Favorite Shrub or Tree for attracting Wildlife and Why

Mike LarkinJanuary 30, 2002

What have you planted in your back yard that attracts wildlife? And what creature was attracted?

I have two Viburums "Wrightii" that get an enourmous amout of berries. (Best berries with more than one) The berries must go through the winter and freeze first but then the cedar wax wings and cat birds ( and some robins will clean it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCONN

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Best wildlife tree here is Robinia pseudoacacia. The leaves, bark and wood is infested with borers, miners, thrips and moths and their eggs. The tree is drilled into to provide homes for woodpeckers, and when they abandon the nest something else can use it. Birds attracted include nuthatches, woodpeckers (3 kinds), chickadees, and squirrels reuse the woodpecker holes. The tops die and provide good roosts for hawks and owls. The roots have the nitrogen fixing bacteria, so they even provide food for other plants. Truly an outstanding tree for wildlife, but oh what weeds they are. Not suitable for small yards, but if you have the room, they provide entertainment.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2002 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
John_D(USDA 8b WA)

Sweet cherries and apples--because the birds and I can share them.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2002 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alanrocks(z6 KY)

We have serviceberry bushes around our wildlife observation area at the park where I work. They produce tremendous numbers of berries (we have 6 - 8 nine year old plants). They taste good and produce enough fruit to keep the park naturalists and the birds happy.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2002 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plantlust(z5ish IL)

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) the females have bright orange/red berries in the fall that are stunning and if I don't get to them....stripped by birds. Haven't been able to figure out what is eating them but suspect robins, cardinals, bluejay among the usual suspects.

Has scented leaves that are totally addictive...a spicy citrus scent.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chokeberries, serviceberry, and viburnums all attract tons of birds. Hazelnut and native plum are squirrel smorgasbords.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
apcohrs(z5 IL)

Viburnums, viburnums, viburnums.

I grow v.prunifolium
v. x Mohican
v. x juddii

But grow ALL of the suggestions - the BEST planting for wildlife is a thicket containing a mix which will flower and fruit at different times of the year. And you need to add a few evergreens like arborvitae or white pines to provide winter shelter.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The trouble with picking a favorite is that different plants provide different things for different animals. My Yaupon and Possumhaw hollies are favorites of the mockingbirds. Yellow rump warblers like the Southern Wax Myrtles where I work, so I've planted some in my yard. When my privets are in bloom, they are covered with red admiral butterflies, and when they are in berry, they are full of house sparrows. (okay, I don't like either the privets nor the house sparrows, but the privets have been there over 25 years, their roots are firmly entrenched, and I do like the butterflies!) The hummers like my flame acanthus, and Salvia greggii shrubs. So, which do I pick as my favorite? Obviously not the privet! But I love all the others, and all the critters they attract.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The mulberry tree. I didn't plant it, it was there when I bought the house. I know they can be messy but mine is in the far corner of the backyard and the birds love it. So I love it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Don't forget the persimmons and the pawpaws...not to mention the good old oak tree. A good mature heavy-bearing oak is tough to beat, whether you're in need of a food source or a nesting cavity.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dswan(z6 UT)

My yard is fairly new and the shrubs and trees are just getting established. So far, a favorite has been the serviceberry: amelenchier alnifolia and utahensis. These plants produce beautiful white flowers that are attractive to bumble bees and fruit that are enjoyed by birds as well as my two year old.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

I have read that the fruit of the Amelenchier (Juneberry) is out during June and is a favarite of the bluebird young. Anyone ever experience this?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 8:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Amelenchier is serviceberry.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

The Douglas Firs attract the most wildlife. They're about 90% of the greenery around here anyway and so many things use them - chickadees, kinglets, juncos, jays, tanagers, thrushes, squirrels, owls, crows, creepers, nuthatches, woodpeckers, mountain beaver, cougars, mushrooms, lichen, even bald eagles. Food and shelter. No! I dont' get cougars in my yard, or the mountain beavers, but I did have an immature bald eagle spend a night in one of my trees once.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have Oaks that the animals love and pine trees (Pinon and Ponderosa) that birds like ... but the tree that gets the best reaction out of the creatures is the Juniper when a portion of the berries become ripe. The 3 or 4 pairs of Ravens are joined by many others and they caw and wheel from tree to tree drunkenly as they consume the berries. They must have fermented just right the other day because I heard the cawing and saw the wasted Ravens on Monday morning. It is their own celebration of spring to come perhaps. (ask in summer and I would say pemstemon because the hummers love it)
For some reason they all come to party at my place ... wonder why?

Don't look into the darkness - it may notice and look back. Do I care? I don't know.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 6:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

Linda, thanks for you reply it forced me to do so research about Amelenchier and all the different names.The three that I know of are shadlow, juneberry, serviceberry.
I guess that is why it is important to use latin.
Check out this thread, it is long but interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden WEB Search

    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 8:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cactus_cowboy(z4 WY)

Everything from the genus Prunus that I've planted has attracted deer. They love to nip off and eat the young shoots, any day of the year. It's a constant battle to keep them away. I just want my trees and shrubs to grow large enough to be able to withstand constant browsing.

Dave in Wyoming

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tern(z4 MN)

Those of you who have viburnums, what kinds are you planting? No one pays any attention to my viburnums. However, birds of all sorts go wild for the native dogwood species in my yard.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only native viburnum I have that fruits is arrowwood viburnum. Those berries disappear fast. But grey dogwood cannot be beat for attracting birds, except perhaps by Virginia creeper. If you notice in the evening that berries of either are just about ripe, you can be sure that they will be gobbled up by dawn the next day. Serviceberries are the same--the birds check out the trees when the berries start to ripen and come back for them the minute they are ready. There's a continual procession of cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, and catbirds perching on my neighbor's clothesline (about 20 feet brom my biggest serviceberry bush) just long enough to check the progress of the berries. Raspberries too. When I pick, I usually disturb birds that are busy there.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pondwelr(z5 WI)

wild redosier dogwood is a constant draw for birds. But the biggest interest is in my four serviceberry trees when the blue berries ripen.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted a Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum, V. rufidulum, which is a viburnum native to Texas, and other places I'm sure. It has showy flowers in the spring, glossy green leaves in the summer, and vibrant red foliage and purple berries in the fall/winter. Mine's just a baby, so it may be a while before it gets big enough to provide for the birds. Some viburnums are sterile. They are bred for big showy flowers. That may be what you have, Tern.

I also have native dogwoods, Cornus drummondii, or Roughleaf Dogwood. These dogwoods have white berries, but the birds get to the berries before I even get to see them. I didn't even have to plant them - the birds did it for me! Roughleaf Dogwoods spread rapidly by runners underground, so they can be a pest if you don't have room. I just dig up the sprouts I don't want.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kangaroo Paw...Hummingbirds.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2002 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Evergreen huckleberry and salal. The bumblebees and hummingbirds love the flowers, the birds and my dogs love the fruit! I might add that I am surrounded by thickets of these two, so I see LOTS of activity!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2002 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Up here, Amelanchier is called Saskatoon, both in the wild and in the garden. In years where berrying is heavy, one can find blue, heavily seeded coyote scat. It is a favorite treat for them as well as birds.
I love reading about all the different trees that people have. To me they are exotic and remote.
Favorites in my yard include birch and willow (for bugs), mountain ash and crabapple for fruit, lilac (for what reason I don't know - maybe just perching) and blue spruce for thick cover.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2002 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here in the Northwoods, sugar maple, basswood and my garden favorite, flowering crab attract wildlife. The crabapples are so attractive year-round, they're buzzing with bees, butterflies in spring-summer; my crabapple trees, particularly a large whiteish-pinkish one, will be loaded with fruit. Migrating robins find it in late Fall (this year we had 30). Some pine grosbeak cleaned off the last of the fruit this Winter. And of course, chipmunks & rabbits clean up the remainder on the ground.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2002 at 5:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catherinet(5 IN)

Hi all,
This is a great thread. It has me drooling! There's alot of shrubs and trees I want to plant this year now! I hate to say this, but one of the most attractive shrubs(to birds) that is (unfortunately) all over our property, is an invasive exotic.....I believe it's called the Japanese honeysuckle. It's a real love-hate thing for me. The birds absolutely love the berries in the fall.......but the bush has taken over our property and shaded all the ground below it. To erradicate it would take far more energy than I have.
I have several viburnums in the works (not producing berries yet), and am trying to grow some winterberry, but the deer keep eating them.

I liked what Pinette said about her favorite tree. It's funny....once you realize the importance of certain things to wildlife, you really view it differently. "Aesthetics" take a back seat. I have learned to leave dead trees up, and when they fall, I leave them where they fell.......They have been some of the most wonderful places for wildlife.

I'm also partial to evergreens, since they add another dimension to the property.....attracting birds that otherwise probably wouldn't be attracted.

As someone else here said, it's very hard to pick a favorite, since different trees and shrubs attract different birds and wildlife. The wild cherry trees that grow here really make the birds happy. Our shagbark hickory and black walnut trees really keep the squirrels happy. Certain migrating birds really love the bugs on the ash trees in the early spring........I guess I can't pick a favorite. Like my children.....I love them all!!

I'm new here, but I'm so glad I found this forum.......It's a great place!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2002 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can anyone tell me the difference between a serviceberry and a winterberry tree/shrub. I am looking for the one that provides the best red berry for winter interest. Also should I expect the deer to have more winter interest in these than I would!!!!???n Are there any other shrubs/trees that have great bright berries in the winter?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plantlust(z5ish IL)

Serviceberry is Amelanchier spp (lots of different species) and Winterberry holly is Ilex spp (probably Ilex verticillata). Winterberry will have very bright red berries in fall. Serviceberry has white spring flowers, dark blue berries that taste fabulous and very good fall color.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can anyone tell me if the Korean Mountain Ash (Sorbus ???) is as good for attracting birds to the berries as the American Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana)? I can't find the native Mountain Ash in any local nursery but the Korean one is readily available.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another question. What kind of mulberries are the best for birds? Do you need more than one to get fruit. Are there male and female ones and if so, I assume you must get the female?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My favorites are my hickory trees. They provide cover for everyone, and the squirrels and birds will eat the nuts. The titmice and squirrels also will eat the flowers. It's full of insects for the warblers, wrens and woodpeckers. In the fall the leaves fall and I use them in my flower beds. Everyone benefits from those hickories.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 4:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dswan(z6 UT)

I found a feature here at Gardenweb that everyone ought to try out. The Hortiplex Plant feature allows you to pull up a plant and make comments about it. It would be helpful to include in those comments what wildlife use there is.

Being relatively new to Gardenweb, I just barely discovered our ability to put comments on plants and have them as part of our journal. Check out my journal and see what plants I've been able to find and comment on. If I ever figure out how to download pictures of plants, I could do even cooler stuff using this feature.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2002 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Catherine T I have to agree with you about honeysuckle. I know people cringe when they hear the name. But the fragrance is heavenly, and they are beautiful when they are flowering, or just green. Invasive yes, but I have room and don't mind. For me, it's worth it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you're talking about invasive aliens, you have to think beyond your own property boundary. You may have room (but not for long, I suspect), but the rest of the world does not, and birds spread seed everywhere. The ecosystem does not know about your property boundaries, and you need to think beyond your own little space.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 2:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irishguy24(LI 7)

What does a willow attract?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2002 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my yard it is hard to beat the Turk's Cap Hibiscus. The flowers bring large butterflies, bees, and lots of hummingbirds on their late-summer migration through Houston. The bright red fruits are popular with birds. The flowers offer so much nectar that the insects and birds nectar at each flower for an extended period.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Wild black cherry tree - host to some swallowtail butterflies and red spotted purples, fruit relished by many birds
Arrowood viburnum - fruits adored by many birds and undoubtedly other wildlife as they disappear so fast
Sassafras - host to spicebush swallowtails, fruits of female trees eaten by birds
Red turk's cap - flowers loved by hummers and butterflies
Flowering dogwood - fruits adored by birds and squirrels
All hollies - provide valuable winter food
Oaks - provide much food for deer, squirrels, blue jays, and turkeys, I think
Magnolias - My neighbor has a few VERY large magnolia grandiflora trees growing in a relatively sunny area, hence they bloom profusely and make those cones with the red seeds. I see pileated woodpeckers all the time in the fall in those trees, so I think they must really like the seeds. Since we have lost the ivory billed woodpecker, I'd especially like to see us do everything we can to keep the next most impressive looking woodpecker we have. Planting magnolias might help their cause.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As for mulberries, I believe the red mulberry is the native, and the white is alien, but I may have it backwards. (Big help I am!) However, they both actually produce messy purple berries that several birds and children love. I don't have a species list, but figure that if a bird likes berries of any kind, it will definately like mulberries. Around here there are an abundance of male trees, which were sold 20 - 30 years ago and pushed as fruitless mulberries. They were considered good, fast growing shade trees. I think they are trash trees, good for nothing. But, if your area has them planted as abundantly, I wouldn't worry about pollination. I believe that yes, the female would have to have a male somewhere in the vacinity, but I don't know how close.

Willow attract several species of butterflies, which use them as larvae food.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

While I was walking back to the house from outside with a handful of my first ripe blueberries (rabbiteye) of the season, I remembered this thread. I forgot to mention blueberries!
Hummingbirds and bees visit the flowers in the early spring, numerous varieties of birds just LOVE the fruit, and one of my bushes is half eaten up from the caterpillars of some variety of butterfly or moth. My bushes are young, but they eventually get REAL big, and, when they do, they become favorite nesting sites for many birds. I planted nine bushes, so I'd have enough for the birds AND me!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2002 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slvr(z6a New England)

We usually see cardinals once in awhile. Often in the summer months I don't see them very often. In the winter they are around more. I don't feed the birds. Our yard is a suburban 1/4 acre, level lot. We have few trees in our yard, but the neighboring yards have maples, spruce and pine. We have a shrub border in the back which is overgrown. I have two forsythia bushes that haven't been pruned in years. They are huge and dense. I believe there is a family of mocking birds nesting in there this year.

Actually it is a mocking bird that looks and sounds just a little bit different from the ones I was used to seeing. He has more dark gray and he sounds just like a cat mewing. The family that were in the Rhodie across the street had more light gray, were smaller, had more white on them, and they didn't make that mewing sound ever.

But I digress..back to the cardinals..this year for the first time, I saw not only an adult pair around this summer, but in June I saw 3 young adult females and a young adult male. They were attracted to my Amelanchier tree. I have never seen a tree or shrub that attracts birds like this one. I planted it about 3 years ago so this year it was fairly good size and it was the first time it had a good size crop of berries.

There was an increase in bird activity for weeks before the berries ripened and then the week they began to ripen, the tree was constantly full of birds...robins, cardinals, mockingbirds, baltimore orioles that I saw for the first time. One day, I just sat at the window and watched them for hours. Every 10 minutes or so one group would leave and a new group would sail in.

It is a native tree with small white flowers in the spring and fall color. I wish I had planted more.

I also have Boston Ivy on the chimney that berries up in the fall. But I don't remember cardinals particularly being too interested but it is in a location that I don't see as much so I am not sure what birds eat from it. There is actually a native weed/vine that I allowed to grow up the sides of the compost bin that has berries and this seems very attractive to a number of birds all winter...especially the mocking bird, and the cardinal.

One other plant that bears mentioning is Cosmos. I grow this plant because it is so easy and attractive but the biggest reason I allow it to reseed all over the place is that it attracts Golden Finches like crazy. I think they have my garden all staked out. They are so fun to watch as they land and sway on the cosmos stems and eat the seed.

This year I planted sunflowers in the middle of a perennial bed and although the seeds are not ripe, The birds seem to be using it as a perch..lol. They zoom in and land on the branches and seem to be enjoying them.

I only have one birdbath in my yard but my neighbor has a small pond and swimming pool. I guess they do alright. The house across the street has a HUGE Rhododendron that they never prune. It takes up one whole side of their house and grows up almost to the top of the living room window it is in front of. The birds love that bush...I have an equally large burning bush in my yard at the corner of the house that I limbed up and allow to just grow as tall as it wants and this is a popular place too. Although no one nests in mine, but the neighbors Rhododendron always has tenants. A mockingbird family lived there every year for years, but the last 2 years I am not sure.

I have found the cardinals to be quite shy and skittish. The male I would think has to be since he is so bright and visible.

What I have seen little of this year is the Blue Jay which in the winter is around a lot. For the last 5 years I have seen and heard few mourning doves when there used to be a ton of them around.

It is funny that our neighborhood yards haven't changed that much over the years so why the bird populations change so much from year to year is a mystery. I mean I can see why new plants attract new birds, but what causes doves and blue jays to stop showing up...is a mystery to me.

Birds are very entertaining, aren't they?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2002 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slvr(z6a New England)

I just went back and read all the posts in this thread. Very interesting. Lots of good ideas. I am a little confused though as my Amelanchier tree has red berries not blue. So what is there a difference between amelanchier trees and shrubs? Or is the serviceberrie different?


    Bookmark   July 24, 2002 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

amelanchier seeds go from green to red to blue; my guess is that the birds are eating the fruits even before they fully ripen (the berries, that is).

and let us us not forget aralia spinosa (devil's walking stick). the huge inflorescence (i.e. flower head) is a mass 18 inches in diameter, which swarms with bees, butterlys, wasps, flys, beetles (yes, i think "bugs" are cool). then birds come and clean up the masses of purple berries. fun to watch...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2002 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slvr(z6a New England)

I am thinking through what I want to add to the yard for the birds and a few questions come to mind.

Does anyone have a good wildlife shrub growing in the SHADE? I have an area that gets 2-3hrs of sun and want to add something there.

Also, can you put TOO many wildlife friendly shrubs and trees and end up with More wildlife than you or your neighborhood can handle? Too many birds?

Whoever put that UCONN website on this thread, it is a good one. Thanks, Slvr

    Bookmark   July 28, 2002 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slvr(z6a New England)

Thanks MrNatural, I didn't realize that if left to ripen more they would be blue. I haven't seen one left on the tree yet...lol.

Thanks Plantman for that UCONN website on this thread, it is a good one. Thanks

I am thinking through what I want to add to the yard for the birds and a few questions come to mind.

Does anyone have a favorite wildlife shrub growing in the SHADE? I have an area that gets 2-3hrs of sun and want to add something there.

Also, can you put TOO many wildlife friendly shrubs and trees and end up with More wildlife than you or your neighborhood can handle? Too many birds?

Are any of your favorite trees, deep rooted in your garden, so that you can plant right up to the base of the tree? A Bradford Pear is supposed to be like that, but of course it is not a wildlife tree. Birches are too now that I think of it, any others? Maybe amelanchier. I actually have one, but it is young and I have it in a location where I haven't tested that yet.

What benefit is a sugar maple in a wildlife garden?

someone suggested magnolia in the south for woodpeckers...would other magnolias feed woodpeckers also?

There were lots of suggestions for shrubs and trees that feed animals...more favorites that birds are nesting in?

:-) Slvr

    Bookmark   July 28, 2002 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
croakie_SC(SC Zone 8)

Some of the viburnums will get fruit and provide shelter and they grow in shade. Rose of sharon will attract butterflies and hummers and will grow in partial shade too. Weilga and blueberries are two more.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2002 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Slvr - On wildlife shrubs for shade, maybe arrowwood viburnum (v. dentatum) or spicebush (lindera benzoin).

Here is a link that might be useful: planting natives (Mass.)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2002 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Blueberies have always been good in my yard. I have several old bushes and just added two new ones this spring. Could not resist them at the nursery because they were loaded with young fruit and I had the room. Catbirds go nuts for them and I just love to pick the juicy berries and pop them into my mouth!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2002 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I have a cornus florida dogwood tree in my yard and all my immediate neighbors have them also. So there is a lot of dogwood fruit available when the berries are all ripe. I know this is a great wildlife tree as who knows how many types of birds eat the berries. Problem is that the flocks of Robins and Starlings come thru and eat up every dogwood berry in sight in about four days. Now there is nothing left for the birds that are here all the time and not just passing thru.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2002 at 5:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Right now the Winterbery holly berries are getting lots of attention from the local mockingbird. If any other birds go near the Winterberry shrubs, he chases them away.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2002 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Orioles go absolutely BOnKeRS !@!@ for my mulberry tree each spring for almost a month when it is fruiting !
I'm going to plant Ribes (currant) to see what that attracts next spring. The catbirds and mockers love the blueberry bushes on the side of our property.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2003 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jonesy(z6 midwest)

This is a very good thread, I have printed it out to read at my leisure and figure out what I can plant. I am trying to convert my yard to things that don't need a lot of care, such as shrubs. I have shade, plus very sandy soil and knees that are starting to complain from the abuse they have had over the years.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2003 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

Here is another college web site to help visualize some of these plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oregon State

    Bookmark   January 28, 2003 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where can you buy native currants (Ribes sp.)? I have been unable to find a source.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2003 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Oikos Tree Corps has Golden Current, Ribes aureum. I ordered two of these to go in my 'woodland border' that I am making in the spring with viburnums, shrub dogwoods, red elderberry and more.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2003 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm new to this forum , but I can report a few things from my own backyard expiriences:
Mullberrys= Baltimore Orioles
Trumpetvine=Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
Holly= Mockingbirds

    Bookmark   February 2, 2003 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This thread has been going for over a year! I love reading it! But why hasn't anyone said anything about Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus)? I just bought and planted one for fruit for the birds. There's just one problem - the nursery couldn't tell me whether it was a male or female. There's got to be people out there who have fruiting Grancy Graybeard trees - I'd love to hear from someone who has one - I thought it was a "desired" wildlife shrub/tree. If so, I'm going to continue to search for one I know will produce fruit. If not, it's not too late to replace it with something else.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bullnettle(z8b TX)

Wax myrtles attract yellow-rumped warblers and ruby crowned kinglets here. Others that attract birds and squirrels:
pecans,poke salet,roughleafed dogwood,hackberries (don't know who eats the berries, but they sprout all down the fence line, so something is),American beautyberry, coralberry,yaupon,leatherleaf mahonia, hollies,chile pequin, live oaks, Mermaid roses (all the birds use it for shelter; it's pretty much evergreen here.)

hummingbirds, butterflies and bees: crossvine, passion vine, Carolina jessamin, many types of salvias, flame acanthus, several types of penstemons, sundrops, firecracker bush, bird-of-paradise, desert willow, lantana, fennel, coralbean, red yucca, cigar plant, turk's caps, columbines, Texas star hibiscus, Mexican butterfly weed, Mexican oregano (poliomentha), copper canyon daisies.

I've planted many other natives that are too small to produce their berries yet, but hope they will soon. Some I planted as a screen, like sumacs and elderberries and cherry laurels, and not just for the birds.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2003 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ferretma(PNW Z8)

This is my favorite thread in all the forums at GardenWeb! Thank you everyone for the great ideas!

>Where can you buy native currants (Ribes sp.)? I have been
>unable to find a source.

I've never ordered from them (I could, after all, just drive there!) but Wallace Hansen is well respected in this area. He has 3 kinds of currants; Red Flowering, Golden, and Squaw. I have the first two + white flowering currant. The white and red are in bloom right now. I haven't seen a rufous hummingbird yet but expect to soon.

I just purchased a 10 foot tall Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry single trunk tree today ($40.00) and may go back for a second one tomorrow. I've never seen one available at the nursery before so I am one happy camper today. Based on the comments above, I'm expecting that the critters will love my selection.

My garden is relatively new so I'm bringing in most of the birds with feeders. Last fall, it was the Salvia Leucantha Purple that brought in the over-wintering Anna's Hummingbirds that made the biggest impression on me. I'm hoping that the dozens of varieties of native plants will pay off soon and next year at this time a native plant will top my list!


Here is a link that might be useful: Wallace Hansen's Native Plants

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
FordaBirds(z7a GA)

Ferret Ma,

All I have to say is that you need to count your blessings re paying $40 for that size service berry. I gave up shopping for them when I found 2 different nurseries selling 15 footers for $175 (not installed). I opted for a free 4 footer. I'll just have to wait for the berries. You better go get another. I wonder what shipping charge would be?!? lol

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
philipw2(7 MD/DC)

A tree I didn't expect to attract much wildlife was a zelkova (sp?). I planted it for shade. But all fall I had all sorts of birds sitting in it eating the buds that were forming at the base of the leaves. This lasted a couplke of months. Maybe the drought had reduced other food and since I was watering the relatively newly planted zelkova, there was little competition.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2003 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have room for 1 tree not over 20' tall. Want something attractive to birds. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 6:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Most of my recommendations are for largish shrubs -- most real 'trees' get larger than 20 feet at maturity.

I recommend a dogwood (silky, red-osier), viburnum (arrowwood or American cranberrybush), or serviceberry (some species can get over 20 feet). All have attractive flowers and foliage as well as berries that birds like. Red or black chokeberries have similar features, but the fruit is (perhaps) less appealing to birds.

Winterberry holly is a nice large shrub in your size range, with red berries that provide visual appeal and bird food in winter. You would have to plant at least two (male and female) to get one to fruit, though.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2003 at 10:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

Agree on large shrub idea. Need to remember that some viburnum fruit best with a second viburnum, and the winterberry needs a boy/girl to have berries.

In order to answer your question it is important to know the following: Amount of sun (fullsun Shade...) , soil type ( does water drain well or is there some clay )

I like the serviceberry.

Although after reading this thread the choices are many.

Here is a link that might be useful: Serviceberry

    Bookmark   March 12, 2003 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jules(6 Ont)

Oh I must say I've had a wonderful time reading this thread. This is a pretty exciting time for me because last spring/summer fall I planted a whole mess of trees & shrubs for the wonderful wildlife. From three 7 ft hemlocks, 2 7 ft white spruce, a mess of white cedars, chokecherry, pin cherries, pin oak, flowering crab, 3 different serviceberries, cornus florida, lots of red osiers, grey dogwoods, pagoda dogwood, northern bayberries, alpine currents, american elder, golden elderberry, flowering quince, new jersey tea, black chokeberry, 5 blueberries, berberis, pyracantha, dwarf ninebarks and a whole mess of 5 ft eastern red cedars. It was a busy time..and a lot of research to find out who ate what when and where they slept. *grin*
Everything is starting to bud out here in Toronto ..with the exception of the red cedars, it doesn't seem that many of them made it through that rough winter. And the cornus florida. It survived, but the bracts I'm not sure yet.
I cannot wait to watch it come alive for the first spring. And this is just the beginning. I'm planting about 1/4 pound of cornflower plants as the gold finches absolutely love those seeds.
I am looking forward to growing old here.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

This is the thread that got me going on my shrub border. So much information on great bird attracting shrubs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2003 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I have some small seedling Chokecherry trees that are sopposed to attract birds with the cherries. Mine are going to take a long time to grow into fruiting trees though because they are about a foot high.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2003 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
roseunhip(z5b QC)

To Plantman56 and all: I have read only the initial post and the very last one (there is just too many of these!), so forgive me if my advice is redundant with someone else's.
My own "ultimate wildlife plant" is quite simply the cedar (Thuja canadensis)! For the cones that attract many northern type birds, the hide-out this plant (whether as a single tree or hedge) represent for the nesting of so many bird species and to run for cover when feeding in your yard, and finally for the night shelter a snow-covered tree or, better still, hedge will give to the birds in the more northerly zones of the continent.
And for us (are we "wild"life after all?)... it is so lovely , useful and hardy! The "tree of life"!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2003 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To anyone who has a mulberry tree (Rita, Stephen)..do you have the white or the native red? Mulberry is the new bee in my bonnet and I want one badly. You don't need a male and a female, do you? What do you suppose are the chances of finding a Red weeping mulberry? I know, I ask too much...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 2:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I bought an Illinois Everbearing Mulberry from Edible Landscaping late last summer. It came with about three berries on it already!

I have tasted some of the mulberries from the trees that grow wild around here and the berries are not much, very bland.I don't know what kind they are. The fruit from my Illinois Everbearing is juicy and sweet. Not bland at all. Plus the tree bears fruit for a long period of time. I think its the best Mulbery you can get.

Here is a link that might be useful: Edible Landscaping

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MeMyselfAndI(5/6 central OH)

I didn't plant it, but I've learned that my native cottonwood tree is a host plant for tiger swallowtail caterpillars.

I also love my Asclepias incarnata, shrub-sized perennials, for hosting monarch caterpillars. Just today, in fact, I saw a Monarch laying eggs on them.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 7:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't want this thread to drop off. Too many good ideas.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2003 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great thread, lets move this one up to the top!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2003 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've got the native Escarpment Black Cherry (small fruits), Black Walnut (nuts), Possumhaw Holly (I'm hoping one of them will turn out to be female for berries, the only one big enough to flower is a male), Ashe Juniper (berries), Scrub Live Oak and Texas Red Oak (acorns), Texas Persimmon (fruits), passionflower vines (for butterflies), Flame Acanthus (hummingbirds), Turk's Cap (hummingbirds and butterflies), several kinds of Eupatoriums (butterflies), Hop-Trees (very small, but it's a butterfly host), Flameleaf Sumac (bees and other insects all over it when it blooms), Frostweed (bees/butterflies) and Maximilian Sunflower (butterflies and bees). That's a few of my wildlife plants. A lot of my other plants are still small and haven't done anything much for the wildlife yet, but will someday.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Depending on what time of year it is, you can have different answers. Right now, the Winterberries and Crabapple are most popular. In the summer its Serviceberries.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tresor(z8 PNW)

For those in the Pacific Northwest, nothing beats Cascara. We have serviceberries and Indian Plums as well and, while the birds do like them, they don't hold a candle (apparently) to the Cascara berries. The tree itself is smallish and is hard to distinguish from a red alder. I don't think I've ever seen one for sale at a nursery. If you can get your hands on one, though, by all means do. I've never seen anything like it -- I think the berries must be the bird equivalent of heroin.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tresor(z8 PNW)

I found a link to a nursery that carries Cascara, for those who are interested:



    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It was not a specific tree, but just the presence of trees. We moved to this house a few years ago, and no trees were in the back yard. We put a birdbath in, and only a few birds came around. Only two years after planting a few small apple trees, the number of birds visiting is 10 times greater. They really enjoy perching locations.

This summer's experiment will be growing scarlet runner beans on a 14' bamboo in a teepee shape - apparently, it attracts hummingbirds.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 1:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

My best two this winter were swamp rose and eastern red cedar...bluebirds in particular enjoyed the cedar berries all winter long.

Someone's been eating the smilax recently as well, but I'm not sure who.

Wow...this thread is over 2 years old!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Recently I have gotten interested in Bramble fruit. I am planting lots of different types of Raspberries and Blackberries this spring. I am sure the local Catbirds, Robins, Mockingbirds and Orioles will get their share of the fruit. The Black Raspberries grow like shrubs and are thorny so that might be a good nesting spot for backyard birds too!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 4:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is some really neat information on the Cascara that Tresor was talking about...
I may push the limits and try a couple.
I seem to have tons of luck with stuff everyone says
"you cant grow that here"
I will first have to see if I can find a spot for one..
But it is a very interesting tree...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cascara information, and order phone #

    Bookmark   May 18, 2004 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a wonderfully helpful thread! Thank you all! :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Actually it is a mocking bird that looks and sounds just a little bit different from the ones I was used to seeing. He has more dark gray and he sounds just like a cat mewing. The family that were in the Rhodie across the street had more light gray, were smaller, had more white on them, and they didn't make that mewing sound ever."

I'd guess your Mockingbird that meows might be a Grey Catbird since that's the sound they make. On the other hand since Mockers can mimic most anything I might be wrong.

In my yard like Biosparite stated it's hard to beat Turk's Cap. It's a totally care free, Hummingbirds, butterflies and moths love the red flowers & the birds love the berries/seed. If we have a freeze it'll freeze back but come back in the spring. I plan to add a couple to my front yard next spring.
The only time I've seen Grey Catbirds in my yard was to eat the Turk's Cap berries. Took me a while to identify it as a Grey Catbird, I'm hearing impaired so couldn't hear the meowing.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the Mulberry Tree. It attacts birds and animals from the fruit on the tree and fallen to the ground. All kinds of birds, raccoons, opossum, mice, deer, fox, rabbits, you name it.

For hummingbirds I like Agastache, coneflower, beebalm, honeysuckle, and salvia.

In later winter the birds go for the American Holly berries.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 2:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the thread! It has given me some new ideas on what to plant.

I have a somewhat difficult spot to plant. I currently have a pine there that had extensive storm damage, so it is coming down in the spring. The area is about 8 feet from my house as well as my neighbor's driveway. It gets NE sun and is somewhat dry as it slopes away from the house.

After doing a lot of searching, I am thinking of bayberry. Can anyone comment if it would be a good choice. I don't want anything with fruit as the area is so close to my neighbor's drive. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate the purple bird droppings and berries!

I have lots of evergreens in my yard, which is why I thought bayberry might be a good choice.

I would also like to add elderberries to shrubs that attract birds. They strip them clean as fast as they ripen. Plus they look a bit tropical, which is nice in a northern climate. They do sucker very freely, but so do a lot of the others previously mentioned.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 9:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Bayberry is an outstanding choice!
Wax myrtle/southern bayberry - myrica cerifera - grows all over my property, and the berries are always gone by late Feb. or early March - I'd say it's more of a late season bird food. I've read that the waxy coating on the berries is high in calories, which helps them get through the winter, sort of like suet, only vegetable.
There are several mail order nurseries that carry female northern bayberries - myrica pennsylvanica - so you could determine the sex of your bushes - only the females make berries.

Here is a link that might be useful: I Think Pine Ridge Gardens in Arkansas Carries Female Northern Bayberry

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
LeslieAnne_westTX(z6/7 TX)

This is a wonderful thread... I've learned ever so much from all of you... thank you...

I've ordered a Nanking Flowering Cherry... I'm sure I'll like eating the cherries, & I assume I'll have to compete with the birds for them... anybody have experience with them?..

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

This is a very good thread with lots of information. Much too good to let drop off page ten.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thought I would revive this thread and see if there were any new ideas out there. :-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

My favourite on my modest sized city lot is my serviceberries. I have 6 and plan to add a few more still. They are not only great food for wildlife but they are beautifully shaped, in spring they have lovely white flowers, the berries change colour and in the fall they are flourescent orange.

The other shrubs that the birds love here are the Nannyberries, Arrowwood Viburnums, Elderberries, Alternate Leaf Dogwood, Highbush Cranberry, Red Osier Dogwoods and Grey Dogwood.

We've also added Silky Dogwoods, Spicebush (at least a dozen), Winterberries and more baby cranberries but these are all too young to produce fruit yet.

southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a great thread with so many suggestions!

I was thinking of planting some briar and rugosa roses. What sort of animals like the hips? Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glassmouse(z5-Cent IL)

This is a great thread. We unfortunately lost a huge river birch in the recent ice storm, and I'm trying to decide what to plant to replace it. I'll definitely be planting a serviceberry, and maybe something else, besides!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loris(Z6 NJ)

I had forgotten about this thread that had taught me a lot. Most of my ideas have already been covered, so Ill just mention two. If you have Tsuga canadensis (Canadian hemlock) take a look for chickadees. The plants have been having problems with wooly adelgid, so I donÂt know if IÂd recommend planting additional ones. IÂm also very fond of Clethra alnifolia (summersweet) which serves as a butterfly nectar plant, and has been very useful in my yard since itÂs a fairly small shrub.

On a slightly different topic, IÂm hoping people will give preference to plant natives, or at least plants that arenÂt invasive to natural areas. There is some discussion of this earlier in the thread, but I think itÂs important enough to bring up again. I saw xenya mention rugosa rose which is often recommended for attracting birds. At one point I know government (sorry, donÂt remember if it was state or federal) was recommending the plant to control erosion, but I know itÂs become a serious problem in many areas. xenya, if itÂs invasive in your area, you might want to look for alternatives. I tend to err on the side of caution, since sometimes a plant not listed as invasive now, may be listed as such later.

Also mentioned earlier in the thread, was the UConn Plant DB. IÂm linking to their search feature which I think will be useful to a fair number of people. ItÂs geared towards Connecticut, but I find most of it applies to me here in NJ, and even to such places as Illinois. Native ranges are included. If you looks towards the bottom of the page youÂll see choices for Wildlife Value, Butterfly Adult Attractant, and Butterfly Larvae Attractant. Have fun everyone.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

This is a great example that it takes more than just hanging a bird feeder to attact birds. Birds not only love to eat the seeds and berries we provide by planting shurbs, they also need the protection that all these plants provide.

Thanks to all that commented - this is a valuable thread. And also thanks to all the birds that come into our yards and providing us with hours of enjoyment!

It would be nice to have this posted preserved in a FAQ section.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Yes to that, for sure. Searches have been bringing me back to this thread ever since it was started.

Another plant: Cotoneaster lacteus (Parney cotoneaster), a had-to-have after I saw those flanking a friend's driveway entrance alive with dozens of happy cedar waxwings late one winter when the berries were ready. They were so busy eating they didn't leave as we strolled up but just kept hopping around inside the shrubs from berry cluster to berry cluster. This shrub is evergreen here in zone 7 Georgia, with a nice arching habit, and is pretty healthy and disease-free for a cotoneaster.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Point well taken and repeated Lori!!

Rosie, Cotoneaster is horribly invasive AND non-native. There are lots of good substitutes. Please check a list for your area. Berrying shrubs are notorious for causing problems as birds naturally spread them by eating the berries and defecating the seeds.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my yard the birds favorites are Black Gum, Black Cherry, and the oaks.

This fall I put in Callicarpa, chokeberry, elderberry, and American bittersweet.

For butterlies: liatris, beebalm, sages, daylily, lobelia, black-eyed susan, butterfly bush, phlox, and honeysuckle.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovefornature(5B IL)

Wow, everyone here has such great ideas. I have no trees that make berries but I am very interested in the serviceberry and possibly the gray dogwood.

I have a lot of birds here on my lot because out front I have a pine tree, spruce and a fig. They are absolutely huge and provide so much protection for the birds and rabbits. I know that tons of birds nest in these and rabbits live under.

Unfortunately, these trees have to come down soon because they are very old and unkempt. One is dying. I am struggling here :( because I am interested in the berry trees but feel that it is so important to have a wonderful shelter tree for the animals too.

I would like to find something that would fit in with the serviceberry or dogwood. It seems that a fig, spruce or pine would not look good next to one of these trees.

I just have to keep some kind of shelter and safe place for my outside creatures.

Can anyone help me?? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

This is a great thread and I'm glad it's still around after 5 years.

My yard is pretty wildlife friendly, with a diverse mix of mature native (and some non-native) trees and shrubbery, both deciduous and evergreen. I also have ever-expanding gardens that are full of plants for the birds and pollinators.

However I have serious infestations of some invasive non-natives (Norway maple, Oriental bittersweet, Shrub honeysuckle, Common Buckthorn, etc.) so the plan is to eradicate these as much as possible and plant natives that will provide food and cover in their place.

I ordered 80 native tree and shrub seedlings from the NH Nursery and they are sitting in nursery beds growing happily and waiting to be planted out. These include Viburnum, Dogwood, Mountain Ash, and Bayberry. I also planted Elderberry and many new native perennials and grasses. I can't wait to watch these grow and see what kind of wildlife enjoys them!

This spring I dug out a 45-year old Burning Bush and replaced it with a six-foot Amelanchier lamarkii. Saw the Catbirds on it everyday when the berries were ripe in June. This Serviceberry may end up being my favorite tree in the yard!

I also think that having an organic yard is very important to attract wildlife, especially birds. Insects are a large part of most birds' summer diet, so having a healthy insect population is very important (deer ticks and mosquitoes may be exceptions! LOL). Many people seem to have a knee-jerk reaction when they see a bug to kill it!! My son complained about how many bugs there were when he was mowing the lawn yesterday, but I told him "That's good! Lots of bugs for the birds to eat!" :)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

To Love4nature, what a shame that you have to cut down all three of those large trees you have. Is there any way you can leave one of them standing?

The tree species of Amelanchier and Cornus only grow about 15-25 feet, so maybe you could pick evergreens that grow approx the same size. How about Hollies or Rhododendrons? Or maybe a smaller cultivar of a native evergreen tree?

I planted 7 Emerald green Arborvitae along one side of my property to fill in a gap in a partly shady mostly evergreen border. They only grow about 3-4 feet wide and 12-15 high. Already I noticed that all kinds of moths like to rest in them during the day. When they're larger, I'm hoping the birds will nest in them.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love this thread and have printed it off. I am going to look up all of these plants and see what can be hardy in my zone 7 in Tenn. I have loved reading all the stories and thanks to everybody for helping teach the new people, like me, what we can plant to help the animals and birds. Of course you can read information on everything on the internet but i like the real experiences that im reading here. The tried and true methods that work best from personal experiences :-)~~~~~Thanks so much, Bonnie

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodsworm(7a NC)

Thanks for all the postings. Thanks also for concern about spreading invasive plants beyond your yard. Some good places to quickly learn what's invasive in your area are these websites.



    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nestmaster(5b WA-USA)

Beebalm - for hummers. Best thing in our yard for frequency of hummingbird use.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paulns(NS zone 6a)

I happened to haul this thread out of my bookmarks - amazing it's still around.

Around one of our gardens we've created a native shrub 'gallery' for birds just by taking out hardwoods like maple and birch. This leaves elders, serviceberry,mountain ash, dogwood, and we transplanted in some highbush cranberry. Three years on the bird population has definitely increased. Potential problem is that the garden consists of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. So far, not too much predation but I'm always a little worried when I see birds in the cultivated shrubs.

Those are great pictures - I've never seen white beebalm before - beautiful.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nestmaster(5b WA-USA)

Thanks paulns. We've had very few problems with birds and berry bushes. Only thing we've had to protect from birds has been a pie cherry tree. I thought chickadees were raiding our currents and goose berries but they were after a leaf eating bug. Birds seem to prefer berries/fruit that are past when we'd pick them - over-ripe or dried. We're in NE WA.

We still have white and red beebalm. The pink didn't survive being transplanted. I hope I can find beeblam locally on sale somewhere. Right now our plants are attracting mostly bumble bees. The hummers are fewer and farther between now. Have only seen one in the last 3 or 4 days. Just a week or two ago I couldn't look out into the yard without seening at least a couple.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paulns(NS zone 6a)

There's a demand for red beebalm around here, from friends, even though that always seemed the most common colour to me. We have shades of pink and lavender and magenta, with red getting scarcer (ironically). I read in a herb book the other day that despite the name beebalm doesn't attract bees that much and thinking about this realized that in fact I rarely see bees in the beebalm! I see plenty on the echinacea though.

I know what you mean about pie cherries - the neighbours have some and leave them to be pecked - one or two pecks per cherry - by birds. I check our blackberries daily and the birds seem to leave them alone, even though they're around. I think if they were eating the berries we'd find some on the ground, which we don't.

Scared up a batch of young partridge today in the garden - they were probably in the viburnum cassinoides. We could almost set our watches - or calenders - by their arrival.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nestmaster(5b WA-USA)

The hummers are gone from here - at least 2 weeks ago. Our beebalm does attract bees - lots of bumble bees. They are still visiting the beebalm by the dozens. We saw honey bees early in the year and I haven't noticed one since. Guess they took a hit in our area too.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Highbush cranberry (a viburnum, right?)

We had 3 of these in Wisconsin, and the birds wouldn't eat them until they started to ferment. I think it was in winter. Then they would feast. We'd have a flock of drunk birds to watch for a few days. That was fun.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terryr(z5a IL)

Yes, Laura, highbush cranberry is Viburnum trilobum. Lovely native shrub.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paulns(NS zone 6a)

Yes Highbush cranberry is a wonderful shrub. Here, at least, the birds leave them alone until late winter when cedar waxwings come along and feast on them...

Right now we're seeing a lot of bees and a variety of predatory insects on the (non-native) butterfly bushes - do they count?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Awesome thread, BUMP!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

Thought that I would post of photo of my favorite
this is a linden vibirnum

Excuse the photoshop effects I did .

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's a beautiful viburnum in the above post! I am trying to landscape for wildlife in my yard, and this has been such a useful thread!

So far, in my yard, a large holly seems to be the "favorite" of most wildlife. The birds use it for shelter year round, and it comes alive with bees in the spring when it flowers.

Much of the recent plantings I have made (I only moved into my current house ~3 years ago) haven't been super succesful in attracting wildlife. I suspect the problem is that my yard is in the midst of a suburban residential area that almost entirely consists of manicured, empty green lawns. Maybe my lone yard, diversely planted as it is becoming, just isn't enough attraction for most wildlife? Birds in particular seem few and far between, though I do notice a variety of bees and other pollinators in the spring. Sadly, my neighbor just cleared out all the undergrowth and brush in a small patch of woods on his property because, as he told me, he was "afraid of snakes." I am worried that the brush pile I am trying to create on my own property will not last long...the folks in this neighborhood like to complain about any landscaping that deviates from the manicured norm. But I am trying!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

thanks - I have several of these in my yard and they are a favorite of the catbirds and cedar waxwings.
3 things to help attact birds is clean water, food and habitat. (you seem to have some cover)
You dont mention if you feed birds. A feeder with sunflower seeds is always a winner. A couple of bird houses and a well maintianed bird bath.
Many homeowners are slowly getting away from the multi step lawn fertilizer programs and the excessive chemicals for the perect lawn.
Birds will find your yard. It just takes time !

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a great thread. Read it for the first time and bumping to the top.

I've found some great plants for pollinators to be salvia (early spring) and mountain mint/sweet pepperbush are bee magnets in the late summer/early fall. Between my feeder and the bee balm/lobelia located right next to it, rarely does 15 min pass in mid to late summer when I can't spot a hummer. Finches love the coneflower I leave up in the fall after it deadheads. I get spicebush swallowtail every year without fail on my spicebush. I let virginia creeper take over my garage and the birds love the berries in early fall and I've seen some huge caterpillars on the leaves. Goldenrod has been a host plant for many a moth. Saw my first luna moth last year resting on an american cranberry viburnum.

Additionally, I have the following trees: 2 white oak, 2 serviceberry, atlantic white cedar, sourwood, eastern red cedar, quaking aspen, dogwood, sweetbay magnolia, black birch, eastern wahoo.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello! This is my first post but I wanted to throw in my two cents.

I'm not sure what the tree is called (Useless right? lol) but I live in Oklahoma and we have these large trees/bushes that range from 10-15 feet in height (usually), and their diameter is usually anywhere from 6-12 feet at their widest point. (Sorry for lack of description and no name, Come Monday I'll be able to get an up-close look at one and I'll try to get the name) But I know from personal experience that for some reason all types of birds are drawn to it and they get inside (the inside is clear of foliage) and chirp like crazy, its pretty neat if its not near your bedroom window.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ironwood trees are the number one tree for wildlife around here. Everything from orioles to quail to hummingbirds to rabbits. Aloes and Pomegranates in the winter attract songbirds and hummingbirds. Blanketflowers and sunflowers for finches. Penstemon in the spring for hummingbirds. Palo verde trees for quail and verdins. That's the main ones that come to mind right now lol.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2014 at 8:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need advice on hosting bees in our yard
Hi Folks We maintain a NWF-certified wildlife habitat...
I found a praying mantis cocoon, where can I place it?
I was pulling up weeds and there was a praying mantis...
first post - bird food that sparrows dont eat?
Hi, This is my 1st post here! Can you guys recommend...
Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders
I am new to feeding and attracting wild birds to my...
Cardinal garden
I shot this pic out my window one day. There are 27...
Sponsored Products
Call Saul Print
$26.99 | Dot & Bo
Stylish Small Sized Circular Pendant Light with Acrylic Diffuser
Cosby Leather Chair - Brighton Soul White White
Joybird Furniture
Twisted Spiral Black 86-inch to 120-inch Curtain Rod
$64.95 | Bellacor
Oxford King-size Sheet Set
Hudson Tufted-Linen Sofa 93"L
$3,489.00 | Horchow
Novelty Lamps: NFL Indianapolis Colts Stained Glass Tiffany Table Lamp NFL IND 5
$99.00 | Home Depot
Rosle Large Muddler
$22.00 | FRONTGATE
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™