Has anyone ever heard of a nursery doing this?

mareda(5)October 9, 2007

I've got a big yard and had almost nothing in it until the past couple of months when I finally dug in my heels and spent the money to add trees, privet, perennials, etc. Three of the trees I added are for the birds - a serviceberry, a crab apple and a washington hawthorn. I have a washington hawthorn in the front of my house and the cardinals love it in the winter. I just noticed that none of the above have any fruit on them and when I called the nursery they said they remove all the fruit because the bee's love it and they can't have the liability of someone being stung. Is this the norm? I suppose I can understand their concern, I'm just a little disappointed there won't be fruit to feed the birds this winter.

I also have a birdbath and added a water wiggler, but so far, only one robin has found it and hasn't been back. Is there anything more I can do on that front?

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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Mareda,
I've never heard of that, but it might be happening more than we realize.
But I doubt that you would have many berries this year anyhow. Many times, it takes a few years for newer trees to start producing berries. You want them to be using their energy to lay down good roots. Did you feed them all superphosphate? That helps with the roots.
And many times, the birds eat the fruit before fall anyhow. The birds around here eat some berries while they're still green! Plus......I would be concerned that the berries that may have been on those trees might have gotten some chemicals on them too.
It takes awhile for birds to find birdbaths, and some birds might not like them if the water is moving, or they're too high off the ground, or too low. I would add a few more birdbaths around your yard. I bought this really neat one that has 2 tiers and water sprays out of the top, and not one single bird used it! The ones in my yard that they seem to like the most are the big saucers on the ground, or up on short legs. Actually......what they like the most are puddles!
Can you put a birdbath heater in your birdbath this winter? The birds really like that. Many times, water is scarce in the winter, and they really welcome a heated source of water. Be patient with making berries. May I also suggest more bushes......like viburnums, spice bushes, winterberry. Then there's the weeds that they love.......like pokeberry. People don't seem to realize the importance of weeds too. And flowers.....goldfinches love the seeds from the coneflower and butterflies love being on Joe Pye weed. So many choices!
Just be careful not to plant exotic invasives. Stick with the natives for your area. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 5:10PM
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Catherine, thanks for this great information. I never stopped to think the trees might not even be bearing fruit this year, or that any fruit might be unsafe for them. My much older Washington Hawthorn and crab apple tree in the front of the house always have plenty of fruit, but I'm in a suburb and I think a lot of people have fruit bearing trees and shrubs.

Great idea about adding other bird baths. I had mine w/o the water wiggler for about three weeks and got nothing, and since adding it two days ago saw one bird there. Based on your experience, birds must be like children. Get them an expensive toy and they grow bored. Give them an empty box and they'll think of twenty things to do with it. ;-)

I also have cheyenne privet which has berries and some purple coneflowers, too. What I don't have, apparently, is patience!! I'm like a kid waiting for the water to boil...lol.

Yes, I do plan on putting a heater in the birdbath. Maybe then my little feathered friends will find me.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 6:10PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi again,
I've noticed that with feeders/and other sources of food and water that it takes awhile for birds to find them. They sort of figure out early in the season where their secure, reliable spots are for food and water, and if you put up something in the middle of summer, it takes them awhile to find it.
LOL about the expensive toy..........how true!
I must have had my beauty bushes for several years, putting out tons of berries, before the birds found it.
I think you'll have lots of birds visiting your heated birdbath. Its so nice to see them there in the snow.
Sounds like you're filling up your yard nicely. Now all you need is a little water garden!
Have fun!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 9:18PM
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