suggestions for deciduous substitution?

PMDavis pmdlandarch at
Fri Jan 12 12:23:34 EST 2001

The best way to find out which plants will thrive on a site is to observe
similar sites and see what grows there naturally.  The natural plants are
the ones which have evolved in that specific climate, soil type, wind
patterns, aspect, pathogen environment, and so forth.  That's why those
trees are already there rather than something else.  Cutting down the
native vegetation and replacing it with something else without a compelling
good reason is a poor land management practice, and is generally poor
economics, also.

Generally the best resource for plants would be the US Department of
Agriculture, what used to be called the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), now
renamed Conservation and Natural Resources Service or some such.  They do
detailed vegetation maps in conjunction with soil mapping.  The older maps
(prior to 1980's) contained better plant information than the more recent
editions.  However in most states you can obtain a plant community
association information from them as a separate document.  Your local County
Extension Office, or a nearby state agricultural college, might also have
species lists publications that relate plants to your soil type.  Manual of
the Trees of North America by Sargent (two volumes published by Dover Press)
might also be advantageous to you.

"Martin E. Lewitt" <lewitt at> wrote in message
news:93msl3$hdm at
> Recent research reports that North American evergreen
> forests rather than fighting global warming as carbon sinks
> may be contributing to global warming by absorbing more
> heat  in the winter because they are less reflective of
> sunlight than the winter snow cover.
> Accordingly I would like to do my bit and cut down the
> evergreens on my property and replace them with deciduous
> trees.  I live in New Mexico on a ridgetop at 7070'
> elevation right where the juniper and pinion transition
> to ponderosa pines.  The only deciduous trees I see
> around are locally called "scrub oak", they don't
> get much taller than a man.
> Where could I find out the possible selections of trees
> that might do well at my site?
> Also, why is the lumber industry so focused on evergreens,
> are there any good or even mediocre deciduous alternatives?
>                 -- thanx, Martin
> --
> Personal, not work info:         Martin E. Lewitt             My opinions
> Domain: lewitt at          P.O. Box 729                 my own, not
> Hm phone:  (505) 281-3248        Sandia Park, NM 87047-0729   employer's.

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