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New York Plants for Wildlife Habitat & Conservation Landscaping

Do you enjoy observing nature…hearing the song of the chickadee…watching hummingbirds fill up on nectar from trumpet vines…listening to the chattering of squirrels…seeing the beauty and grace of a monarch butterfly perched on a milkweed… experiencing the antics of a Mockingbird…the cooing of the Mourning Doves…the swiftness of the Cottontail…and the brilliance of a Cardinal or Baltimore Oriole?

If the answer is “yes”, you’ll probably want to landscape your property for wildlife so you can experience even more from Mother Nature by attracting more wildlife to your property.

Wildlife doesn’t just randomly appear in a given area. It is there because of favorable habitat. The essential elements that you must provide in your habitat are food, water, cover and a place to raise a family. To attract the most wildlife, you need native trees, shrubs, groundcover, vines and wildflowers, many of which will provide food and shelter.

The geography of New York is diverse. The highest, most rugged mountains, the Adirondack Mountains are located in the northern part of the state between Lake Champlain in the east and Lake Ontario in the west. The St. Lawrence-Champlain lowlands can be found on the shores of Lake Ontario and running northeast along the St. Lawrence River and the Canadian border. South of the Adirondack uplands, the Hudson-Mowhawk lowland follows the rivers north and west. This area is from 10 to 30 miles wide. In the southeast is the Atlantic coastal plain. and to the west of the Hudson River are the Appalachian Higlands which extend west toward Lake Erie. This area includes the Catskill Mountains and the Finger Lakes. Further west is the Erie-Ontario lowlands as New York slopes toward these two Great Lakes. The New York Flora Association can provide lists of plants for a specific region.

, Tall
Pitch Pine, Oaks, American Holly, Atlantic White Cedar, Box Elder, River/Paper/Gray Birch, Mockernut Hickory, American Beech, White/Green Ash, Black Walnut, Striped Maple
Short–Sand-cherry, Persimmon, Dwarf White Birch, Dogwoods, Winterberry, Smooth Shadbush, PawPaw


Blueberry, Possum-haw, Strawberrybush, Bayberry, Huckleberry, Sand Cherry, Dwarf Chestnut Oak, Scrub Oak, Low Bush Blueberry


Boneset, Mountain Mint, Goldenrod, Milkweeds, Indian Paintbrush, Native Sunflowers, Cardinal Flower, Blazing Star, Native Asters, Bush Clover, Wild Blue Lupine


Side Oats Grama, Northern Reedgrass, Pennsylvania Sedge, Marsh Bluegrass, Northern Bentgrass, Spikerush, Panic Grass, Little and Big Bluestem, Indian Grass


American Bittersweet, Wild Grape, Virgin’s Bower, Trumpet Honeysuckle


Foamflower, Bearberry, Bunchberry, Checkerberry, Partridgeberry, Lowbush Blueberry, Wild Strawberry

Birding Quick Hits

Consider leaving some of your dead flowers up through the fall and winter months, if their seeds are still present. Migrating and winter visitors may stop by to enjoy a free meal.