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News | April 15, 2021

Installation environmental office offers tips on landscaping for wildlife

By Nicole Goicochea DLA Installation Management-Columbus Environmental Division Chief

Spring has sprung in Ohio and many of us are spending more time at home.  Naturally, this is a great time for lawn and garden improvements.  If you’re in the market for some new bushes or trees, why not also attract more birds and butterflies?  Any tree or shrub will provide so much more habitat than a lawn alone but consider taking it a step further and choosing a native variety.  

Central Ohio has clay soil, cold winters, dry summers and swampy springs.  Not many plants can handle this region with grace, but native plants are up to the task.  For more information on why native plants are important, please see Bringing your landscape to life! 

Below is a quick list of beautiful and hardy shrubs and trees that I’ve found since my original article. Please see Native Plant Suggestions for additional options.

Native Bushes and Trees:


  • Clethra - attracts hummingbirds AND butterflies!
  • Dogwood (Red Twig, Pagoda, Gray) – high wildlife value!
  • Viburnum (Nannyberry, American Highbush, Maple Leaf, Arrowwood, Black Haw) 
  • Ninebark
  • Winterberry Holly
  • Northern Bayberry - evergreen shrub!
  • Buttonbush - attracts hummingbirds AND butterflies!



  • *Wild Cherry
  • *Sweetbay Magnolia   
  • *Paw Paw
  • *Oak (red, black, scarlet, pin, white, willow, swamp, chestnut)
  • American Holly – evergreen!

*indicates a butterfly host plant