Loading Events

This event has passed.

Fredericksburg: “Creating Woodland Habitat in Small Spaces”

August 22, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

This August 22nd learn how to create a beautiful and diverse wooded environment in your own yard in a presentation by Deborah Simmons, Fredericksburg chapter president. Deborah and her husband Paul have spent 15 years restoring meadows, removing invasive species, adding biodiversity to the woodland areas, and maintaining the riparian areas along the creek under a wildlife management program on their 90-acre conservation ranch in Doss.

The question is: how does a natural woodland habitat in its native state – an open meadow dotted with dense clumps of trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers.- fit into an average yard!?

“If you think of your neighbors’ lawns as meadows,” Deborah answered, “and you create a dense planting in your small yard, you mimic this natural landscape, creating a rich habitat for birds, small mammals, lizards, butterflies, and bees.”

To make the space inviting to creatures, the vegetation must be sufficiently thick that you cannot see through it. A 12’x12’ square is about as small as you can successfully go; so a small yard is sufficient to mimic a rich woodland habitat.

Deborah learned about creating woodland habitat quite by accident, adding to trees and shrubs that were already on the ranch, and later finding resources to help the projects along. These small clumps of woodland are now full of songbirds, lizards, toads, and butterflies. In this talk she’ll share what she has learned to help you create a beautiful wooded habitat in your yard.

Receive the latest native plant news

Subscribe To Our News

Subscribe to emails from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Receive emails when new posts are added 4-6 times per month, or receive an email once a month.

Or join us on social media

About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason