Native Tree Sale Order Form

Native Tree Sale Order Form
PDF file will allow you to download and print, or email. Should you choose to use paypal, please email your order, then go to the donate page and use paypal to complete the transaction. HERE

Choosing Native Trees for Lake Bluff

In general, the challenge in choosing plant material for Lake Bluff is the fact that we’re already surrounded by a mature forest.  Starting a tree or shrub under medium to heavy shade can be a challenge.  Many back yards are sometimes inundated with stormwater for significant portions of the spring and summer.

Unlike goofy fru-fru non-natives, Native trees and shrubs are host to our native insects and will attract and feed birds and butterflies to your garden. In fact – the survival many of our native insect species depends on home gardeners maintaining a great diversity of native trees and shrubs.

Please choose plant material as if the continued survival of life on earth depended on the decisions you are about to make!

Use the guide below in making appropriate choices for your property.


Hills Oak – Quercue elipsoidalis

Hills oak is a quirky smaller prairie oak.  We have many at the Prairie Preserve to the west of Belle Foret Drive.  They require full sun and fairly dry conditions.

They are fast growing and have great red fall color.  Hill’s oak’s best feature is that they generally hang on to their leaves all winter – so if you’re looking for something to provide privacy screening  – this may be a candidate!

Red Oak – Quercus rubra

Red OakRed oak may be your best choice for many applications.  Red is the most shade tolerant of our local oak species and doesn’t mind damp conditions.  Red oaks are common throughout Lake Bluff, growing to 80’ tall when mature and featuring beautiful maroon color in the fall. photos by Schulte’s

Swamp White Oak – Quercus bicolor

Swamp White OakSwamp white oak, as the name implies, is the oak of choice in a damp part of the yard, but will tolerate medium soil as well. Must have full sun.  Yellow color in fall. Grows to 85’ when mature. photos by Schulte’s



Black Chokeberry – Aronia melancarpa

Blooms white in late April / early May, then develops droops of large black berries that contrast with it’s glossy green leaves.  Chokeberry likes damp conditions and will tolerate half-sun, but likes full sun better. Fall color is bright red. Will grow to 6′ high and 6′ wide.

Ninebark – Physicarpus opulifolius

This shrub can grow to 10′ around and is found growing in our Skokie River Reserve.  It’s name comes from the fact that it has peely exfoliating bark so that it looks as if it has many layers of bark.  Ninebark blooms white in late spring, but the umbrella shape of the flower umbrels in winter are very distinctive. Tolerates fairly dry to fairly damp soil and can be planted anywhere from full sun to part shade.

Witch Hazel – Hamamelis virginiana

Common Witch Hazel is found throughout Lake Bluff in well drained shady areas. It’s a regular in wooded ravine and bluff settings. Witch Hazel is distinctive in that its yellow, star-shaped blossoms are about the latest-blooming flowers in our natural areas, bringing color to the otherwise grey month of November. Mature size can be up to 20′ high by 15′ wide.

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