Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines
This is a very thorough and complete guide to the native trees, shrubs and woody vines of Georgia. The Federal Government defines a native plant as a plant naturally occurring either presently or historically in any ecosystem of the United States. This guide (available for download as a 406 page pdf) discusses the 8 major habitats of Georgia, hardiness zones (Georgia has 5 hardiness zones), site preparation as well as a wonderful guide to native plants complete with photographs.
There is much emphasis placed on native plant communities which are low maintenance and self-sufficient. Native butterflies, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and other animals will inhabit the native flora and are sustained by it. Ecological preservation is another reason for using native plants. With the increasing destruction of natural environments for urban and agricultural use, many plant species and the animals they support have declined dramatically in numbers and in range. This is an excellent, free resource and worth your time to check out.
Have you ever been curious about Mistletoe?
Mistletoe is a parasite that also carries on photosynthesis independantly, but it needs a host to obtain its water and nutrients. It can be found on a variety of trees including pine, oak, birch and apple. Interestingly, it has been used medicinally in Europe for centuries to treat epilepsy, infertility, hypertension and arthritis. Celtic priest (Druids) revered the oak and the evergreen mistletoe growing in it. For more information on the history of the mistletoe in culture click: https://www.history.com/news/why-do-we-kiss-under-the-mistletoe
For more information on mistletoe, this strange parasitic plant, visit SciShow to view: The Holiday Plant that Shouldn't Exist at https://youtu.be/OjkWJsFBaGA
Invasive Insects of Concern to Georgia
You are probably very aware that Georgia (and the entire Southeast) has its share of invasive insects that cause much damage to our native trees, ornamentals, agriculture and ecosystems. The wooly adelgid has been one of the worse of these insects, wiping out stand after stand of our beautiful hemlocks. An invasive species is any species (including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other propagative material) that is not native to an ecosystem, and lives free from natural predators, parasites, or competitors. As a result, they can develop large populations very rapidly, and their introduction does or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health.
The University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health have a free downloadable pdf of a guide to these invasive insects. They highlight 13 of the pests found in Georgia and feature photos as well as suggestions to help prevent the spread of these invasive insects. You may download the guide by clicking: