Master Naturalist Native Tree and Shrub Sale 2022

Important Note: As of September 26, we are SOLD OUT for the 2022 sale.

Interested in expanding the use of native flora in your yard or garden? The East Central Illinois Master Naturalists (ECIMN) are hosting a native tree and shrub sale. These tough natives have been on the Illinois landscape for thousands of years, it's a good bet they will work for you! Support pollinators and other local wildlife by adding indigenous plants to your home landscape. 

The way it works is that you have September 1 - 30 to research, plan, order, and pay for your selection of native trees and shrubs and we will have them available for pick up in October when it is the perfect time for planting. Plants cost $30 each including tax. All plants come in 3-gallon containers. Orders will be accepted until September 30, 2022. Supplies are limited and orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. Some plants may sell out and those will be dropped from the online store as needed. If sales go beyond the shipping capacity the sale may end early. Sales are open to the public. Your order will be available for outdoor pickup on Saturday, October 15 in Urbana. We will be contacting folks with location, timing, and further details at a later time. Orders are for local pick up only. Please mark your calendar for October 15th pick up. 

We guarantee that plants have been inspected for pests and health, but can not guarantee replacement after the plant leaves our sale. Plant material is inspected, certified, and sourced from Woody Warehouse. Our supplier is not endorsed or affiliated with the University of Illinois Extension or the Illinois Master Naturalist program. Fulfillment issues are possible, in the case that a plant is unavailable, refunds will be issued automatically and you will be notified. 

Payment is accepted via credit card online, or by cash, check, or credit in our Champaign, Ford- Iroquois, or Vermilion offices, or by check in the mail. Please make checks out to University of Illinois Extension and send to University of Illinois Extension, Attn: Tree and Shrub Sale, 801 Country Fair Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61821. If you need a detailed receipt or have questions or concerns, please contact Amanda at or at 217-333-7672

Plants available include:

  • Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)
    • Allegheny serviceberry is a small tree or shrub growing 15 to 25 feet tall. It is naturally multi-stemmed (shrub) but can be pruned to grow into a single stem (tree). This plant provides 4 season interest with showy white flowers in the spring, edible small purple berries in June, small to medium oval leaves throughout the summer, bright red fall leaf color, and stunning smooth gray bark throughout the winter. Makes an excellent urban tree as it tolerates sandy to clay soils, can grow as a shrub row or as a street tree and grows in full sun to full shade.
  • American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
    • The American Hazelnut is a multi-stemmed shrub which will grow to a height of 8 to 16 feet and a spread almost as wide as it is tall. The flowers bloom in late winter (late February to early March) but are quite small and wind pollinated.  Although flowers do not provide food for pollinators, they are a nice visual for late winter and an early sign of spring. To ensure adequate wind-pollination and subsequent fruit production a group of at least three plants is recommended. The nuts form in clusters encased in a husk. As the nuts mature and then dry, they fall to the ground in late September. Corylus Americana prefer well-drained loam soils in full sun. However, like many of the native trees and shrubs, are tolerant of a wide range of moisture, pH, temperature, and sun. 
  • American Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) 
    • American witch-hazel is a large, multi-stemmed shrub that is known for its unique fall flowering time.  Coupled with its excellent fall color, clusters of fragrant yellow flowers add to a spectacular fall display.  It is one of the last plants to bloom before winter, making it an important late-season resource for pollinating insects. Witch-hazel matures into a very large shrub and has a thicket-forming habit if suckers are not removed annually. It is tolerant of many environmental stresses, such as poor soils and deer browse, making it an excellent specimen for a wide range of planting conditions.
  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
    • Arrowwood Viburnum is large multi-stemmed, thicket forming shrub that matures to a height of 10 to 15 feet and equal spread.  Known for its durability in the landscape, it tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, performing well in full sun to partial shade.  White clusters of flowers cover the shrub in spring, giving way to dark blue-black berry-like drupes that are quite attractive to birds and other wildlife.  Fall color can be excellent ranging from shades of light orange to deep red.  This plant works well as a hedge or visual screen or in groupings or mass plantings.
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)
    • Black Chokeberry is a multi-stemmed shrub growing 4-6 feet tall. The shrub blooms in early spring with clusters of 5-6 white blooms at branch tips, produces a dark purple edible fruit in early summer, and has a stunning, brilliant-red fall color. Makes an excellent urban shrub as it tolerates sandy to clay soils, grows in full sun to full shade, has very few pest or disease issues, and provides excellent wildlife benefits.
  • Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) 
    • Black gum, also known as tupelo or sour gum, is a medium-sized shade tree with a more compact, pyramidal habit in youth becoming more irregular at maturity.  It is relatively slow growing, reaching a mature height of 40-50 ft, with good tolerance for compacted or poorly drained soils well.  This tree is known for its brilliant fall color, which may be the best of any native Illinois tree.  Female plants produce nectar-rich flowers that support pollinator species and mature to dark blue to black fruits which attract over two dozen native bird species. 
  • Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) 
    • Bur Oak is a large, slow-growing tree perfect for locations that can accommodate a large, spreading shade tree. This tree prefers full sun and typically grows wider than it is tall.  It has a reputation as one of the toughest oaks with excellent tolerance for both extremely wet and extremely dry sites, compacted soils, restricted rooting zones and many of the other stresses of our urban environments. Its large mature size and abundant acorns will attract wildlife.
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
    • Buttonbush is medium-sized, upright shrub with a course, round habit and one of the most unique flower structures of any Illinois native shrub.  Interesting, ball-like flowers mature in mid-summer and persist for up to month, attracting a wide range of pollinators.  Buttonbush is also host to 8 species of native leaf feeding insects. Bright red, button-like fruit structures mature in fall to attract more than two dozen bird species, making this shrub a wildlife favorite.  Buttonbush prefers full sun but will tolerate part shade.  In nature, this plant typically exists along streams, wetlands and among other floodplain forest plants, making it an excellent rain garden selection and a great for wetter locations in the landscape.
  • Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
    • Chinquapin Oak is a medium to large tree perfect for adding shade to any yard. This tree tolerates dry to wet soil conditions and prefers full sun. Among the oaks, it is known to have the best tolerance of alkaline soils, which commonly occur in urban areas.  Chinquapin oak will reach a height and canopy width of 50 feet at maturity and will produce sweet small acorns in the fall.
  • Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
    • Elderberry is a large shrub consisting of individual canes which grow in a cluster, reaching 6 to 12 feet tall. Tolerates occasional wet soil conditions and full sun to part shade conditions. Fragrant umbrella shaped bloom clusters form in late spring and can last up to four weeks. The dark purple edible berries ripen in August.  This plant tends to spread by roots which send up new canes, making it a great option for hedge plantings or visual screens. 
  • Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
    • Kentucky coffeetree is a large shade tree with an attractive, coarse bark charter that is highlighted on all stems in winter.  Known for its excellent performance as an urban tree, it tolerates tough site conditions including wet and dry sites, road salts, alkaline soils and air pollution.  With its spreading, bi-pinnately compound leaves, Kentucky coffeetree has the largest leaf of any native Illinois tree.  This plant’s common name comes from historical use of its seeds to produce a coffee-like drink.
  • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
    • New Jersey Tea is a smaller shrub that is typically associated dry, open woodlands and prairie edges in its natural setting.  It is a prolific bloomer, providing ample pollinator benefit as well as attractive flowers for a month or longer in summer.  Since it naturally remains shorter and more compact, this plant works wonderfully in borders with limited space or as shrubby groundcover when planted in mass.  Prefers full sun or partial shade and tolerates extremely poor soil conditions making it an excellent plant for tough locations. 
  • Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
    • Common ninebark is medium-sized, spreading shrub with a slightly coarse appearance.  White to pinkish flowers cover branch tips for 2-3 weeks in late spring providing both nectar and pollen to wide range of pollinators.  Summer foliage consists of large, coarsely toothed leaves that fade to shades of yellow, red or purple in fall. The common name for this plant is a nod to its spectacular exfoliating bark, which creates winter interest with a multicolor display of peeling bark. This shrub works well as a hedge or in small groupings.  It handles tough environmental conditions well, thriving on full sun but also tolerating partial shade.
  • Northern Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
    • Northern Pecan is a large tree, often reaching heights over 100 feet with a canopy spread of 40 feet. The fruit (pecans) ripens in mid-October. This tree has an adaptable root system with a high tolerance for both drought and low oxygen in soils from either flooding or soil compaction.
  • Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
    • Pagoda dogwood is a small tree that typically has a multi-stemmed habit.  At maturity, it has a distinct multi-tiered or layered appearance from its mostly horizontal branching which turn up at the tips to create a unique ornamental quality.  Yellowish-white flowers in May or June give way to bluish fruits by late summer, which are a popular food for over two dozen native birds.  Prefers full sun and well-drained soils with high organic matter content but tolerates other conditions. 
  • Paw Paw (Asimina triloba)
    • Paw-paw farthest north-growing member of the very tropical genus, Asimina. The dark green leaves can be over a foot in length, and its smooth silvery bark certainly adds to the tropical feel. Very early in the spring, deep purple flowers hang like velvety bells, but have a scent only a beetle or fly could love (these are the main pollinators). The fruit is no longer than 6 inches and is extremely rich and edible, ripening in the fall. Grows successfully in more than half-day sun but planting in part shade with protection from the south and west is better. More than one tree is needed for cross-pollination and good fruit set.
  • Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
    • Persimmon trees mature to a height of 30 to 60 feet and have a rounded canopy. The bark is dark gray and extremely blocky. Persimmons are dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The flowers bloom in May and are white to yellow; male flowers form in clusters and female flowers form alone. The leaves are glossy dark green and can be quite large, 2-6 inches long and 1 to 4 inches wide. Edible fruits ripen September to October depending location, weather, etc. Native persimmon fruit is highly acidic and must fully ripen, or become completely soft, before it is pleasant to eat. The fruits will be about the size of a plum and have orange and bluish-purple coloring. The leaves will turn yellow green in the fall.
  • Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra)
    • Smooth Sumac is large shrub that typifies edge habitats such as woodland edges and the fringe of prairies.  It is known for its spectacular fall color, with fern-like foliage that turns bight orange to deep red or purple.  This tough edge species is great for difficult sites, tolerating a wide range of site conditions to form dense thickets that can compete with other aggressive plants, such as invasive species. Female plants produce showy, pyramidal fruit structures that ripen in fall and persist into winter to attract birds and other wildlife.
  • Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
    • Spicebush is a shade-loving understory species known for the spice-like fragrance of its leaves and stems. It can reach heights of 12 feet or more in full sun, with a somewhat smaller more spreading habit in shady locations.  This plant is one of the best native shrubs for full shade gardens, with clusters of tiny, greenish-yellow flowers appearing in very early spring.  Although male plants have showier flowers, females produce bright red berries that are highlighted at leaf drop.  Berries have a high fat content, making them attractive to various birds. Group plantings are recommended to ensure flower display and berry production, since both male and female plants are required.
  • White Oak (Quercus Alba)
    • White oak is Illinois’ state tree, due to its abundance in our forests and its high value to both animals and humans.  This large, slow-growing shade tree will mature to a height of 80 ft. or more, with and equal or wider spread in full sun locations.  It produces abundant fruits (acorns) that are prized by wildlife.  Tolerates dry or poor soils but does not handle soil compaction or poor drainage very well.
  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
    • Winterberry is also known as deciduous holly by many for its signature bright red berries.  Unlike other hollies, this plant is deciduous, dropping its leaves in fall to further showcase its spectacular berry display.  Similar to other holly species, winterberries are dioicous with separate male and female plants.  Winterberry does well in poorly drained soils or wet spots, making it an excellent rain garden species, and it prefers full sun to part shade.  This interesting native holly provides year-round interest and performs well as a shrub border, groupings or foundation plantings. 


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