Fall is for Keystone Trees and Shrubs!
This season is ideal for planting trees and shrubs!
- Cooler wetter fall weather means less watering
- Shortened days plus cooler temperatures helps roots develop before winter dryness and the following summer’s heat
- Enjoy your new fall foliage!
Keystone plants are the special native plants that are essential to keeping the food web functioning. Without them, your local food web can fall apart.
Only about 5% of the local plant species host 70 to 75 % of the local Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths & skippers) species which are important pollinators and food for other animals. Native trees and shrubs are key, including oak, blueberry, and willows which help support hundreds of species of butterflies and moths.*
*Based on the research of Dr. D. Tallamy, UD Professor and author of Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard
“Without keystone species, the food web all but falls apart.”
– Dr. Douglas Tallamy
Author of Nature’s Best Hope
Shop Individual Plants or Packages
When you shop, buy individual plants or buy plant packages selected to work well together!
Basic Tree Package
7 plants | $50
1 Acer rubrum (Red Maple) | 6 Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort)
A large deciduous tree and groundcovers for average to damp soils. Beautiful fall color, evergreen groundcover and spring flowers for pollinators. Red Maple is number eight on our Keystone plant list. Golden Ragwort quickly covers the ground, providing protection for tree roots and pupating caterpillars.
8 plants | $75
1 Prunus serotina (Wild Black Cherry) | 2 Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry) | 5 Solidago odora (Sweet Goldenrod)
Fruiting trees and shrubs combined with a late blooming Goldenrod to provide seeds for the winter birds. In addition, all these Keystone plants provide lots of caterpillars to feed the baby songbirds, plus pollen and nectar for the bees. Two different Blueberry selections will be provided for best fruiting.
8 plants | $75
1 Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘Sugar Shack’™ (Dwarf Buttonbush) | 1 Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’ (Summer Sweet Clethra) | 2 Eutrochium maculatum ‘Gateway’ (Spotted Joe Pye) | 2 Solidago odora (Sweet Goldenrod) | 2 Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster)
Attract butterflies and other pollinators with this summer and fall blooming combination for average to damp soils in full sun. Two attractive shrubs and three keystone perennials will have the pollinators buzzing from June through October.
Small Patio Garden Package
7 plants | $50
1 Amelanchier laevis (Alleghany Serviceberry) | 6 Heuchra villosa ‘Autumn Bride’ (Hairy Alumroot)
A smaller deciduous tree and groundcovers for the smaller garden with average to damp soils. Serviceberry has clouds of pretty spring flowers for the pollinators, edible purple berries for the birds and stunning fall foliage for you. Protect the roots with semi-evergreen Hairy Alumroot’s fuzzy round leaves and fall flower spikes. A beautiful combination to plant beside a deck or patio.
Damp Spot Package
4 plants | $100
1 Betula nigra (River Birch) | 3 Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ (Dwarf Summer Sweet Clethra)
A large deciduous Keystone tree and suckering groundcover shrubs for wet to average soils. Fragrant summer flowers, gold-yellow fall foliage and interesting peeling bark for winter interest.
Deluxe Keystone Package
14 plants | $110
1 Quercus rubra (Red Oak) | 3 Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry) | 10 Solidago caesia (Blue-stemmed Goldenrod)
Three Plants with the highest habitat value for average soil conditions. At least two different Blueberry selections will be provided for best fruiting. Delicate spring flowers, summer shade and fruit, followed by stunning fall red and gold color.
How Our Online Sale Works
- Preview Plants: Starting September 24
- Purchase Plants: Once our sale goes live, go to our online store and select and purchase all your native plants. Shop anytime Friday, October 9, 9am – Monday, October 12, 8pm.
- Select a Pickup Appointment: Schedule your pickup when you purchase your plants online. You may schedule to pickup at Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin or, now for the first time, you may schedule to pickup at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.
- Get Your Plants: Come to your chosen pickup location at your scheduled time on October 24 to pick up your plants. Plants are picked up by appointment only. Note: there will be no plants for sale on this day.
Your safety is important to us. On pickup day, social distancing rules will be followed.
Sale and Pickup Dates
- Preview: September 24
- Online Sale: October 9, 9am – October 12, 8pm
- Pickup Day: October 24
What To Do On Pickup Day
- Arrive promptly at the day, time, and location scheduled for your pickup.
- Please bring your order confirmation or ID card. Staff will meet your car at the pickup location and provide instructions. Please wear a mask and stay in your vehicle.
- DelNature staff will do all the loading for you. All you need to do is pop your truck and relax. Please make sure that your vehicle can adequately accommodate the plants you’ve ordered.
- All plants should be able to fit into your trunk or truck bed. Consider bringing a box or a blanket.
- DelNature staff will follow current safety guidelines including staying six feet apart from customers, using face masks, and sanitizing hands between orders.
How can I find out what is for sale?
View our online preview of the Fall Native Plant Sale starting Thursday, September 24.
How do I schedule a Pickup Appointment?
Schedule your pickup when you purchase your plants online. You may schedule to pickup at Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin or, now for the first time, you may schedule to pickup at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.
What is your refund/exchange policy?
All sales are final. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.
Who may I contact with any questions?
Email us or call 302.239.2334.
Growers and Donors
NorthCreek Nurseries, Octoraro Farm, and Octoraro Native Plant Nursery
Lori Athey, Kristen Travers, Joe Sebastiani, John Harrod, Tom Davis, Derek Stoner, Linda Young – Winterthur, Jamie Pruitt, Shannon Modla
All proceeds of the Native Plant Sale benefits Delaware Nature Society and our mission to improve the environment through education, conservation and advocacy. Your support of the sale helps us to advance this important work.