Trees provide enormous benefits and broad functions to landscape projects. These range from environmental, design and engineering. Before embarking on a landscape project, you will have to decide which trees are best suited for your environment. Exotic trees can be tempting since they provide landscape projects with their own uniqueness and aesthetically enhance the environment in which they are planted, however, they also have their downside. Most project contractors make the mistake of choosing trees based on beauty and tend to neglect to research whether the trees are suitable for the environment. Exotic trees are known for causing numerous problems primarily due to their intolerance towards climate, local soil and weather patterns.
Here are five reasons why you should always opt for indigenous trees:
1. Indigenous trees help improve climate conditions
Indigenous trees are species that belong to their native/natural region and inhabit the environment without any human intervention. Since they are also less threatening to the local environment and help combat climate change. Indigenous trees are more effective at storing carbon dioxide. Exotic trees are often invasive and can be harmful to the surrounding vegetation and local trees. Indigenous trees have a higher tolerance thusallowing more trees in the local environment to thrive. Areas with fewer trees are scientifically proven to be warmer than areas with dense vegetation. Indigenous trees also remove toxins in the air and reduces noisepollution thereby improving the climate conditions of their environment.
2. Indigenous trees require less water
Numerous studies have proven that most exotic trees consume more water than indigenous trees. Indigenous trees have a higher ability to conserve water, adapt and prosper in local climates. Their ability to retain water also helps improve soil quality thus reducing water wastage. They adapted very well to rainfall. Exotic treesincrease evaporation rates and reduce stream flow and dilution capacity. Since indigenous trees require less water, they also save time and money.
3. Indigenous trees are resilient to pests
Indigenous trees are remarkably resilient to local pests. This is merely because as a specie, they have spent thousands of years adapting to their local ecosystem. Exotic trees are relatively less resilient to local pests and will most likely require pesticides to prevent the spread of the infestation. Pesticides can be very expensive and hazardous. Planting indigenous trees will not only save you money, but it will also help you to avoid exposing yourself and your family to dangerous chemicals.
4. Indigenous trees require low maintenance
Once the indigenous trees are established, they require less attention. Indigenous trees can withstand local conditions very well when they are fully developed. In extreme weather conditions such as drought, they mayrequire additional water and nutrients such as fertiliser or compost. The cost of maintaining an indigenous tree is far more cost effective than maintaining an exotic tree. Most exotic trees require more attention and naturing since they are not in their natural environment. They simply lack the natural components to survive in certain climates. Specific trees thrive in specific soil types, environments and weather conditions.
5. Indigenous trees preserve our natural habitat and heritage
Indigenous trees preserve our natural heritage and promote biodiversity. Indigenous species such asbutterflies, birds and a variety of wildlife are attracted to indigenous trees. Our local species have been accustomed to the food and shelter provided by indigenous trees. Most exotic trees pose a threat to indigenous trees and also reduce the levels of biodiversity in their environment.
In conclusion, indigenous trees require less time and maintenance. They are relatively cost effective. They help preserve our natural resources such as water and clean air. South Africa has more than 1700 species of indigenous trees, so there’s really no reason to opt for exotic trees. There are many misconceptions surrounding the difficulty of sourcing attractive indigenous trees. Just Trees has a large selection of indigenoustrees. Visit www.justtrees.co.za and we’ll help you select the best trees for your climate.