The Freshwater Ecology Center aims to conserve the native environment of South Carolina. The FEC has planted native trees and shrubs alongside the natural landscape of the property to promote conservation and education about the natural environment.
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Why Native Trees and Shrubs?
Gardening with Native Trees
Gardening with trees and shrubs native to South Carolina is best for the native environment. Native species are adapted to the environment of South Carolina, and thrive in the right conditions. Different species grow best under certain light conditions, soil types, and soil moistures.
However, native species of trees and shrubs are threatened by invasive species. Invasive species are harmful to the native environment because they are fast-growing, and they may out-compete native species.
This is one of the many reasons why the FEC is so dedicated to the conservation of the natural environment. We encourage individuals to start their own native lawns/gardens as a form of conservation. As an added bonus, gardening with native plants is easier and advantageous to using other species.
- Require less day-to-day care and water compared to non-native species.
- Require less fertilizers or pesticides.
- Beneficial to the surrounding environment, and help to prevent erosion and reduce air pollution.
- Provide natural shelter and food for wildlife and promote biodiversity
To learn more beginning your own conservation lawn go to: scnps.org.
Native Species: Pinus Palustris or Longleaf Pine
The Pinus Palustris or Long-leaf pine is a tree native to the Southeastern United States. Like other plants, the Longleaf Pine thrives under certain conditions. It prefers full sun light conditions. It grows best in well-drained sand, clay, or loam type soil. And fascinatingly, it is tolerant to high salt levels and droughts.
Even more fascinating is the Longleaf Pine’s history and adaptation to fire. Fire plays a unique role in the reproduction process of the Longleaf Pine, and encourages faster seedling growth as it burns away underbrush that would otherwise suffocate young seedlings. This removal of excessive undergrowth helps seedlings receive enough sunlight. Controlled burning is often used in the conservation of Longleaf Pines to burn the underbrush and encourage growth.
Native Species: Eastern Red Cedar or Juniperus Virginiana
Eastern Red Cedar at the FEC
The Juniperus virginiana or Eastern Redcedar is an evergreen tree native to South Carolina, and it is a tree we have planted at the FEC. The Eastern Redcedar, like other species, prefers certain conditions for growing.
The Eastern Redcedar grows best in:
- Full or part sunlight
- Sand, loam, or clay type soils
- Well-drained soils
It is also highly resistance to salt levels and droughts. This hardy tree is one that can be found naturally around the FEC, or it can be found planted and in its sapling form.
Native Tree Species at the FEC
Native Trees planted at the FEC
The list below includes types of trees the Freshwater Ecology Center has planted on site. This is by no means an exhaustive list of native trees and shrubs located at the FEC, and there are many naturally occurring native species you will observe around the property.
- Juniperus silicicola (Brodie Southern Red Cedar)
- Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar)
- Magnolia grandiflora (D.D. Blanchard Southern Magnolia)
- Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine)
- Quercus lyrata (Overcup Oak)
- Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringetree)
Native Shrubs at the FEC
Native Shrubs planted at the FEC
Below is a list of shrubs planted on site at the Freshwater Ecology Center. This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are other native species of shrubs naturally found around the FEC.
- Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry)
- Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)
- IIex vomitoria (Yaupon Holly)
- Osmanthus fragrans (Sweet Olive)
- Sabal minor (Dwarf Palmetto)
- Vaccinium arboreum (Farkleberry)
- Vaccinium darrowii (‘Rosa’s Blush Darrrow’s Blueberry’)