Wisconsin Pollinator Friendly Native Trees
The numbers of both native pollinators and domesticated bee populations are declining. They
are threatened by habitat loss, disease, and the excessive and inappropriate use of pesticides.
The loss ofcommercial bees to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has highlighted how severe the
issues of proper hive management are to reduce stresses caused by disease, pesticide use,
insufficient nutrition, and transportation practices.
The efforts to understand the threats to commercial bees should help us understand other pollinators
and their roles in the environment as well. It is imperative that we take immediate steps to help pollinator
populations thrive. The beauty of the situation is that by supporting pollinators’ need for habitat; we support
our own needs for food and support diversity in the natural world.
Considerable focus has been place on adding native grasses and forbs to support pollinators,
but trees also provide nectar and pollen. Consider the incredible quantity of nectar produced
by a tree in bloom. Now consider the compounded effect of many trees blooming in strategic
sequence throughout the growing season. Trees can provide excellent food for honey bees
and many other pollinators, your top choice should always be regionally appropriate. A tree
that’s comfortable in its environment is much more likely to be a healthy tree.
Many native trees blossom in early spring, like the Pussy Willow, providing sources of pollen for
hungry, early-emerging pollinators.
The following chart provides a list of trees native to our area that can provide support to
native pollinators. Consider adding these plants to your pollinator garden plan. The chart
indicates the blooming sequence of each of the species.
Wisconsin Native Fruit Trees
Fertilizer Basics: A Tutorial
Wisconsin Native Flowering Shrubs
Native Plant Root Systems