Native Fruit Trees in Saratoga Springs, NY
Planting native trees is one of the best parts of this work. Shown in the photo is a line of Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) trees we planted this spring for a Wilton homeowner, perhaps a half mile from the Wilton Wildlife Preserve. The Red Chokeberry has a special habitat niche in the Wilton/ Saratoga area. It actually grows well in sandy soil, which this region is abundant in. The Chokeberries are eaten by the birds in the fall and winter. They are edible for humans, too. Aronia berries are considered a superfruit. Native fruit trees are a trend that keeps heating up: they’re good for the environment and your body.
Aronia also has a Black Chokeberry family member. Aronia melanocarpa is more tolerant of wet feet than Aronia arbutifolia. Aronia berries are very sour, learning to love them takes time. The benefits are worth it. A person can always add a little organic sugar as they acclimate to the new taste…
Our permaculturist friends often advocate for growing introduced edible plants and trees. And yet, the trajectory of an introduced plant as it moves from “exciting experiment” to “pervasive invasive” is mysterious. It can take a century. Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) was an innocuous introduced garden plant in American colonists’ gardens for approximately eighty years before escaping and devastating our wild lands! The people who grew the invasive Honeysuckle saw it as a statement plant that indicated how well traveled and sophisticated they were. Now the federal government spends trillions annually on invasive mitigation, and Lonicera japonica is one of the worst invasives. So. Why not exhaust all your native options, permaculture friends? How many Aronias have you grown? The Red? The Black? These beautiful native fruit trees are just waiting to be better known. They will restore the habitat and bring food security to our neighborhoods! Why not go native?