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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Creating Tree and Shrub Layer

Which species of native trees and shrubs are best to plant next to one another to take advantage and have them benefit the most from the sharing of their roots and fungi? I do not have woodland or an area where I can observe them naturally occurring. I live in Thomaston, Maine.

∼Dan Jaffe Wilder

Great Question. I’d start by looking at which species would be best adapted to your specific growing conditions based on sun exposure and moisture. From there, you can work from the natural heritage community fact sheets. You’re lucky enough to live in Maine, and your community fact sheets are amazing (you Mainers have a great state botanist)! Check out the fact sheets here (Maine Government Fact Sheet), and you can find some great lists of species that naturally grow together in the wild. I often use the community fact sheets when planning out landscape plantings as they can be scaled down to small garden settings or scaled up to entire landscapes. I hope this helps!

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