Bird-Friendly Native Plants

Town of Matthews Embraces Native Plants for Birds

Municipal leaders vote in favor of more native trees and plants to accompany new development.

The Town of Matthews became even more wildlife-friendly April 8 when town commissioners unanimously passed a revision to the municipality's plant list that dictates the kinds of vegetation developers can and can’t select for projects inside town limits.

The revision adds 37 native species to the Approved Tree and Shrub List, including:

  • Large trees that are superhosts to the caterpillars that feed baby birds – Black Oak, Post Oak, Scarlet Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Black Birch
  • Berry-producing shrubs and trees – Spicebush, American Beautyberry, three native Viburnum species, native hollies – Inkberry, Winterberry, Possumhaw Holly
  • Nectar-providing shrubs and trees – Red Buckeye, White Fringetree, three native azaleas

The revision also removed all invasive species on the list, including Elaeagnus, Privet, Ligustrum, and Chanticleer Pear.

Longtime Matthews residents Jill Palmer and Debbie Foster worked as members of the Appearance/Tree Advisory Committee to revise the list. Palmer and Foster are Audubon Ambassadors and National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards and led the effort to make the Town of Matthews the 64th certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the country. What a great win for the people and birds of Matthews!

Send a thank you note to commissioners by clicking here.

The City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have also updated their plant lists to remove invasive plants and emphasize native plants. Audubon Ambassadors are working to revise plant lists in Asheville and Durham. Contact Kim Brand for more information at

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