Life on BHI

The Bald Head Island Landscape

BHA's Design Guidelines Plant List   (learn what plants are native to BHI, native to NC, non-native and invasive)

Click to read "The Story About Understory"

Click HERE to read about the importance of the Bald Head Island Maritime Forest understory from the BHI Conservancy.

Before you add, trim or remove any plant vegetation from your property on Bald Head Island, you must read the appropriate Design Guidelines governing landscaping (click HERE; the plant list begins on page 149).

North Carolina Coastal Landscape Initiative (CLI) Resources for eco-friendly alternatives to harmful ornamental plants:
CLI Website
"Plant This Instead!" Guide
"Plant This Instead!" Recorded Webinar (Passcode: t+MVr2Qu)

Planting Resources:

Planting A Tree — International Society of Arboriculture
Tree Planting — NCSU & Brunswick County Extension (PowerPoint download)

The original residents of BHI had a very strong vision of how and why to protect the native landscapes on the Island. First and foremost, protecting the Maritime Forest and the vegetation in wind-blown areas such as the "scrub" and "pioneer" zones including the Frontal Dunes is providing the very components of Island protection and stabilization. 

Without vegetation, the sand will blow and/or be washed away.

Over-trimming or clearing of the understory, clearing vines and taking out shrubs on the dune areas opens up for salt intrusion, which will cause die-back in the forest and on more salt-sensitive plants. Once the plants and their root structures are gone, the dunes may erode from wind and storm waves.

Also, trimming back or clearing of any understory or underbrush removes very important habitat for our songbirds and other wildlife. Removing native plants and bringing in non-natives removes food sources for our songbirds and other wildlife.

spring blooms American Beautyberry American Beautyberry fall Muhley Grass Coral Honeysuckle close up coral honeysuckle Live Oak sea oats sabal palm minor sabal palm Wax Myrtle wax Myrtle close up Yaupon Holly

Here are some links to more information on these topics:

Click  HERE to watch the Earthday presentation by Cape Fear Chapter of the Audubon Society President Charley Winterbauer on why our song birds desperately need us to plant and keep native.

Take a hike around Bald head with Dr. Paul Hosier  and Maureen Dewire identifying natives.

Landscape Section of the BHA Design Guidelines

Native Plants for Coastal North Carolina

Exotic Invasives not to plant

Native Landscaping for Butterflies

Planting native for wildlife