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The last few months has brought about a high demand for plants, seeds, any and all things gardening.

If you are thinking about planting native trees and shrubs, you may want to check out the website TreeDay2021. Saturday, March 20 has been designated Tennessee Tree Day 2021 by the Tennessee Environmental Council. Tree seedlings can be purchased ($1.99 each) through March 7 or until sold out at the website.

Some of you will remember locally ordered trees being distributed last March by The Dickson Tree Management and Beautification Board assisted by Gardening Partners members. This year, the plan is to hand out the pre-ordered trees on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m.-noon at 303 Henslee Dr. in Dickson. This is the parking lot for our library, where the former Food Lion store used to be.

White Oak (50-80 feet), Northern Red Oak (65-85 feet), Bald Cypress (50-70 feet), Sweet Gum (65-75 feet), Tulip Poplar (70-90 feet), Shortleaf Pine (60-100 feet) and Red Mulberry (35-50 feet) are offered. They will become large, long-lived trees, so some thought needs to go into where they will be planted.

As wonderful as mulberry trees are, their berries can certainly leave unwanted stains. These native trees all love our soil, and will support native wildlife. I have heard that a bald cypress is the tree most unlikely to be blown over in a storm.

Wild Plums (15-25 ft) and Eastern Redbuds (15-30 ft) make good understory trees. Both plum trees and redbud trees will provide plenty of early nectar and pollen for our native bees and honeybees. They will also be hosts to butterfly and moth larvae.

There are two excellent shrub choices on the list. Buttonbush needs a well-drained but slightly moist environment. It’s a multi-stemmed shrub, and the pretty white flowers will provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Buttonbush can be expected to grow 6-12 feet tall and have a spread of 12-18 feet.

The second shrub is Beautyberry, Callicarpa Americana. It can be expected to grow 6-10 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide. Beautyberry enjoys well-drained, moist soil, but it can be quite drought-tolerant. The flowers provide nectar for bees and butterflies, then, later, the beautiful berry/fruit clusters provide food for many different kinds of songbirds. Beautyberry shrub foliage is said to deter mosquitoes, and that should be another good reason to grow one or more.

So, if you need more trees and/or shrubs, please check out the website. The seedlings will probably be small, but they will be healthy and ready to grow for you.

Happy gardening.

Gardening Partners is a non-profit founded in 2003 to serve Dickson County with gardening education and advice.  Readers may submit gardening questions by email:, on the website:, or by mail:  PO Box 471 Dickson TN 37056

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