The Q&A Archives: Making part of yard into a little woods area

Question: I would like to make part of yard into a little woods area. There are no trees there right now. Not sure what to plant or how to get started. I live in Michigan.

Answer: This could be a complex project, or it could be fairly simple, depending on how authentic a woodland you want to plant and depending on the growing conditions in your yard and the amount of space you have to work with. Native plants including wooded areas usually grow as a commnity with the specific plants being suited for the soil and other growing conditions in that particular location. For example, you might start with a sugar maple, and then underplant it with some native shrubs and wild flowers that would usually accompany that tree. Or if you have only a small space, you might use only a large shrub or two and underplant with some native perennials. There is a partial listing of native plants for Michigan following a good description of how wooded areas evolve over time at,1607,7-153-10370_22664-61596--...

Your local Department of Natural Resources and/or county extension should be able to help you analyze the growing conditions in your yard and identify some woodland plants that would grow well there. Then you could select the ones you like best from those. Have fun with your project!

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