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To dig or not to dig - native plant rescue

17 years ago

I would like to hear some opinions about digging native plants from lots that MAY be developed or on the edges of a lot being developed.

In the past, I've always been a "leave the plants where they are so that everyone can enjoy" person. But, lately, I'm not so sure. There was a nice patch of possumhaw (Ilex decidua) near where live that I've enjoyed for years. Then one day, before even a "for sale" or "sold" sign went up, the land was bulldozed and no more possumhaw.

So my question is: If a field has a "for sale" sign, can I dig (for my own flower bed) a few native plants if there are many of that type? For the purpose of this discussion, let's discount the private property aspect of the issue. These are empty lots that are not fenced and owned most probably by developers who probably don't care if one or two native plants are missing.

A second issue: another large lot is being developed now. On the side of the drainage ditch next to the lot is a nice clump of Indian grass. I think once the buildings go up, they might try to landscape the ditch. But I don't know for sure. Should I rescue that clump of Indian grass?

Let me know what you think.

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