Georgia is home to more than 500 species of pollinators from honeybees to monarch butterflies. These little insects are essential for agriculture, home gardens and the food web in our natural habitats. In fact, Georgia’s $71 billion agriculture economy relies on pollinators for crops such as peaches, pecans, apples, blueberries, and strawberries.
As modern landscapes change, bees are fighting to survive. Since 2006, the annual rate of dying bees has plummeted. Bee losses have been attributed to a variety of stressors, such as loss of habitat, parasites, and pesticides. The good news is, we can all help by making our yards more pollinator-friendly and planting native trees – which have great benefits for homeowners, the environment and pollinators.
Urban and suburban trees produce oxygen, reduce air pollution, improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff, raise property values, and lower heating and cooling costs. Trees are also good for our health and well-being. Trees have been proven to have a positive impact on stress and anxiety. Native trees are often recommended because they help local wildlife including pollinators thrive.
Studies show that tree-lined streets and parks provide inviting gathering places and can strengthen ties between neighbors, encourage healthy children’s play. Their beauty and changing colors nurture our minds, bodies, and souls, giving us an overarching feeling of calm. Consider adding a native tree to your yard to nurture your own well-being, your family’s, your neighbors and the pollinators.
Native or not, the old adage of “right tree, right place” still stands says Chris Heim, district manager of Davey Tree in Atlanta. It would be unwise to plant a moisture-loving tree in a dry place. If you are unsure of the best tree for your space, call your local arborist for information. They can also help you with proper planting and future care.
Great Native Trees for Georgia
Planting natives is one of the best ways to assist pollinators
There is an oak for nearly every garden situation
Home to more than 500 pollinator species
Vibrant flowers attract and bees and a wide of range of other pollinators
Attracts bees, beetles and more
They grow best in moist well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, in sun and part shade
Excellent nectar source for bees to make the famous Tupelo Honey
Prefers moist, acidic soil in full sun to part shade
Fiery leaves make an incredible fall display
A small tree that welcomes spring with lots of bright fuchsia/magenta blooms
Prefers moist but well-drained soil, light shade is best in hot climates
Bees and butterflies love the nectar from this tree’s flowers
Spring flowers attract bees and other pollinators
Grows best in moist, fertile soil in full sun, yet fairly adaptable
Songbirds will relish the fruit
Attracts bees and at least 36 different species of birds
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spring flowering trees
Grow in full sun to part shade in acidic soil that is moist but well drained
Fragrant white flowers attract bees and who produce gourmet honey
Long-lived shade tree that prefers full sun
Grows best in moist acidic soil but will tolerate some drought once established