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replacing shrubs

Posted by fiddlrs3 NE Illinois (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 3, 13 at 17:30

I have some dwarf evergreens that are dying ordead in a sunny spot near my bird feeders that the birds really enjoy as a winter shelter. I'd like to replace them with a 1-3 ft. native plant (other than another dwarf evergreen) and was considering either Labrador or New Jersey Tea. Is there enough cover in either of these to provide shelter in the winter, or another plant to recommend?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: replacing shrubs

Labrador tea likes moist acid soil so it probably wouldn't fare very well. New Jersey tea might work but can be a little fussy. One of the dwarf American highbush cranberry cultivars might be a good option.

RE: replacing shrubs

I really like Leucothoes - They grow without much fuss, even here in Indiana. Leucothoe fontanesiana grows about 4 feet tall, with arching stems and blooms in Spring with chains of white, bell-shaped flowers.


This one was planted as a tiny, 1 quart pot last year - I would've started with a larger plant, but...

RE: replacing shrubs

Are you looking to avoid dwarfs or evergreens for the new planting? Because the evergreens are going to be much better shelter for wildlife if that's your primary goal.

New Jersey Tea is deciduous so not sure that would be as good of a cover. I do love Leucothoes too, but they are a bit too caney for sheltering until they grow in thick.

What about inkberries? They grow kind of slowly but they're very low maintenance and don't need the acid soil that so many cold-tolerant evergreens seem to.

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