effects of climate change

seydouxSeptember 15, 2012

After reading all of the posts on garden web on this subject, I am almost afraid to ask.We purchased a 6 acre property in PA near the Delaware border, this area is 6b to 7a. According to the government the area has already shown change moving up a climate zone. So here is the question, we will keep large areas of this property in woods and wildflowers, but since it will be a retirement spot, we need to choose plants that will thrive going forward. Any input on what types of natives I should use? I would like to chose a wildflower mix for what was the paddock, but do I use a Northern mix or a southern one?

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lycopus(z5 NY)

Climate change will likely only affect the distribution of plants on the very edges of their ranges. Chances are these will be uncommon in your area already. Plants currently found well north and south of your area should be fine over the long term.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:05PM
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If you would like to see what native plants do well in your area go visit MT Cuba center. It is in Northern Delaware and is one of the DuPont estates turned into a Native plant preserve..it is a wonderful visit. They have docents to guide you and the plantings are spectacular. I visited it this past Spring just when the Trillium's were supposed to be at their best but because of the early Spring we had the Trillium's were almost finished blooming. The Dwarf Buckeye were all in bloom though and it was just wonderful.
Sorry I don't have the web site at hand but so easy to find with your search engine

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Congratulations on your 6 acres! That is wonderful.

I think finding local sources of native plants and native seeds is the way to go. I have 2 acres in NE PA, but I find that most native plant nurseries are in SE PA (close to you, I think). Here is a link to a list of PA native plant nurseries: http://www.plantnative.org/nd_patova.htm

I have been to Bowman's Hill, Edge of Woods, and American Native Nursery...and I've ordered bareroot seedlings from Musser Forest and Howard Nursery (Pennsylvania State Game Commission). I'm sure you can buy from the tri-state area...just try to keep things within a reasonable radius from where you live. The size of that radius depends on who you ask, how easily things can be found nearby, and how strict they want to be.

Pennsylvania is supposed to be the northern limit of many southern species and the southern limit of many northern species. I feel that getting locally grown natives or seeds originating near you will ensure success. I believe the plants that germinate from these seeds that can handle more heat will survive and so will their progeny, so warming should only affect some that can't handle the change..but most will be fine and those will continue to pass along their genes.

I have bought from nurseries north of me and from those near where you are. If I could find sources closer to me, I'd prefer it, but I figure getting plants from a little south of me are already adapted to a slightly warmer clime.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Native Backyard

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:45PM
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