OSU Webinar Series: Tending Nature

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Tending Nature: Native Plants and Every Gardener’s Role in Fostering Biodiversity

Fridays at 10AM EASTERN for 6 weeks from January 7th through February 11th

Mary Gardiner, Doug Tallamy, Lisa Olsen, Bryan Danforth, Heather Holm and Debra Knapke

Missed a session? Connect to webinar recordings.

 

Suggested readings, papers and resources can be found on the Learn With Us tab.

1/7  Beneficial Insect Biodiversity: What It Is and Why It Matters

Mary Gardiner: author and professor, The Ohio State University

1/14 Bringing Nature Home: The Importance of Native Plants

Doug Tallamy: author and professor, The University of Delaware

1/21 Cultivating a Community of Support for Native Plants

Lisa Olsen: Wild Ones:Native Plants, Natural Landscapes

1/28 Host-plant Specialist Bees – Biology, Biodiversity, and Conserving Them in Your Backyard

Bryan Danforth: author and professor, Cornell University

2/4  Bumble Bee Banquet: Selecting Native Plants for Bumble Bees

Heather Holm: author and biologist

2/11 Native Plants in My Garden? Absolutely!

Debra Knapke: author and garden designer

Tending Nature is sponsored by the OSU Department of Entomology and The Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens, and is funded in part by a USDA/NIFA Integrated Pest Management Pollinator Health grant.

This event is not sponsored by NOWO, but we wanted to share events happening in the area with a similar mission.

Leaves are NOT Litter!

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Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife | Xerces Society

 

Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

By Scott Hoffman Black on 12 November 2020

It is fall again and we have harvested all of our garden produce and are making sure our outside faucets are protected against winter’s freeze. The leaves are changing color and tumbling from the trees—and that means fall cleanup in the yard and garden.   

For many people fall cleanup means cutting all the seed heads and stems off the flowers and raking up all of the leaves. A tidy garden and yard are what many people strive to achieve. Everything clipped back, leaves raked and removed, messy piles of branches put in the green bin for pick up. This tidiness may look nice to us, but it is not good for all of the small creatures that live in and around your property.

 

 

Out of sight often means out of mind for people and fall is a time when you do not see the bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that were flitting around your flowers all summer. Where do these insects go when they are not visiting your garden? Some do migrate—like the monarch butterfly, flying south to overwinter in trees in Mexico or along the California coast—but the vast majority spend their entire life in and around your property. Many of our native solitary bees have laid eggs and provisioned nests in soil or in standing dead trees or hollowed out branches where the young are pupating. Bumble bee queens have found areas to overwinter under branches, in rock walls and in other relatively dry, snug places. 

Many species rely on fallen leaves for cover and to insulate them from the elements. Depending on the species, butterflies and moths spend the winter as eggs, caterpillars, pupae, or adults. As Justin Wheeler described in our first leave the leaves blog:

Great spangled fritillary and wooly bear caterpillars tuck themselves into a pile of leaves for protection from cold weather and predators. Red-banded hairstreaks lay their eggs on fallen oak leaves, which become the first food of the caterpillars when they emerge. Luna moths and swallowtail butterflies disguise their cocoons and chrysalises as dried leaves, blending in with the “real” leaves. There are many such examples.

Beyond butterflies, bumble bees also rely on leaf litter for protection. At the end of summer, mated queen bumble bees burrow only an inch or two into the earth to hibernate for winter. An extra thick layer of leaves is welcome protection from the elements. There are so many animals that live in leaves: spiders, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes, mites, and more—that support the chipmunks, turtles, birds, and amphibians that rely on these insects for food.

 

 

Leave the leaves does not mean ignoring them and leaving them where they fell. You can move them to places in your yard where they are out of the way, will not kill your turf, and will still help wildlife. A thin layer of leaves can actually help turf—but too much will kill the grass. Consider raking leaves into areas around trees, or use them as winter mulch for perennials or to cover garden beds. I have found in Oregon that a thick layer of leaves in my garden beds helps minimize weed problems early in the spring and can be a great soil amendment.

We also let our neighbors know what we are doing so that they know we are not just being lazy. The same neighbors see a variety of flowers throughout the season and an abundance of pollinators and birds visiting our yard. The messiness is just an extension of our wildlife gardening and by making sure people know that wildlife need places to live year round—especially when it is cold and grey outside—it does help them understand why we should all #leavetheleaves!

So next time you have fall cleanup chores in your yard think about how you can have a yard for you, your family, and for all of the animals with which we share this planet.

scott black
Scott Black is an internationally renowned conservationist who has been at the forefront of the conservation movement for three decades. Scott’s work has led to protection and restoration of habitat on millions of acres of rangelands, forests, and farmland as well as protection for many endangered species. He is an author of the best-selling Attracting Native Pollinators and Gardening for Butterflies and has written more than two hundred other publications including a recent chapter on climate change and insects.

Speaker Series & Seed Swap – Nov 17

Posted & filed under PROGRAMS AND EVENTS.

PROGRAM: Katie Yates, Director of Education and Stewardship for Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) will be presenting “Your Home, Your Community, Your Watershed – How Native Plants Improve Your Watershed”. Katie is also the new Secretary of this Wild Ones chapter. 

This presentation will be videotaped. 

We are following CDC guidelines and request that all members and guests wear a mask. 

Seed Swapping: Bring your home grown native plant seeds/seed heads, packaged in small paper lunch bags or ‘recycled’ envelopes. More on seed collecting and sharing in a separate email. 

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2021 

-doors open at 6:30 PM

Seed Swapping at 6:30 to 7:00, and again after the program presentation

Program at 7:30 PM

E. L. Johnson Nature Center, 3325 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills (north of Long Lake)

 

Seed collection page for Project Wingspan (program of Pollinator Partnership) https://www.pollinator.org/wingspan/seed-collection

 
Home page for Pollinator Partnership: https://www.pollinator.org/
 

In the event that we are not able to meet at the Nature Center in person, we will have our programs on Zoom, and you will receive an invitation to log in.

 

NON-MEMBERS: We hope you become a member of Wild Ones with North Oakland as your local chapter. (wildones.orgNote that our programs are free of charge, but if you are a member of Wild Ones, part of your membership fee returns to the local chapter and helps pay for our programs. Your membership affirms our own commitment to ecological landscaping practices.

October Speaker Series

Posted & filed under PROGRAMS AND EVENTS.

The October 20, 2021 member meeting topic was GROW BACK BETTER, presented by Marilyn Trent and Stephanie Smith 

Learn about the benefits of leaving the leaves for our moths, butterflies and other beneficial insects, the seed heads for the birds and stalks for the bees. Soft landings will be presented by Stephanie Smith, Rochester Pollinators board member. She will discuss the diverse native plantings under keystone trees (or any other regionally appropriate native tree). These plantings provide critical shelter and habitat for one or more life cycle stages of moths, butterflies, and beneficial insects such as bumblebees, fireflies, lacewings, and beetles.

 

Some important links from the presentation:

Bee and Pollinator Books by Heather Holm – Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants (pollinatorsnativeplants.com)

Picture

Fall cleanup with ecology in mind, with Doug Tallamy – A Way To Garden

Nesting & Overwintering Habitat for Pollinators & Other Beneficial Insects (xerces.org)

 

Other handouts at the meeting:

Six reasons to NOT clean up the garden this fall (savvygardening.com)

Going native can be a smart choice for Michigan landscapes – MSU Extension