Re: TH: urban shade trees native to North Carolina

 Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
At 07:25 PM 4/16/97 -0400, you wrote:
> Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
> -------
> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 17:15:41 -0400
> From: "Bonitz, Amy" <bonitz.dcrp@mhs.unc.edu>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hello!
>Does anyone out there know of appropriate street trees that are native to 
>North Carolina?
>UNC-Chapel Hill

        I presume your interest is in trees for planting in North Carolina
locations. A number of tree species native to North Carolina are considered
to be outstanding street trees. Being familiar with Chapel Hill, I can say
some street strolling in your beautiful town and a landscape reference or
tree identification book is your best teacher. Curtis Brooks, Chapel Hill's
urban forest officer may have something handy-dandy for you. Local libraries
(town's or UNC's) will provide many good books: Landscape Plants of the
Southeast by Halfacre, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Dirr, Audubon's
field guide for trees of the southeast, etc.. 
        Picking my own memory here for notable street trees in Chapel Hill
which are NC natives: Quercus phellos - outstanding along Franklin Street,
Fraxinus americana - the huge specimen on Franklin next to Brinkley Memorial
Church is magnificent. (It also confounds those who argue that this species
is NOT adapted to do well along streets tree. It is also casting the
sidewalk aside -  guess who I think should yield!), Acer rubrum probably all
over town (The over popular 'October Glory' and 'Red Sunset' are NOT NC
genotypes and are less adapted than other stock grown from seed of NC
provenance. They are Acer rubrum, but "native"? - you decide.)      
        Others which deserve attention and you may find: Quercus spp - e.g.
Q.shumardii (becoming very popular), Q.falcata, Q.imbricaria, Q.rubrum,
Platanus occidentalis (Platanus spp is an acclaimed street tree genera but
there are disease issues pending. The hybrid London plane, 1/2 our native is
much preferred over our native P.occidentalis. "Native" enough? - you
decide.)  Nyssa sylvantica, Celtis spp, Cornus florida or Cercis canadensis
or Carpinus caroliniana in special situations, Liquidamber styraciflua
('Rotundifolia' is a fruitless form first found in NC, "native" enough? -
you decide!). There are many more good ones I've missed, I'm sure.  
        You've probably picked up on my ambivalence concerning "native".
Utility and even validity of the term is hotly debated. Many coastal and
mountain natives are not adapted for use in the piedmont. Any serious
advocacy for natives must encompass issues of local adaptation,
micro-environment, provenance, ecoforms, etc.. Although I advocate vigorous
exploration of the potential of NC natives for street tree use, I do not
believe there is sufficient cause to exclude non-natives from the palette.
The street is not a natural or a tree friendly NC environment but it is a
common one! Realistically, we need to use what "works", native and
non-native, just to assure we have a proper diversity and density of street
        Good Luck! (FYI - I am the horticulturist for the Town of Cary.)
Shaub Dunkley, Durham, NC
Shaub Dunkley
2608 University Dr.
Durham NC 27707