Making the Tree Trail more inviting to pollinators

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Eric Lukingbeal and Barry Avery set out seedlings for planting.

The morning of Oct. 9 found a few members of the Holcomb Farm Tree Trail group planting milkweed and Joe-Pye weed on the wood-chipped bank on the left close to the entrance off Day Street. After thorough weeding, the group inserted 180 seedlings into the bank, compliments of David Desiderato and grown in one of Farmer Joe O’Grady’s greenhouses. 

With any luck, these young plants will survive the winter and mature next spring, providing an attractive and important feeding ground for next season’s butterflies and bees. The milkweed is especially important for monarchs, as is the Joe-Pye weed for skippers, fritillaries and swallowtails. The Pye weed is also attractive to myriad species of bees. The seed heads next fall will be an important source of nutrients for many species of birds, especially chickadees, wrens and titmice. These birds also use the “fluff” of the seed heads to build their winter nests.

Walter Ford plants some milkweed for next year’s monarchs. Photos by Shirley Murtha