a professional nature photographer whose works appear in many businesses of the upstate and quite a few homes as well. Pam’s writing tells of how nature is so healing to the body and uplifting to the spirit. Not only will you enjoy reading through this book, but also you will come back to it many times as a reference and as a refresher.
“With Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge Pam and Bill have distilled why so many of us love the Upstate area and are proud to call this place our home. The photographs are superb, the writing is thoughtful, and the resulting impression of our area confirms its reputation as the crown jewel of South Carolina.”
-Jonathan Welsh, Owner, Appalachian Outfitters SC Inc.
Pam and Bill are both members of the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS and also worked with our Upstate board member Janie Marlow who designed the book.
The invitation and link to the program will be sent out via Tiny Letter the week of the event. Be sure to sign up for Tiny Letter announcements on SCNPS.org if you are not already receiving these notifications.
Here is the list of available plants for members only to pre-order for the fall plant sale. Place your order by emailing Eddie Bernard at [email protected] Please put “Fall Native Plant Order” in the subject line, and include your full name and phone number in the message.
For each plant ordered be sure to include:
Name of plant
Size of pot
There is a minimum of 10 plants per order, and a maximum of 25 plants per order.
Note, quantities are not guaranteed. Orders will be filled on a first come, first-served basis.
Orders must be placed between September 12-19.
Orders may be picked up
Friday October 16 from 12:00 -2:00 pm
Saturday October 17 from 9:00 -11:00 am
If you cannot pick up plants during one of these times, please do not place an order.
To pay for plants, please bring a check made out to SCNPS for the total confirmed cost.
The South Carolina Native Plant Society is committed to our core mission of educating the public about the essential role of our heritage native plants in the restoration of the Upstate’s ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten public health here in the Upstate; nevertheless, we remain determined to making SC native plants available to our membership and friends. We’re pleased to announce that our annual Fall Sale will be held at our Upstate Native Plant Nursery as it has in the past, with a few innovative twists.
Autumn is the best time of year to plant and this year we have a selection of over 4,000 native species, many of them difficult to find in commercial nurseries. This years collection includes shrubs, perennial wildflowers, vines, ferns, grasses and some trees. We have more native azaleas than we’ve ever offered in past Fall Sales as well as pollinator plants for butterflies and birds, and native plants that flower throughout the growing season.
WHY PLANT NATIVES?
If each of us restored even a portion of our property back to native plants, our combined efforts would improve water quality as well as increase habitat for wildlife. Native plants are increasingly desirable for the creation of ‘living landscapes’, making our residential and commercial properties part of a biological corridor by using native plants that evolved with local wildlife and which contribute meaningfully to the food webs that support them. These native plants are ideally adapted to our soils and climate and once established in an appropriate site, generally require less water and maintenance (e.g. fertilizer) than plants from other parts of the world.
TWO WAYS to shop and purchase plants this year:
Shop online and pick-up your order at the Upstate Native Nursery.
ONLINE ORDERING PROCESS:
After browsing the ‘Native Plant Price List’ above, refer to the ‘CONTACT’information below to place your order by e-mail.
Follow the instrutions on the ‘Native Plant Price List’ to prepare your order and we recommend you include the Scientific Name for certainty of species as in some cases we have several different variants in stock. The same for size and quantity.
Our Sales Team will receive your request, review available inventory, and respond by sending an estimate. Upon your response to the estimate, an invoice will be prepared using our SQUARE™ app with online payment instructions.
Once your payment is received, your order will be scheduled for collection and you’ll be notified as to when and where you can pick up your plants.
Make an appointment to shop our native plant collection in person.
SHOPPING IN PERSON:
If you’d prefer, a limited number of appointments may be made to visit our Upstate Native Nursery in person. Simply refer to the ‘CONTACT ‘ information below and let us know when you’d like to visit (a range of days/times is helpful) and how many will be in your party.
We anticipate having multiple times each week during the sale period to accommodate visitors, and our Sales Team will respond with an appointment date/time within your specified time frame to the best of our ability.
Upon your acceptance, your appointment will be confirmed and directions provided. One of our all-volunteer Sales Team will be on-hand to assist you and to process your order at the conclusion of your visit. We’ll accept cash (although no coinage), personal checks, debit and credit cards.
Please note that the available quantities are not listed and will be subject to change as the sale period progresses, so we recommend acting early.
IMPORTANT SALE DATES:
Sunday, September 13th – Friday, September 25th the SCNPS-Upstate Native Nursery will be closed in preparation for the sale.
• Monday, September 21st begin processing electronic orders from the Website
• Saturday, September 26th begin curb-side pick-ups and shopping appointments
• Friday, October 31st cease accepting order via the Website
• Saturday, November 7th terminate the Fall Sale curb-side pick-up program
EARLY BIRD – MEMBERSHIP FEATURE:
As always, we are offering early plant sale access to our active members. If you are currently a paid-up member of the South Carolina Native Plant Society (any chapter) your order submitted via the website link will begin processing on Monday, September 21st.
Please indicate your membership status on your order.
All other other orders will begin processing on Wednesday, September 23rd in the order they are received.
During visits to the Upstate Native Nursery, our all-volunteer Sales Team will be wearing masks and observing social distancing, and we’ll ask that you do as well. Carts will be made available for moving your plants and you’ll handle the loading yourself to minimize contact.