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Native oak trees available from Costco

Native oak trees
A Blue Jay perches in an oak tree. Photo by Civdis/Shutterstock

The forthcoming July/August 2020 issue of BirdWatching includes an excerpt from the terrific new book Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology and a well-known expert on native plants. In the excerpt, he sings the praises of oak trees and their value for native birds.

“Ecologically, oaks are superior plants, and it would be easy to make a convincing case that they deliver more ecosystem services than any other tree genus,” Tallamy writes.

So, I was happy to receive news today from the National Audubon Society that it has teamed up with Bower & Branch, an e-commerce gardening retailer, and Costco to release a special selection of Audubon-certified native oak trees.

Gardeners can order the 8-to-10-foot-tall trees at Costco.com and have them delivered directly to their home, now through June 21. Each purchase supports Audubon’s nonprofit conservation mission. Each tree costs $299.99.

“As many of us spent time closer to home this spring, the natural world outside our windows has provided welcome connection and interaction,” said John Rowden, senior director of Audubon’s Bird Friendly Communities and Plants for Birds initiatives, which matches gardeners up with attractive plants that grow naturally in their area. “Planting trees and other plants native to your region is one of the best ways to welcome birds to your yard or garden. Native plants not only attract more birds, but they’re adapted to local climate conditions, so they require less maintenance than more exotic varieties. In fact, it’s more of a challenge to find them available for sale than to grow them, so we’re enormously excited about Audubon’s new partnership with Bower & Branch, including this special tree collection for Costco.”

Four oak species available

Four species of Audubon-branded oak trees are now on sale at Costco.com — Pin OakBur OakWhite Oak, and Northern Red Oak — exclusively grown by Bower & Branch. All four varieties are native to the East Coast and parts of the Midwest and may provide food and shelter for Blue Jays, flickers, woodpeckers, and other local and migratory birds.

“As a member of the horticulture industry, we have a responsibility to people and the planet,” said Don Eaton, CEO & founder of Bower & Branch. “Silent skies are not anything we want to experience, and there’s a reason to plant natives now for future generations. I’m full of hope that we can make change with Audubon. It’s a chance for a dynamic shift.”

Additional Audubon-certified Plants for Birds are available online at BowerandBranch.com for shipment directly to homes or for pickup at participating garden centers. Every purchase and planting of these native plants and trees supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact.

How planting a tree can ensure a brighter future

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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