Botanical Forest Products Table of Contents]

Native landscaping plants

Profile of industry in British Columbia

Use of native plant species for landscaping is an increasing part of the botanical forest product industry. Entire trees, shrubs or herbs may be collected for personal landscaping or for commercial sale to nurseries and garden centres as transplants. Nurseries or garden centres indicate that the majority of their sales are not from their own stock but rather from special orders filled by independent contractors.

Landscaping with native species is an increasingly preferred alternative to using cultivated species for several reasons. Use of native species naturally adapted to local climate can reduce expense, since these plants have relatively lower moisture and nutrient requirements, greater tolerance to disease and increased resistance to insects (Walls et al. 1991). Such advantages are now recognized by homeowners wanting Pacific Northwest gardens and by government agencies attempting to rehabilitate particular plant communities (Thomas and Schumann 1993; Walls et al. 1991).

Harvesters and forest district staff have helped identify a total of 44 native plant species used for landscaping in British Columbia. Table 12 reveals that one tree species, 19 shrub species and 24 herbaceous species are collected by individuals for use in personal gardens or by commercial harvesters supplying nurseries and garden centres.

Harvesting in Washington State

The Randle Ranger District of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest reports that commercial demand for transplants of native species is increasing. For example, in 1991 the ranger district sold 900 tree transplants to harvesters for commercial use. The district indicated that the most popular native transplants sold were mountain hemlock, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, noble fir, vine maple, bear-grass and cattails. The revenue generated from these sales is used in the ranger district to offset forest rehabilitation costs (Thomas and Schumann 1993).

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