Ferry Conservation District to offer Natives, Ornamentals and Edibles

at 2016 Plant Sale


Planting trees, shrubs and berries on your property provides multiple benefits: 


  • Plants will beautify your property and add to its value.

  • The foliage, and fruits of plants provide food for wildlife and for your family.

  • Flowering shrubs attract pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, enhancing the entire ecosystem.

  • Trees can provide shade or act as a windbreak.

  • Reforestation trees enhance the landscape and provide timber and firewood for harvest in the future.

  • Planting in riparian areas (river and stream banks) helps protect river and stream banks, preventing erosion and degradation of water quality.


For its 2016 Spring Plant Sale, the Ferry Conservation District is offering a variety of plants carefully selected for use in our particular climate. (Plants have been chosen which will thrive in Planting Zones 2-5. Most of Ferry County is Zone 4 or 5). Wholesale nurseries in Washington, Montana and Idaho supply healthy, hardy, planting stock grown in the Northwest. By purchasing in bulk the District is able to provide excellent plants at good prices.


Native trees and shrubs are an important part of the sale. Why natives? Natives are the plants naturally occurring in an area. This means they are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions and need less irrigation and fertilization than non-native plants. They are more resistant to pests and disease and will better provide food and shelter for native wildlife.


Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is a native deciduous shrub or small tree, growing to about 20 feet. Also called Sarvisberry, Saskatoon, Juneberry, or Shadblow, members of the Amelanchier genus can be found across North America. Known for its very early fragrant white flowers and its dark purple berries, it is a magnet for birds. The berries, eaten for centuries by native people, are prized today for their high vitamin C content. Though somewhat dry in texture, they are flavorful and can be eaten raw, baked into desserts, dehydrated like raisins or made into juice, wine or syrup. Plants are extremely cold-hardy and drought resistant.


Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquilfolium), is a native evergreen shrub which will grow to 10’, producing attractive clusters of yellow flowers followed by blue berries. Native people used this shrub’s bark as a dye and also ate the tart berries. Very attractive to birds, the plant can adapt well to partial shade and dry conditions.


Our only native deciduous conifer, the Western Larch (Larix occidentalis) may grow to 150 feet with a trunk up to 3 ft. in diameter. The needles of the larch (also known as tamarack) turn a beautiful golden color in October and drop off in November. A popular reforestation tree, it thrives in deep, moist porous soils with northern or western exposure. The larch is perhaps the conifer least prone to disease and pest issues in our area.


This year we are again offering Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) for reforestation. The Ponderosa (reaching 50’-100’ and sometimes much higher) grows abundantly in our area on dry south-facing slopes and is very tolerant of high summer temperatures. The thick orangey-brown bark is covered with puzzle-shaped pieces and on a hot summer day smells of vanilla. The Ponderosa Pine, a major source of timber in our region also provides important wildlife habitat, recreations use and aesthetic value.


Quaking Aspen (Populus trembuloides) is a native deciduous broad-leaved tree which grows well in moist sites. It provides aesthetic appeal with its early brilliant green foliage and its bright yellowish-gold fall foliage. Aspen also has great conservation value. Nesting opportunities for birds, browse for mammals and soil stabilization and shade for streams and other bodies of water are among its important contributions.


The Ferry Conservation District is also offering four ornamental shrubs.


Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus compacta) is a rounded shrub reaching up to 9’, known for its vivid scarlet fall color. Small red berries will attract birds in early summer. Most soil types will support this shrub, which prefers slightly moist conditions.


Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris). This familiar shrub grows to 20’ (up to 12’wide), producing beautiful fragrant purple flowers in late May. Lilacs thrive in full sun, prefer well-drained soil and are disease and pest resistant.


Late Lilac (Syringa villosa). This ornamental shrub blooms later than common lilac. Bloom is very light rosy lilac to white. Plant grows to 9’. Prefers full sun and moist well-drained soil.


Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis). Slightly flagrant violet-blue six to twelve inch flower clusters bloom all at once, making an outstanding spring display. Though the vine will bloom in considerable shade, it blooms best in full sun and will grow to 25’. The plant can be trained into a tree-like shape.


Once again for the 2016 sale, a number of edible fruit and berries plants will be offered for sale.


The Honeycrisp Apple lives up to its name. A very flavorful and crisp apple, it ripens in midseason and will keep very well. The M-111 rootstock tolerates wet, dry or poor soil and is vigorous and winter-hardy (Zone 3). A semi-dwarf, it grows to 15-25 feet, but may be held to desired height by pruning. The Honeycrisp needs a pollinator like the Manchurian Crab Apple.


The sweet, tart flavor of the Gravenstein Apple lends itself to baking and cooking, especially for sauce and cider. The M-7 rootstock is very winter hardy (Zone 4), does well in a variety of soils (prefers well-drained soil) and is moderately disease tolerant. . It is a semi-dwarf, growing to 10’ to 12’, but may be held to desired height by pruning. May need to be supported. The Gravenstein needs a pollinator like the Manchurian crab apple.


Manchurian Crab Apple. Fragrant white flowers open from pink buds in spring. Small fall fruit attract birds and may be made into jelly. The M 111 root stock tolerates a variety of soil conditions. And is very winter hardy. Grows to 15-25 feet, but may be held to desired height by pruning. Manchurian crab apple will pollinate many apple varieties, including the Honeycrisp and the Gravenstein.


A Pair of Plums. This year we are offering a package of two plum trees: the President and the Italian Prune. Though the Italian prune plum is moderately self-fertile, planting the two European varieties together will increase the yield of fruit on both. These trees may grow to 20 feet, but may be held to desired height by pruning.


The President Plum, a dark blue freestone plum, developed in the United Kingdom, has a delicious sweet and sharp flavor. Hardy to Zone 5.


The Italian Prune Plum, often used for drying, is a beautiful dark purple, with sweet, firm yellow flesh. Hardy to Zone 4.


Albion Strawberry. This large firm strawberry has an excellent sweet flavor. A “day-neutral” berry, it will produce fruit from July to October. This winter hardy (Zone 4-8) plant is moderately disease resistant.


Vintage Raspberry – This fall fruiting (primocane) raspberry produces lots of large bright red, sweet flavorful berries. The gardener has two options with this fall fruiting plant: 1.) Cutting out summer fruiting canes and thinning fall fruiting canes after fall harvest will allow for both a summer and fall crop the subsequent year; 2.) Mowing down all of the growth at the end of the harvest will eliminate the tedious pruning and tying up and produce a single more robust fall crop (though perhaps more prone to yellow jacket damage).


Triple Crown Blackberry is named for its three attributes; flavor, productivity and vigor. This mid-summer ripening thornless blackberry is also disease resistant and moderately winter-hardy. (Zones 5-9)


To order plants, the flyer is posted here or look for it in your mailbox. Print the form, complete it and mail it back to the Conservation District without payment by January 28, 2016. Orders will be filled on a first come-first served basis. Confirming invoices will be sent out detailing the plants ordered and the cost. Most plants arrive as dormant, bare root stock. Plants will be available for pick up at the Ferry County Fairgrounds on Friday, April 15 from 10am – 4pm and on Saturday, April 16, from 9am – 1pm. If you have any questions regarding plant availability or what type of plant(s) would best suit your needs, please contact the District at 775-3473 (ext 100).