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Sources of Native Planting Stock for the Carolinian Zone
Flowering Dogwood Fruit - Virginia Tech


This page is supplied as-is for archival and historical purposes - native plant sources here will not be further reviewed. For Carolinian Canada's updated list of native plant sources, please visit https://caroliniancanada.ca/itz/guides/sources

Conserving species in Carolinian Canada means not only protecting existing natural areas, but actively replacing habitat where we can. We can use this process of ecological restoration to enlarge natural areas and provide connections between them. We know that larger blocks of natural habitat are better than small ones, and connected blocks are better than isolated fragments. Individual gardeners can contribute to the restoration and stewardship of naturalized corridors by planting native species in their own yards.

A critical aspect of restoration is the use of native species; trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that are naturally adapted to their local area. Non-native plants are those from other parts of the world and North America that have been introduced, purposefully or accidentally, to Ontario. Non-natives often out-compete native plants and can be less adapted, over the long term, for survival in the landscape. Many are notoriously aggressive and persistent. The use of native plants encourages the conservation of the diversity of species that originally evolved in our region.

Another important principle to remember is that you should plant only specimens grown locally from native seedstock. It is vital to recognize that individual species exhibit a range of genetic characteristics; by planting non-local specimens you may be causing more harm than benefit in terms of conserving biological diversity. Another important thing; do not over-emphasize the planting of rare species. They occur only rarely in nature, and they should be equally rare in replanting projects. See the Carolinian Canada factsheet Sources of Native Planting Stock for the Carolinian Zone for more information.

The following list of nurseries were carefully selected as those providing, native, genetically appropriate, plant species.

Reforestation Projects

Landowners planting trees are commonly limited by the planting stock that is available. Most often, reforestation is therefore done through planting coniferous species such as white pine, cedar, or white spruce. Today it is equally possible to reforest areas with deciduous species, provided that you are: replanting a relatively small area, and are prepared to maintain the planted trees individually for the first two to five years.

Start with the common deciduous species groups such as maple, ash, or oak. Be sure you are dealing with native species; avoid such varieties as Norway Maple. Then mix in some of the above listed Carolinian species to provide diversity. Some of these species might also be suitable specimen trees around your home or in your garden.

The most important principle to remember in this case is to ensure that you purchase only specimens grown locally from native seedstock, and that you do not over- emphasize the rare species. They occur only rarely in nature, and they should be equally rare in replanting projects. It is vital to recognize that individual species exhibit a range of genetic characteristics; by planting non-local specimens you may be causing more harm than benefit in terms of conserving biological diversity.

The following species are particularly rare, and should not be planted except under direction from a qualified botanist.

Pin oak (Quercus palustris)
Dwarf chestnut oak (Quercus prinoides)
Blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata)
Big shellbark (Carya laciniosa)
Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata)

The Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is only known from one historic natural occurrence on Pelee Island, and is considered extirpated as a native species, but it is widely introduced as a 'Carolinian' species in home gardens, and is a beautiful species to plant with its small pink blossoms that appear in May before the leaves come out.

Sources of Native Plants in the Carolinian Zone

(Updated March 2012)
This list was compiled in cooperation with the Centre for Land and Water Stewardship
at the University of Guelph and the Society for Ecological Restoration

The following nurseries are known to provide some species of native Carolinian trees or shrubs. Be sure to ask to speak to a knowledgeable staff member and emphasize your interest in native species, of local origin.

Aquaphyte Remediation
462 Kingston Rd E,
Ajax, Ont. L1S 4S7
P: (905) 686-7532
F: (905) 682-2183
Acorus Restoration
RR 1, Walsingham, Ont. N0E 1X0
P: (519) 586-2603
F: (519) 586-2447
Baker Forestry Services, Nursery and Consulting
5001 9th Line, Georgetown, ON L7G 4S8
(For GPS or Google, city = Erin)
P: (905) 877-9390
F: (905) 877-6536
Baker Nursery Ltd
RR 2, Bayfield, Ont. N0M 1G0
P: (519) 482-9995
F: (800) 361-2299
Connon Nurseries Ltd.
Box 1218, 383 Dundas St. E., Waterdown, Ont. L0R 2H0
P: (905) 689-4631
F: (905) 689-5481
- carries wide variety of Carolinian Canada species
Eco Logic Nursery
c/o Rick Cornelissen
21 Park Street, Aylmer, Ont. N5H 2R4
P: (519) 765-3467
Box 150, St. Williams, Ont. N0E 1P0
Toll Free: 866-640-8733
P: (519) 586-9916
F: (519) 58-9118
Friends of Ojibway Prairie at the Ojibway Nature Centre
5200 Machette Rd, Windsor, Ont. N9C 4E8
P: (519) 966-5852
F: (519) 966-9658
Greenfield Nursery Ltd.
RR 1, Ayr, Ont.
P: (519) 632-7592
F: (519) 632-9233
- carries flowering dogwood, gum tree, some others
Groen's Nursery Ltd.
1512 Brock Rd, RR 4, Dundas, Ont. L9H 5E4
P: (905) 659-7072
- carries a variety of deciduous seedlings
Humber Nurseries Ltd.
8386 Hwy 50, Brampton, Ont. L6T 0A5
P: (905) 794-0555
(416) 798-8733 (Toronto)
F: (905) 794-1311
Hyde Park Garden Centre Inc.
1331 Hyde Park Rd, London, Ont. N6H 5M5
(519) 471-3358
- carries tulip trees, magnolias, and service berry
Kastrau Landscaping & Nurseries Ltd.
1210 Wilson St. E, Hamilton, Ont. L8S 4K5
(905) 529-9323
- carries tulip tree, sycamore, some others
Keith Somers Trees Limited
Office: 10 Tillson Ave, Tillsonburg
(519) 842-5148
Farm Centre: Concession #8, off Elgin Rd. 44, Eden, Ont.
carries full range of native Carolinian Canada species
Kraus V Nurseries Ltd
1380 Centre Rd, Carlisle, Ont. L0R 1H0
P: (905) 689-4022
F: (905) 689-8080
- carries tulip trees, Kentucky coffee trees, eastern redbuds, plus many others
Limestone Creek Restoration Nursery
RR 1, Campbellville, Ont. L0P 1B0
P: (905) 854-2914
F: (905) 854-3363
Little Otter Tree Farm
RR 6, Tillsonburg, Ont. N4G 4G9
P: (519) 842-2419
- carries full range of native Carolinian Canada species
Native Plant Nurseries
#12965 RR# 39, Zephyr Ontario
P: 416-768-1959
- Specializing in wildflowers of Ontario and other services.
Native Plant Source
318 Misty Cr, Kitchener, Ont. N2B 3V5
P: (519) 748-4021
F: (519) 748-2788
New Meadows Wildflower Seeds
38 Katherine St, Kitchener, Ont. N2M 2K1
P: (519) 576-5956
North American Native Plant Society
PO Box 84, Station D
Etobicoke, Ont. M9A 4X1
Ontario Tallgrass Prairie Nursery
PO Box 1168
Chatham, Ont. N7M 5L8
P: (519) 354-7340
Ontario Native Plant Company
Unit 3, Bdlg 39, 60 Carl Hall Road
Downsview Ont. M3K 2C1
P: (416) 633-1797
F: (416) 633-6326
Otter Valley Native Plants
Box 31, RR 1
Eden, Ont. N0J 1H0
P/F: (519) 866-5639
PAO Associates
5312 Trafalgar Rd,
Hornby, Ont. L0P 1E0
P: (905) 875-0055
south of 401 between Oakville and Milton; wholesale broker
usually carries tulip trees, will sometimes have other species as well
* RR#1
Walsingham, Ont. N0E 1X0
P: (519) 586-3985
St Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre
PO Box 150, 885 Hwy. 24
St. Williams, ON, N0E1P0
Phone: (519) 586-9116
Toll Free: 1-866-640-TREE (1-866-640-8733)
Fax: (519) 586-9118
V. Kraus Nurseries
PO Box 180, 1380 Centre St.
Carlisle, Ont. L0R 1H0
P: (905) 689-4022
F: (905) 689-8080
Van Den Nest Nursery
(Formerly Garden of Eden Tree Farm)
Box 20, Eden, Ont. N0J 1H0
P: (519) 866-5269
F: (519) 866-5507
Williams Nurseries Ltd.
RR#3, Leamington, Ont. N8H 3V6
P: (519) 326-6911
F: (519) 326-5200
Windover Nurseries
R.R. #4, Petrolia, Ont., N0W 1R0
P: (519) 882-0120
- carries wide variety of species;
tulip tree, Kentucky coffee tree, sassafrass, pawpaw, sycamore, flowering dogwood, sweetgum, etc.

For additional information you may obtain The Society for Ecological Restoration's 2008 Native Plant Resource Guide for Ontario which is available for a cost of $5.00 from the Ministry of Natural Resources 1-800-667-1940 or the Society for Ecological Restoration (Ontario) website.

Listing of sources in this factsheet does not imply endorsement by the authors, or by the Carolinian Canada Program, nor does omission imply other sources are unsuitable.

Your local garden centres may also carry some of these species.

Your local conservation authority or Ministry of Natural Resources office may be able to provide information on tree planting programs and available nursery stock in your area. Be sure to check which species are available. The private nurseries may have a wider selection of stock.

Be careful to ensure that the species you select are appropriate for your property. For example, sassafras and shagbark hickory prefer high dry spots while sycamores and black walnuts will be found in floodplain areas. The black gum tree will appear in lowland sites with poor drainage alongside the black ash, swamp white oak, and cottonwoods.

Ask for advice when you purchase planting stock, and follow it!

Funding for the development of this factsheet was provided by the Carolinian Canada Program. Agencies involved include: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation, Ontario Heritage Foundation, Association of Conservation Authorities of Ontario, Wildlife Habitat Canada, World Wildlife Fund, Canadian Botanical Association, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Federation of Ontario Naturalists, and Parks Canada.