Native oaks available at Costco

Native oak trees

The next July/August 2020 issue of Bird watching includes an excerpt from the terrific new book Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology and well-known expert on native plants. In the excerpt, he sings the praises of oak trees and their value to native birds.

“Ecologically, oaks are superior plants, and it would be easy to prove convincingly that they provide more ecosystem services than any other tree genus,” Tallamy writes.

So I was pleased to hear news today from the National Audubon Society that they have partnered with Bower & Branch, an online gardening retailer, and Costco to launch a special selection of Audubon-certified native oak trees.

Gardeners can order the 8- to 10-foot-tall trees on and have them delivered directly to their homes, through June 21. Every purchase supports Audubon’s nonprofit conservation mission. Each tree costs $299.99.

“As many of us spent time closer to home this spring, the natural world outside our windows provided a welcome connection and interaction,” said John Rowden, Senior Director of Bird Friendly Initiatives. Audubon’s Communities and Plants for Birds, which connect gardeners with plants that grow naturally in their area. “Planting trees and other plants native to your area is one of the best ways to welcome birds to your yard or garden. Native plants not only attract more birds, but they are adapted to local climatic conditions, so they require less maintenance than more exotic varieties. In fact, finding them available for sale is harder than growing them, so we’re extremely excited about Audubon’s new partnership with Bower & Branch, including this special collection of trees for Costco.

Four oak species available

Four Audubon-branded oak species are now for sale on – Pin Oak, Bur Oak, White Oak and Northern Red Oak – grown exclusively by Bower & Branch. All four varieties are native to the East Coast and parts of the Midwest and can provide food and shelter for blue jays, flickers, woodpeckers, and other local and migratory birds.

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“As part of the horticulture industry, we have a responsibility to people and the planet,” said Don Eaton, CEO and Founder of Bower & Branch. “We don’t want to live in a silent sky, and there’s a reason to plant natives now for future generations. I’m hopeful that we can bring change with Audubon. It’s a chance for dynamic change. .

Other Audubon-certified bird plants are available online at for direct-to-home shipping or pick-up at participating garden centers. Each purchase and planting of these native plants and trees supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact.

How planting a tree can ensure a better future