I have been following the Bird Watching threads and getting excited about adding more 'bird friendly' trees and shrubs to my natural garden style back yard--
So far we have a nice dogwood (in the photo) and some ash, a few evergreens and crabapples and we would like to add more. It seems like the birds swoop in and eat up everything so fast, it's hard to keep berries around through the seasons...
I googled and found this list of Trees and Shrubs for the northeast region that I thought was pretty precise and was wondering if anyone had comments or other recommendations--
General Plant Guide to Attracting Birds in the Northeast from "The Helpful Gardener" website:
Cotoneaster, Ornamental grasses
Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Mountain Ash, Junipers
Flowering Dogwood, Crabapples, healthy and unhealthy lawns
Serviceberry, Dogwood, Mountain Ash, Virginia Creeper
Trumpet vine, Weigela, Columbine, Bee Balm, Quince, most flowering plants producing red or orange flowers
ooooooo, one of m favorite subjects! When I first got into gardening it was to plant stuff with berries for wild life. (now my gardening life has been taken over by daylilies but that's another story). I have lots of photos of my berries in full berrydom that I would be happy to share.
Here is a photo of one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE berry shrubs for birds. This is a deciduous holly called a winterberry. You need to plant one male for every 10 females within a 20 ft. radius. I have one male tucked away and three berrying females in my front yard. Here is a mockingbird guarding "his" tree lol. The berries start to ripen in the fall and provide food all winter.
Here is another look at more of this shrub. This particular one gets 4 feet tall but I have seen other kinds with bigger berries that get 10 feet tall. I have one of those in the front ard but it hasn't berried yet.
I have a Washington Hawthorn planted in the front yard that is also quite popular. Another fall berrying plant that offers food all winter. If you look closely you will see that its branches are covered with very long thorns.
I have a number of other things planted that haven't gotten berries yet. Its not uncommon for a plant to take 5+ years to become mature and happy enough to get fruit. I have a contorted mulberry tree, a bird cherry, a number of native viburnums (birds tend to prefer native varieties when it comes to food and not the fancy hybrids) . Speaking of natie iburnums, I have an arrowood vib. planted - this is called that because the indians used to make their arrows from this plant. And I have a tall yaupon holly. And I almost forgot - I have a bayberry shrub. These are supposed to need a male and a female. I got two and one died but the other one still gets berries. Go figure!
lilyfantn--gosh! I go away for a bit and come back to see all these beautiful pics! Your berries look delicious--no wonder the birds love your place!
I would love to plant some currants and the elderberry bush. I want the spicebush too for the swallowtail butterflies, of course. I am going to have to make some space for some of these--I have a lot of shade from the ash trees and some may have to come down because of the 'ash borer' invasion...
I love ashes! I have a mountain ash but it is growing into the house and needs to be taken down. It doesn't seem to berry any more either. When it was in its prime we would gets flocks of cedar waxwings visit. They don't do very well here in zone 6/7. I think they like it where its colder. Here is a waxwing from an arboreatum I vvisited last year.
Hi guys! What a great thread! I have some photinia that I'm looking to replace, WAAY too overused in the Southwest, now I have inspiration! What a great variety of fruit-bearing plants you have Lilyfan, you're such a good bird mama :) I've always loved currants too...
I've found that our grapevines attract plenty of fruit loving birds too, so much that I've only been able to sample a little myself! So much for wine-making... :)
I love this thread. I hope to remove some brambles that the birds do feed on, but they are so overgrown and "dangerous" now. I think that viburnum and winterberry and maybe some currants will go nicely in their place. Wonderful pics. Thanks so much.
estreya-- thanks for posting the link to the New york Times article (I feel lucky to catch it still up on the website--I think they are only posted for 7 days.) That could be me writing it! I have become completely infatuated with watching the birds darting around our thickets and old wormy trees out my kitchen window!
And that article reminded me that the birds like the Poison Ivy. We have so much of it growing up our trees in the woods and it often passes through my head that it's a weed and I should have it removed, but if it's not bothering anyone and the birds like it, I should just leave it. Likewise my old woodpile. Ah, let's see--what else can I stop feeling guilty about?! LOL
lilyfantan--I planted one of those American Beautyberries last summer--I first saw it at the Franklin Conservatory garden in Columbus---the purple berries were gorgeous and caught my eye. I used them for my Thanksgiving table arrangement then set out the branches for the birds afterwards. Worked well for everyone!
My planting list has been revised based on this post also. Among other things, it now includes a white dogwood, which i can only hope will look as gorgeous in my landscape as it does in yours, tabasco! I noticed a lot of bird activity around the dogwoods i planted last season (a sort of pinkish color), but i THINK it's been mostly robin red breasts at this point. I'll have to play closer attention come Spring.
Lilyfantn, your berry bushes are magnificent. Silly question: How does one tell the difference between a male and female winterberry? And also, how tall does the winterberry get?
I'm asking about the height because i'm trying to determine which berry bushes i can place near the woods (doesn't matter how tall they get), and which are ideally suited for the beds that "wrap" around the house (better if they're mounding a smallish). The double file viburnum, for example, would probably look great mixed in along a tree line or one of the distant field beds given how tall it gets.
I know these are silly questions, but i seem to be particularly challenged when it comes to placement issues.
Fabulous info here - thank you all!!!! I have a long, long hedge of photinia which I despise, but can't afford to replace it right now . . . plus my neighbor would be very unhappy as she loves it . . . but like Estreya, I am taking notes!!!!
Hi estrella - I think the only way you can tell the difference visually between male and female winterberries is to look at them during the season that the females have berries. I think all garden centers that sell them though have them named by variety and will label whih are males and which are females. There are a lot of varieties but they tend to berry during two different times. You just need to make sure you get the right male for the early girls and the right male for the late girls. At one time I had a chart of which males went with which females but since I lost my hard drive last year I don't have it any more. But any garden center which sells them should have them grouped correspondingly. The ones I have are only about 4 feet tall. There may be others that are taller. By the way, your questions aren't silly at all!
A tree line sounds like a great idea. I have my viburnums planted along the back of the property along with forsythia and the elderberries. I'm thinking of adding a lower growing row in front of these. (lets get rid of as much lawn as possible lol).
Thanks for all of the info. In my yard, the two bird favorites are Red Mulberry and Sweet Gum. When we moved here, I did not notice the Mulberry which was small and close to the creek. Boy, as it grew, everyone noticed it...or should I say every bird. LOL I hated the Gum...gum balls...ouch! Then I saw all the different kinds of birds that love to visit in spring and fall. Now, I adore the Gum tree, and just rake gum balls, a lot. ;o)
Lilyfantn, thanks you again for the information! There's a great nursery a short drive North that would likely have things organized and labeled as you describe. I'll take a ride up there in the next few weeks.
PS: I'm sorry to hear about your hard drive. I hope you didn't loose too much precious data - at times, it seems a cross section of our whole lives is housed in that metal box of soldered bits.
Kim, I don't have to worry with the gumballs since they are a distance from the house, but Sweetgums are one of my favorites out here. They are one of the prettiest trees we see in the fall! There are several around our pond and are gorgeous reflected in the water.
lily, thanks for sharing the info on winterberries. Makes it much easier to sort through all the info available out there.
tobasco, we have several native beautyberries and I agree they are beautiful. Wish we had more.
estreya, I like your plan. The darned deer keep eating back my viburnams planted in front of a wooded area! I have two snowballs - or HAD two. Think one is a goner. The other does produce blooms, but the deer won't allow it to get more than about 3' tall. Ugh!
They can do a lot of damage in a very short time. Had seven 50' rows of purple hull peas and didn't harvest a single serving of peas due to those boogers. My hostas have to be behind a gated courtyard or next to the dog yard because they are "deer candy"!
I run around at night (so no one can see me) spraying this awful stuff that does seem to keep the deer away - it's non-toxic and harmless to the environment. But it absolutely stinks - not for any length of time, but I try to avoid windy conditions!!! One of the reasons I wanted to live in a rural setting was to enjoy the wildlife so I do my darndest to not get upset with the deer or the rabbits if I do indeed forget to spray and they come to dinner. I will politely ask them to leave the premises if I happen to come upon them during the day. They generally oblige - once I'm within ten feet or so!!!
Hmmm ... this is very interesting! I don't mean to hijack this thread, but i truly wasn't aware deer would graze to the point of killing a plant. They were very active around the newly planted dogwoods, but it was mostly the lower branches, so i wasn't concerned. I'll have to keep a more watchful eye ...
In our former residence up North, my husband and i planted a few gorgeous rose bushes. In the morning, i would squeal with delight at the new buds, only to find them gone the following day. :) It was a rare treat when a bud was left unmolested long enough for me to enjoy the flower. But i didn't really mind. I learned to accept the loss, so long as the bushes on the whole were healthy.
Now i have two potted evergreens flanking the garage. They've been regularly "pruning" them for me, bless their hearts. :)
In any case, i think maybe the trick is to plant all these gorgeous berry bushes not only for the birds, but for the deer as well? Maybe the deer and birds will share them and they'll leave our other tender shoots alone. :)
Yes, the deer issue is so vexing. I have poured over the 'Garden Foes' forum looking for all kinds of effective deterrents...
I wonder if my Beautyberry crop would improve if I planted both a 'his' and 'hers'? I read that they need full sun for best berrying but no info about sexes, so I'm assuming not...
Last year I planted 2 hollies in big pots to flank the front door during the holiday season. Put twinkle lights on them, too, and the birds still pecked away.
Then I move the pots to the backyard during spring and summer and replace with spring and then summer arrangements. --Pots of pussy willows underplanted with crocus by the door in the springtime. The swallowtail butterflies love them for host plants (lay their eggs on them then the caterpillers eat the leaves for food. Last year we had a bumper crop of swallowtails in the garden.) And I tried Hardy Hibiscus for a summer version (thought I would attract hummingbirds and butterflies to them, but they didn't seem to like that offering so much.)
I wish I had a really sunny spot to plant some sunflowers. I suppose I could just plant the seeds from the birdseed, right? I would want sunflowers which off the 'black oil' seed in their heads! ...picky picky picky...
Well, I am having fun planting for the birds and butterflies.
It makes for a bit of a messy looking yard on our cul de sac (everyone has very neatly trimmed and mulched suburban lots here) so I feel like I have to have the official National Wildlife Federation Plaque out in front to explain so the neighbors 'get it'. LOL
p.s. Today was a six woodpecker day at our feeder station--downey, hairy, sapsucker, red-bellied, flicker, and pileated. Can't get a red-headed to show up here to save my soul! LOL
You are bery, bery nice to post all these pictures! The birds must LOVE your yard!
I have no place to plant any of these. Too bad! I have a moderate, but very established yard. Been at it 37 years! Have 2 maples in my back yard and their roots are everywhere! It is a struggle to dig anything.
LOL! I know what you mean! Some of my trees took 5 years to get big enough to berry and my contorted mulberry hasn't yet. Maybe this year!
I have another tree I forgot to mention. I have two red buckeyes that I planted for the hummers. Unfortunately they are usually in flower before the hummers reach where I live but I love the flowers so much I'm still thrilled with it!
I'm bumping this thread up since we're getting close to Spring.
Lilyfantn, When does the Elderberry bloom? I'm trying to find more shrubs that berry in the winter. I'm
sure I'll be getting the Winterberry's but probably just 1 male and 1 or 2 females.
Also, where did you find the dwarf Blueberry? Have you found those pics? Thanks!
The elderberries get their berries in lateish summer. And then they go like hot cakes lol. I got the sunshine blue blueberry shrubs from a local grower who got her stock wholesale from Wayside. You can probably order them from there. Your local nursery may stock some kind of dwarf blueberry shrub too. That would probably be cheaper than mail order and you would get bigger plants. The Hawthorn keeps its berries through the winter and is the main perch of the mockingbird. The chokecherries also keep their berries all winter. My neighbor has some crab apple trees that are really popular too. The ones with the smaller sized apples are the best for bird food. My other neighbor has some grape vines and they are popular too. I don't know if they last all winter though.
You probably have lots sof exotic fruit things that grow in the tropics where you are Halo! Who knows... maybe you wil be posting pictures of flamingos for us lol!
I'm so glad you are going to try planting some berrying things Pell! Let us know how it goes and post pictures of your choices once they are planted! I am still looking for some pictures of the blueberry bushes. If I don't find any I will post pics this summer.
An early pair of robins showed up in my yard Feb 3rd. Very early! In fact, I have NEVER seen robins there. They are usually running around the lawn in the front. The ground is frozen so there are no worms for them to eat. The other birds are feasting at the feeders, the robins are not interested.
They discovered the chokeberries & picked the tree clean.
It's a small tree - planted in a 20" pot. Previously, the only bird I had seen eating the berries was the mockingbird - and even that was rare.
I bought the tree because I read that the birds would like them. I'm glad they were finally discovered!
Yay Nancy!! They say that chokecherries need a few cold snaps to get sweet enough for the birds to eat. I hae heard some people say that the birds don't eat the fruit on theirs but they are popular at my house. I had a robin this winter that learned to eat from the platform feeder when it was snowing. I put fruit and raisins in mine along with nuts and seeds. Now the robin has continued eating at the feeders even though the weather is nicer. Its as if it has learned a new skill lol. sorry the picture is so dark.
LOL of course not! That's a pic of my dogwood from May last year! That is the only one that has survived--my others succumbed to some kind of mildew last year. (sob). I can only dream of my dogwood blossoms now, but I can see little buds on my magnolias!
BTW--I read in the paper that March is the most catastrophic month for birds (in these parts, not in FLA and TX and points south, I guess) because the berries are all gone now--even the bitter ones ripened for late winter consumption--and the insects and worms have not really come out (blossomed?) so the birds need our feeders more than ever to make just that much difference for survival...
I am so happy our Carolina wrens have made it through the nasty February cold spells but they are desperately searching for something to eat and seem to like my suet so that's 'a good thing' as Martha would say (not her suet recipe though!)
Our robins are here (and many have stayed all winter long). I also had a Pine Warbler yesterday at the feeders which is a first for us--(A ranger from the adjacent park spied it and let us know--otherwise we would have continued along in ignorant bliss about its presence so early here in the season. (Our taxpayer dollars at work!).
Our migration season is just getting underway and things are picking up around here--Good birding everyone!
Well, I buy our shrubs and trees at our local garden centers--they stock a lot of natives and bird and butterfly garden plants and they have good sales and close outs. (Wolfangles, Greenfield Plant Farm, Earthscapes, to name a few suppliers in Cincinnati).
Also, I've been lucky to get some nice starts at the ORV RU Plant Trades in the springtime.
And I am always on the lookout at roadside plant stands and farmers' markets and I check out every bargain table at the big box stores, too. I seldom buy at full retail (too cheap.)
They say that the Hummingbirds are arriving here in Ohio now and my honeysuckle is really putting out shoots. Hope it blooms soon! (I'll have to get my feeders out today.) They say the HBs follow the bloom of the red buckeye and the lilacs. Mine are just about ready to show some flowers...
Quince is a good shrub for birds. So is Holly. As for Serviceberry, there is a shrub and a tree. I have shrubs in the back and a tree in the front. Birds also like Crab Apple trees. Just about anything with berries is favored by birds.
Hi Pell! I like too buy my shrubs and trees locally whenever I can also. That way I can see what I am getting. Also, mail order almost always comes bare root or at least in very small pots. They take quite a bit longer to reach an appreciable size. That being said, I have ordered some things I couldn't find anywhere else from a place called
I'm further north than you are, but since I'm also in NJ, thought I'd add what I've found. I try to buy mostly native plants, and sometimes have had trouble finding what I want, so I pay close attention to these things. Starting in a couple of weeks there are sales organized, by various groups, such as master gardeners, garden clubs and Audubon centers that often have more wildlife friendly plants. Some of the events near me show up in the local papers, so I suspect it might be the same near you. I also know of some relatively near you since I keep an eye open for my SIL who also lives in the southern part of the state. I'm adding some links I think might help you.
Here's a mailorder source that's located in Frenchtown, NJ that I like. I think plants tend to do better in my garden if from similar locations so when possible I go with a closer nursery: http://www.toadshade.com/
have found this thread very interesting since I want to add some bird friendly shrubs & trees to our yard this year. Found the new thread started else where on the forums but it seems cold & over my head (no common names wanted, no chatting).
Went to a local nursery today to look at their shrubs.
They had the most BEAUTIFUL Serviceberrys in full bloom, nice big ones but I almost fell down when I looked at the price... $250.00!!!!!
They also had some nice Winterberry and 2 types of Viburnums but again the prices were quite steep. I'll have to check out Lowes and Home Depot or just mail order.
They had some master gardners there working that I spoke to for a while but the one did not like using the common names of things and I kept having to ask,
"That sounds nice; what are you talking about?" LOL, she was jumping from one family to another and I was completely lost. They were very nice though.
Figured I better get out today before the big Noreaster comes through, we're supposed to get some really bad weather with this one.
pelle, Yikes!! on the price of the Serviceberry. It must be some special tree! I would have to shop around a bit too or start one from seed or cutting before I would pay that price, although it's true the birds love 'em!
nanny, I hadn't seen the other bird thread...can you give us a link?
Since we are talking about bird shrubs, I also wanted to add that now is the time the 'Ruby Throated hummingbirds' are arriving from South America and the warm southern states and it's fun to have trees and bushes in the yard that they love. I googled for a list of HUMMINGBIRD shrubs:
I have lilac, weigela, butterfly bush and azaleas. The butterfly bush is known to be invasive. I always try to check with the state invasives list before planting and I have found a number of surprise (for me) listings on it. Mimosa, for one. And Butterflybush)
And there are always the trumpet vine and its relations that the HBs love and are a bit shrubby, but some states have classified them as invasives, too. Some of these HB vines are best on trellises or in pots.
Honeysuckle (not 'japanese' which is terribly invasive)
Morning Glory Vine
Great list tabasco! I have 4 Trumpetvines that the Hummers love but they are all 40 feet or farther from the house. Last Fall I bought a Honeysuckle vine that did not have a tag on it so I'm wondering which type it may be. Heres a pic w/ Cardinal included.
Amazed that your google search didn't turn up red buckeye (Aesculus pavia); maybe because it can be tree-like? That's a great plant for everyone conversing here.
I posted a list on that thread; don't hold it against me, I didn't create the tone. I will paste that list here, if anyone wishes. I always list the botanical name with the common name, so that whatever language you or others speak, you've got a chance to be in on the conversation.
You can prune viburnums any time you want. You just have to realize that you are giving something up, and your birds may hold it against you.
Prune right after flowering, and you will get plenty of new growth in time to set flower buds for next year. BUT...you won't have fruit on those stems.
Prune during fall/winter after birds have consumed the fruit. BUT...you won't have flowers on those stems next spring, and thus no fruit on those stems.
Life is a trade-off. I just say: get more property, or annex your friends and neighbors (neighborhood?).
Maybe a chat with the friendly neighborhood viburnophile could turn up some plants...
LOL, Thanks Viburnum! We would love to see the list when you have time to copy it to here. Maybe you could tell us your favorite places to buy from.
You might have seen my earlier post about the $250 Serviceberry at one of the local garden centers. I wouldn't mind buying mail order but that brings up another question:
How fast growing are Viburnums, Serviceberrys and Elderberrys?
Ps, Wish I could buy more land but no way with NJ taxes.
VV, yes, the red buckeye is a favorite and I don't know why they/I missed it. We have them in our yard.
We have some nice birch trees and an elm and I would like for the returning Orioles to make a nest in them this year. I wish I had an apple or cherry tree for them to find their food too. I put out my sliced oranges and orangey-currant suet and grape jelly but they like insects the best. Wishing and hoping...
The blue birds love to make their nests in old apple orchards and even old tree stumps and snags or used woodpecker holes and cavities (and of course nest boxes). I don't have an old orchard but I do have a snag and a stump this year. In other times I would have had the felled trees promptly chopped and hauled away, but now I have a little treasure trove of dead tree parts to add to my wildlife habitat! In any case, it's time to put up the blue bird nest boxes.
I am on the lookout for nest building but haven't found any so far. I read the birds really like the hair from horses tails for nests...I wonder where I can find that!
Move down here to horse country. No extra effort required.
We've had orioles each of the last two years. Their nests were spotted in an elm once, and in a hackberry the other time. Fingers crossed for you...
All the plants you listed can be fast growing...depending on the species. The idea is to plant everything you want, and then get out of the way. Some will be quicker, some will be slower. The birds don't care about speed. They care about endurance.
Species that can last in the long term in your climate and conditions are the values that birds will appreciate, and reward you with by showing up repeatedly. Elderberries are the fastest to gain size, and set really large heads of fruit after flowering.
I was only half kidding about the neighborhood. If you are good at conversing with neighbors, you might effect a change in the popularity of local landscapes for any number of bird species. Every human likes different kinds of plants. Your job is to find out what strikes the fancy of the senior citizens down the next block; the young couple next door; the yuppies across the street; etc. etc. etc. A neighborhood arboretum might just as well be a neighorhood aviary.
Thanks tab! The man at that garden center said this was not one of the bad invasive ones but I wasn't sure since there wasn't a tag. Thanks for the link. I'll have to get some better pics when it starts blooming again.
Thanks VV, can't wait till the weather breaks to get out and start looking around again. I'll be sure to let you know what I wind up buying.
Can we expand this to plants that attract insect-eating birds. I am thinking along the line of plants that attract insect based on their seed, sap, bark etc. I would love to attract some more wablers, flycatchers and any suggestion of plants would be appreciated. One example of a tree that birds in my garden love for its bark, seed, sap and more is my weeping Birch. I have seen a host of birds in it looking for grubs, bugs etc.
Well, I haven't seen even one oriole this summer/spring! We have had loads of Woodpeckers and I wonder if that is because the dreaded "Emerald Ash Borer" is finding its way into these parts. We have many, many ash trees, but not for long I dread!
Our birch trees are a 'hive' of activity too, but I am not sure exactly why...will have to go out and have a good look at them. the other trees that seem to have a whole community buzzing about in them are the blue spruces and cedars. I am not sure what is in there that is so attractive.
Went to the Native Plant Nursery (Earthscapes) yesterday to check out Paw-paws, ,sassafrass, spicebush and wafer ash trees for the butterflies (swallowtail caterpiller host plants) and red buckeye (hummers). So many choices there. Also the hop tree is a butterfly cat favorite. And of course, if you promote cats in your garden, the birds will love you for it!
I don't quite understand why we don't see more red buckeyes in the area---they seem to be a very nice tree according to the nurseryman. Hummers love it in the springtime. and lilacs, too.
I was just out in our garden after visiting our friends 'yard'. We had so many beautiful birds flying about and at least 6 different kinds of butterflies today compared to their rather dull landscape...it made me happy that we plant what we do (although it looks a bit messy sometimes) and that we have so much wildlife around.
The cedar waxwings decended on our Serviceberries and finished them off in a few days. It was fun to watch them. First time we saw CWW in our yard.
I know the Hummingbirds like spiders, so if you have lots of spider webs in your trees that's a good thing for HBs...don't know if it's good for the trees though! I used to hose down my trees but now I let the spiders go and the HBs love it.
I'm trying to grow butterfly caterpillars on my parslies and the robins are having a field day with them! RIP the caterpillars! Don't tell the folks on the BF forum, though! (just kidding)
What else, oh, the goldfinches on the Sunflowers are a riot! A very pretty and lively scene, too!
I will be interested to find out what your research results are pell. Be sure to let us know.
LOL, Good question tab! These are the first I've had. I do know they are iffy to overwinter here in the ground. I was going to go to a cutting class and they said you could overwinter the plants inside in a room that was above freezing close to 50 degrees and put in an area near a window that gets sun.
I would try it but I don't think it's going to work for me.We have electric heat which is SO drying on plants, then theres the bug issue.
I think I'm going to try putting them in the ground. I heard that if you have the salvias that have the hollow type stems you'll have a better chance of them surviving if you leave the stems on and don't cut them back until after winter.
There are lots of salvias that overwinter fine here and next year I plan on ordering a number of different ones. :-)
this is a great thread. i just put 13 new shrubs in my yard last summer and i wish i would have seen this list a year ago. the two hollies i put in and the rhododendrum are not doing very well im afraid. the nursery told me to feed them an acid food which i will try as soon as the rain goes away. i also planted 3 viburnum, a dogwood, a rosa rugosa rose bush, a dappled willow (which has teally taken off), a chokeberry, a snowberry, i had a beautyberry but it did not make it through the winter and the mail order no longer has it (so sad for me). i would love to get a service berry and a washington hawthorn (a guy i work with says the birds love that tree), and some elderberries.
I am looking for a good evergreen to put in the back corner behind the feeders. i put my christmas tree there after the holidays but i want something permanent. any ideas. it would be surrounded by goldenrod and lilies. something not too terribly tall either.
lily, your yard sounds like a birds (and a birdwatchers) dreamscape yard. I bet it is beautiful.
Thanks, Lynn. Yes, lots of good info here and I made 'tabs' of a few of the posts for easy reference. It sounds like you have an 'arboretum' in the making at your place!
I just replanted a number of shrubs, too, and found the list helpful. But I can't help you with your evergreen question. There are so many that so many of the birds love, you can hardly go wrong, I think. I'm sure VV or Resin will have some very good suggestions for you though.
Here's something interesting for me: Just this morning I purchased a Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle (the redish kind) and within a half an hour of having it home, I saw my first hummingbird of the year checking it out! I already have 7 feeders up, but the honeysuckle is what he wanted to check out!
I just got home from a friends house from my church and he has given me a start of some honeysuckle and trumpet vine. I am not sure what kind of honeysuckle but he and his wife both say the hb love the stuff.
I look out the window and YIPPEEE my first oriole on the hummingbird feeder. They are so fun to watch. He has not found his jelly and oranges yet.
Spring sure comes alive with the yellow and orange and blue and other colors of our feathered friends.
Some of the nurseries have quit selling Trumpet vine because it is so hard to control. There is a good substitute, Cross vine. Has yellow flowers similar to the Trumpet, but NOT (edit) so invasive.
There are also better options for honeysuckle than the old standard. I'm going to build a trellis soon to shade my patio and plant honeysuckle on it. There are some coral and red varieties that attract hummingbirds and make berries in late summer that will attract other birds.
I have heard that trumpet vine is invasive too but that it can be kept under control. I have had it in my butterfly garden for 4 years now and did not know not to cut it to the ground every year like the butterfly bush. So it has never bloomed. There is a yellow and orange. I left them standing last year and am anxious to see what they do this year. I do see suckers sprouting up in the garden but i just cut them off.
Last year I saw cedar waxwings on this shrub behind my fence. A tall shrub that is on my neighbors property though I think. Went in and looked it up because I was gonna try and get a cutting but it turned out to be the Japanese honeysuckle so I left it alone. Still not sure what the CW were doing with it because it was just flowers at that time and no berries.
I have a mandarin orange honeysuckle in the front. Should be getting ready to flower soon. Last year the blooms fell off in just like 4 days. I was so sad because they were beautiful. Someone on a site here said to make sure it has lots of water. No problem with all our rain here in the last couple weeks.
Hey Mrs._Ed I left my shovel out last night with all the lilies i got yesterday. I noticed they are all still there this morning. LOL
My old fashioned trumpet vine does not seem to be too much of a thug. It comes up by runners nearby, but just gets mowed off. I do some heavy pruning to keep it off of a nearby tree. I've yet to get a decent trellis built for it. In the neighborhood, someone grows it up an old redbud tree and it is gorgeous. the redbud, not so much!
I am ordering the Major Wheeler Honeysuckle that Pelletory told me about.
I just bought a wheeler honeysuckle last fall. It is very small but is starting to green up. i just moved it today though. need to feed it and hopefully it will come up the side of my deck this summer or next. Not sure how fast it will grow.
I got it through Springhill catalog. Most of the stuff I get from them comes through really well and what doesn't they replace. I am waiting for lupines right now. They did not make through the winter. I don't think I will try to plant much in the fall anymore. My stuff planted in the spring does so much better even though they say fall is a good time to plant to. the only other mail order I have used is Bluestone . I wonder if McCormicks would have it in Sterling.
Any suggestions or warnings about which ones to choose? I have a small yard so it can't be too aggressive and I'd like one with fragrance if possible. I know that I can go to plant files but I'd like to get advice here too from those who have tried them.
Velnita, if you are coming to the Ohio 'Valley RU I can give you a cutting of my Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle.
I also have 'goldflame' honeysuckle which seems to be susceptible to powdery mildew in our climate.
Oh, and if you are looking for Vining Hydrangeas, they were unloading them at Costco on Thursday. Very good looking vines.
Wow, I just started reading this thread and it is packed with great information. I think I found a pretty good and cheap online store for bare root berry bush plants. Coldstream Farms. It looks to be rated OK here on Dave's watchdog site. I just ordered some Elderberry, Serviceberry, Winterberry, Spicebush and Hackberry and Witch Hazel for the yard. Hopefully it comes through well. I'll keep you posted. I couldn't beat the prices, so I figured it was worth a little risk.
Everything you have listed is on my wish list except the hackberry. I will have to look up the site. cant buy this year but hoping next year will be good for me. Good luck. Let us know how the stuff is when you get it.
I planted cardinal vine 2 years ago and it really took off. It bloomed late that year though but when it did it REALLY bloomed.. Wrapped itself all over my wooden fence and was really pretty.The hummingbirds loved it. I tried last year but I put it in a different spot where it didn't get enough sun. I have seeds for it again this year. I want to plant it in a pot on my deck so it will wrap around it really nice. The flowers are really pretty. That is my experience with it.
I was searching for Northeast native shrubs to attract birds and stumbled onto this thread & site. I found some great information here & I thank you all. Adding in my personal observation, I have a large Black Gum tree in my yard which fruits a Blue colored berry in late August through September. The birds consume the berries like crazy, especially Robins, Catbirds, Wood Thrushes, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, & Northern Flickers. The leaves turn a brilliant orange/reddish color which is quite striking. Unfortunately I do not see very many of them.
I used to have a Black Birch tree that Finches used to love eating the catkins in the winter, but it got diseased and had to be removed.
Tab, thank you for having initiated such interesting thread. Thanks goes to Elendil2 that I discovered this thread. We've some trees that share common interests in both North & South regions. Elen, I wished we too have more mature Black Gum trees for they're so beautiful in the Fall. They're great for foliage, and their blue berries that will attract all those mentioned birds. Let me tell you, perhaps this is the very first time I am excited about winter! So I can be looking out for birds that visit our area. :-)
Here is a pix of the Tupelo tree (Black Gum), I'll post its Fall foliage this year here so everyone can ooohhh and ahhhh over it.
Wow Lily that is a very large & beautiful Black gum! Its much larger than mine!
I just made a large purchase of Viburnums & Clethora for a landscape project of mine. I always plant natives & plants that attract wildlife. Many of my ideas came from this site. I purchased 15 Blue Muffin Viburnums & 6 Summersweet Clethora for a hedge/screen. I also purchased 8 Highbush Cranberries which the nursery owner told me is one of the hardiest/durable plants there are & can grow in full sun or shade. Unfortunately he had run out of Blackhaw Viburnums. The Nursery has a large stock of native plants, a very friendly staff, (grandfather,son,wife, & grandsons are employees) & very helpful & knowledgeable. The Nursery is Highland Hill Farm, near Doylestown Pennslyvania website is www.seedlingsrus.com
I highly recommend them. Again thank you all for your help & would love to see your Black Gum's fall colors Lily
That's an interesting website for the Highland Hill Farm.
Sounds like this family has quite an operation (and farms and ranches in about 20 states) along with the nursery operation. And he likes to 'barter and trade' so he should be fun to do business with! (It doesn't look like he does mail order though).
Must look up Highbush Cranberries and some of the others you have mentioned.
I was wondering if anyone could provide some suggestions for a lowgrowing (less than three feet height) native plant that Birds like. The spot would be full sun, dry, and is at the end of a row of Blue Muffin Viburnums. I live in North New Jersey
A bush (i.e. red twigged) dogwood might need a little shade, a red buckeye might be too big, shadbush/serviceberries are always loved by birds, but might be a little big, hummingbirds look for red rhododendrons in the springtime but so do deer...
Birds also like the native grasses for seeds and nesting.
I would like to thank you all for responding. I appreciate your input very much, and I will let you all know what I eventually decide. I have an order from Forest farm coming in, and have to finish my backyard planting consisting of 4 Highbush Cranberries, 1 Blackhaw Viburnum, 1 Spicebush, 1 Shadbush, 2 black Chokeberries & 2 Red Chokeberries. I left a small wild Sassafrass tree in place as its native, and I hear that birds & butterflies use it. I have two more spots that I'm going to fill with Leatherleaf Viburnums. I was impressed with the Red Buckeye tree when I googled and found pictures of it. Wish I had a spot for it! Maybe I'll post some pictures next spring when all of this "fun" work is completed and the shrubs have their leaves on! Again thank you all for being so helpful!
I am a Master Gardener who works for the county Library. I'd like to recommend two books: "Bird-by-Bird Gardening" by Sally Roth; and "The Bird Garden" by Stephen W. Kress writing for the National Audobon Society.
Also, I really recommend planting for insects: benificial insects, pollinators, and butterfly/caterpillars. Birds need, and consume, a lot of insects. That includes nesting female Hummingbirds, they need a lot of tiny insects.
We have a rodent problem in my area. I do not recommend plants that provide both ground-level shelter and food (especially seeds) on the same plant. Having either ground level shelter without rodent food OR food with visable exposed ground beneath it keeps my rodents down.
Did you know that dogwoods produce an abundant of seeds/berries? I have alway love these beautiful blooms in the spring, until I discovered birds watching in the garden -- then I also discovered the berries on dogwoods. I noticed squirrels too will 'hang out on a limb' so- to- speak to collect dogwood's berries.
Elendil2, it sounds like your garden will be a feast for the birds and butterflies. You will definitely have to post some pics come springtime!
And, Yes, the Sassafras and the Spicebush are both host plants for the Swallowtail butterflies, so you will certainly want to nurture those along. The dogwood is also used as a host by some butterflies (hackberry and spring asure for starters). If you want more info on host plants for your butterflies, check out this website: http://www.nababutterfly.com/guide_nynnj.html
Interesting, pollengarden about your theory on cover and food plants. I hadn't heard of that recommendation before. We have loads of chipmonks, moles, and voles, but I'm not sure that theory would apply to them, would it? Maybe squirrels, though, for sure.
And if your books are not yet reviewed in The Garden Bookworm, it might be fun to do that. I think they need more bird gardening references listed there...
When the berries are ready on our dogwoods, the birds go crazy for them. They are a wonderful tree and I wish we had more of them, but there is some disease that is killing them off in our region...boo hoo.
The rodents I have deterred this way are field mice, voles, and especially cotton rats. I found my "theory" by removing the habitat wherever and whenever there was too many rodents. After several years I noticed there was a pattern, they liked to forage on the ground, but didn't like being exposed to predators. It might work on chipmunks - they like to stay on the ground, but they aren't as shy and secretive as cotton rats. It probably wouldn't work on squirrels - they prefer to avoid the ground anyway. It wouldn't work on moles for the same reason it doesn't work on gophers - they don't need plants to hide under, but they don't eat the seeds and berries off the bird plants either.
All the Bird-scaping books seem to recommend Dogwood, but it just doesn't do well here. I've already got a hedge row of various berry bushes, I'm going to plant more vines next year.
OMG! I love this thread. No time right now to read it all though. Can't wait to come back later and take notes! Here are my favs.
Mulberry -- you mentioned Rose-breasted Grosbeaks but I've also seen Yellow-breasted Chats, Cedar Waxwings, Orioles, finches, Red-bellied woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and more. It's a big favorite.
Beautyberry -- I agree with above -- this is great. Comes in a beautiful burgundy color too.
Ajuga -- favorite of buntings. I was at a friend's house "at the river," and there were at least a dozen indigo buntings in a clearing. After they left, we went to see what they were eating. The clearing was jam packed with wild ajuga. Here's a pic of a Painted Bunting eating ajuga seeds in my backyard.
I have two pretty weeds in the yard that birds love. I don't know the names of them though. If I find out, I'll add.
I have a question on the Clethra. I made a hedge last October, using 15 Blue Muffin Viburnums, and six Clethra (Ruby Spice) along with 2 Chicago Lustre Viburnums on the far end for Cross pollination with the Blue Muffins. It is May 19th, My Viburnums are leaved-out and flowers are blooming. The Clethra are just starting to leave out from the bottom up. They look terrible and I thought they were dead as in the beginning of April they had no buds at all. My question is, should you cut them down like you do a Butterfly Bush in March or some other month? As of now I regret planting them. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
I've a pink Clethra for over 4 years now. Mine is late sending out leaves also. I hardly have to prune mine since it remains pretty compact. I left the tiny flowers seeds on for the birds to enjoy in the winter. When the leaves emerge, I'll carefully snip off those spent seeds florets.
I have four different cultivars of clethra but none are the one that you have. They are late to leaf out. They don't normally need to be pruned. They leaf out slowly from the bottom up. This is very normal for clethras. However, one of my clethras was in full sun and sometimes it would die off a little at the top so I cut the dead twigs off. I think it was because they were in full sun and I let the ground go dry in summer (they like moisture). So I moved them all to a wetter, part shade area this spring.
I know this doesn't answer your question. Sorry. But they definitely don't leaf out or bloom at the same time as those viburnums. It takes them a while to wake up in the spring.
Hi all! Thanks for resurrecting a great old thread.
I'm not sure what my viburnum knowledge will contribute here. It seems like Elendil2 has the right thing going with the 2 types of Arrowwood Viburnum (BM and Chicago Lustre), which I trust are both blooming together?
As I read it, Elendil2 is not happy with the performance/look/timing of the Clethra 'Ruby Spice' in this arrangement. It is what it is. Pretty much all Clethra are much later to come into leaf than other landscape plants. It sounds like yours are doing just what everyone else's do.
Cutting them down is not a good choice, and is unnecessary except to remove dead wood or tip prune out old seedheads from last year (as has been mentioned). Patience is about all that should be added in this situation.
If you just don't want Clethra in this mix in the future, transplant 'em and pick some other shrub that will fit your fancy. An Aronia might do the trick.
Wow, what a nice fast multiple responses! I thank you all very much! What I learned was to snip the spent seed florets in March or April. Be patient, and keep them moist. Mine are in full sun. To answer my friend viburnum Valley, the Blue Muffins bloomed a few days ago, the Chicago Lustre is about to pop out any day. I started out in 2008 with 0 Viburnums, I now have 11 different species! I also purchased a Winterthur to go with the 2 Brandywine's I planted last year. I am a full fledged viburnum nut! I wish I had planted them years ago.
I thank you all very much and I wish you all sunny days and green gardens!
I am reviving this thread because I need an idea for a small shrub in a partial shade area. Gets some early morning sun and then a few hours in the afternoon. And it can't be toxic to dogs at all because it will be in the back yard.
I would love a beautyberry, but it doesn't look zone hardy.
I've been thinking of a dwarf or container blueberry, but was worried it would not get enough sun. Seems like everything might be that way… "sun to partial shade". hmmm.
I have a regular oakleaf hydrangea out front, along with the annabelle (big!). Was considering the Pinky Winky Hydrangea, but 6-8 feet. I'd probably have to prune like crazy! Maybe a PeeGee/tree hydrangea because I can still have things under it? But no berries so would be for cover and beauty only.
And I like the idea of a spicebush to host butterflies. I haven't seen any of them around, but maps show Spicebush Swallowtails scattered in the area.
I would LOVE a serviceberry, but they are just too big.
Anyone grown the Snowberry, "Amethyst"? Looks like it can get big too.
I just bought a honeysuckle called Raspberry Profusion or something like that. It's supposed to bloom all summer, and it still has flowers now. It's super fragrant and the hummers went to it immediately. It says sun, but when I read about it online, it said that it can do shade too. Only grows to 4'.
I have a plant called a Christmas Berry. It's in deep, deep dry shade. Green and nice but right now, it doesn't have any berries. I've left it sitting in the plastic pot though for several years and rarely water it. Should be dead. It's supposed to have berries that birds like. I'm going to move it this fall to a place where I can see it and take care of it.
I'm editing b/c I just went outside and looked at the x-mas berry and it does have berries! The tag is still on the plastic pot. It's called Ardisia.
Oh and I know the honeysuckle is cold hardy b/c it was my favorite bush when I was kid in Canada, but it's also listed on a Texas website as one of the best shrubs to grow in Texas. That's pretty amazing -- a best shrub from Edmonton, Alberta to Houston, Texas. I'm editing again b/c what I'm calling honeysuckle is actually called Abelia and there are lots of varieties. Some are more cold hardy than others.
I'm editing yet again b/c turns out ardisia is only hardy to zone 8b. I think I'm going to plant more of it though!
My garden group put a "Amethyst" Snowberry/Coralberry in our demo garden. It has been in less than 2 years and it did have a few berries this year. It is too soon to tell how big it will get. We put in "Hancock" Coralberry about the same time, it stays short and spreads out flat - we got it to try for erosion control on a hill.
I put in two Rose-of-Sharon bushes in my yard 8 years ago. They were two different types from two different sources and ended up looking exactly alike. They have done well and look okay/good, but as Viburnum Valley said, they don't DO anything. I am seriously considering ripping them out and replacing them with a pair of "Honeyberry" honeysuckle.
I have Serviceberry, too. They start slow but eventually get big - great for screening, 3-season interest, birds, native landscaping, edible landscaping. I got a book for Christmas, Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich, that lists several that are supposed to stay under 7 foot tall. Would that be short enough?
RE: Rose-of-Sharon & Hummingbirds: mine doesn't seem to attract them (or butterflies), which is why I am considering removing them. Maybe because I have more attractive flowers near by, or maybe because they are a double-flowered dark pink. Maybe a single flowered or different color would do better. On the whole, they have done very well - but I am out of space for trying new things and something has to go.
PS: The Rose-of-Sharon are 6' tall and fairly upright. I guess they are supposed to make a vase or fountain shape, but mine are still slowly growing upwards.
Browsing the forums and found this thread. Neat thread. I think I will bookmark it.
Tobasco: I too put out a National Federation Plaque so the neighbors would understand my yard better. I have one neighbor that only likes grass, grass, grass! Yuck! I am sure he does not like my yard.
I am developing more berry bushes/shrubs for my birds. I do have several of the above mentioned plants.
I have a beautiful beautyberry bush that put out loads of berries but did not find the birds interested in it. They finally got brown. I did get one sprouted in one of my gardens--shade on north side of house. It produced many berries the first year. So, I guess some kind of bird likes them!
Goldfinch love poppy seeds, hollyhock seeds, and zinnia seeds. These are annuals and perennials - not shrubs but the birds do really like them.
My tiny one year old winterberry has lots of berries, but I haven't noticed any birds yet.
I have had a wax myrtle for years. When I bought it, the sign said that it attracted more than 30 varieties of birds. Never saw a bird eating the berries until this year. This year, every morning for the last month, the yellow-rumped warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets have visited the wax myrtle for breakfast. Amazingly, it still has berries. The lesson: don't give up if a plant is a known bird favorite.
Also, I had an x-mas berry that was still in a pot behind the shed and was left there for years. I thought that it wasn't producing berries. I think this thread made me check it. It had berries. I finally transplanted it a month later, but when I did, there were no berries left on it. It produced berries and something ate them before they even turned red. That may have been going on for years unnoticed by me.
In years past, I've had thrashers and catbirds in the beautyberries in addition to mockingbirds. This year, I've only seen mockingbirds. I have no idea why sometimes the birds go after a type of berry and sometimes they don't. I've been putting in more berry producers though and more evergreens. I think the birds feel safer in the winter when there are more places to hide. I just planted a yellow-berry yaupon. Haven't seen the birds eating the berries, but I love it and the sign said it would attract birds!
RE cats: We moved around frequently while my husband was in the military. Pueblo West isn't exactly a gardeners paradise, but it is the first place I've lived were I didn't have a problem with the neighborhood cats. We have hawks in the daytime and Great-Horned owls at night, and people don't leave cats (or even small dogs) outside. The birds really appreciate shrubs and trees for shelter - evergreens are popular year round. My Blue Spruce is a condominium for small birds, the larger birds prefer the Pinon Pine.
Lately the Owls have been hunting the Eurasian collared doves - I hope they manage to keep the population under control.
I have planted several different plants in hopes that the Hummingbirds will come more often to our yard, I planted Irises, Naked Ladies, Forever plants, and of course Rose of Sharon. Could someone please tell me if the hummers like the other flowers I have planted will bring them into the yard, I don't know what colors they are or how old they are.
Hummingbirds might come to anything that has nectar and/or tiny insects. However, they prefer plants with tubular orange/red blossoms. For most of the native plants with that shape of blossom, Hummingbirds are the pollinators and the plants have evolved to provide exactly what the Hummingbirds are looking for, and vice versa.
So, teddy in Ohio, that is a "maybe" on the iris, a "probably" on the Rose-of-Sharon, and a "I dunno" on the Naked Ladies & Forever (?) plant. My mother used to have Naked Ladies (Amaryllis), I don't remember seeing Hummingbirds around them.
May I add, besides "...plants with tubular orange/red blossoms." Hummers also love blue tubular flowers such as salvias. As far as red, during the summer time, if I wear a red shirt out in the garden, those hummers will zip about to check out my shirt as well. :)
I like the plants with bell-shaped blue blossoms, too, such as Rocky Mountain penstemon. They attract Bumblebees - which I think are entertaining to watch - and other beneficial insects, plus Hummingbirds.
We have a Cottonwood tree in our front yard right in front of the house right beside the hummingbird feeder, and I know for a fact that our resident female made a nest in that tree and we got to see her teach her baby how to fly and drink nectar out of the feeder.
Two years ago, I had a female Black-chinned gathering spiderwebs for a nest at the same time the cottonwood cotton was flying. I never found the nest, but I strongly suspect she used cottonwood cotton, too. People cuss the cotton - but I think it is probably important to nesting birds.
• I have heard that hummingbirds like to make nests in trees that form more of a "V" with their branches.
• If you saw that PBS special on hummingbirds, you may recall that some birds make their nests near hawks, because it provides them with protection
• Tigerlily from Oregon has hummingbird taking cattails that have gone to fuzz. I also saved my milkweed seed silk for them. I'm still trying to entice them to nest in/near my yard.
I have one wish this next summer, to get one to drink from my hand, if that ever happens I will be happy. I will start trying when it gets a lot warmer. I am sure we will have plenty of hummingbird pictures to post.
Hawks - in the PBS video, it was Black-chinned that nest near hawks. I have Black-chinned, some Hawks, and even more Owls. I have never found the nests of any of them. After seeing that PBS documentary, I have wondered if that is why I have more Black-chinned than Broad-tailed - which is supposed to be more common around here. I have also wondered how big a Hummingbird's territory is, because the female was definitely collecting spiderwebs in my yard and later in the summer I get the young ones at my feeders.
Hand-feeding: When I was a kid, we fed Broad-tailed in the mountains. At that time, there wasn't bears in the area - so the feeders hung fairly low for easy access. I remember standing on the porch and reaching up with a toothpick-sized twig to let the bird perch while drinking. Broad-tailed are probably the most sociable Hummingbird, and I remember them being tamer than they are now. Teddy - you might start by hanging a feeder where people spend the most time, this will get them used to people in general. But please don't hang it where they get too close to cats!
Oh, my goodness - I was trying to research shrubs and trees for birds in Illinois and came upon this 4 year old thread! I should have known to go to DG in the first place. It's very hard to find a list of shrubs and trees for birds that is regional - Chicago is unlike Texas is unlike California - and I think I got some good answers here. But . . . I already have a few species of the favored plants - viburnum, chokeberries, and clethra - and have never seen a bird at any of them. It just occurred to me that it could be because we have 4 feeding stations. Would it be better if we had one or two seed feeders and see if they go to the shrubs??
In my opinion, it is very nice to have extra feeding stations. Big birds run little birds off. Mockers can be quite territorial. They can't be at both feeders at once. This gives other birds the opportunity to feed at your other feeding stations.
Your birds are probably using the shrubs more than you realize. I don't usually "see" my birds in the shrubs and trees but notice the berries are gone.
We got slammed with snow last night, which is unusual here. Which reminded me of a couple of obvious things: Providing water - heated in winter, dripping or trickling in summer - makes a big difference. Some of the birds that like small berries in the winter also like suet.
Thanks, all! I will look at the books suggested by Pollen and not give up on my shrubs as Mrs. Ed and Birder advised.
In fact, I'm planning to make the back area of my yard, about 45' X 35' a small woodland with two or three small trees under the silver maple (I had it limbed up, so the lowest branch is 35' up), some shrubs, and ground cover. I already have a redbud started by the stump and some serviceberry shrubs around the perimeter. Hopefully, more trees and shrubs will give them more places for cover and berries and such.
One more book resource: Attracting Birds & Butterflies by Barbara Ellis one of Taylor's Weekend Gardening books Guides.
90% is on Birds and Hummingbirds and the last part of the book is on Butterflies. It's full of good information and lists of plants from trees to vines. It's about 100 pages.
It's true. This year the Wax Myrtle was a big hit for the first time in maybe 5 years. Also, the Mockingbird has been eating the Beautyberries for months now and yet the other day, I looked out and the House Finches were eating beautyberries. I could hardly believe that there were still berries on the plant, but it still has some even now. I've never seen the House Finches eating beautyberries before -- you just never know -- maybe they like frozen berries!
I read about how to grow yaupons from seed. I have the seeds in the refrigerator even now. Can't wait to try growing them -- they need 3 mo. of cold temps to germinate.
I'm going to check out birder17's book suggestion. Most books are geared toward the northern states with plants that won't grow here, but might be fun to look at anyway. This last arctic blast was about the worst freeze we've had in years. Stuff that never freezes looks frozen. Might have to replant a good portion of the yard. Definitely could use more evergreens for canopy effect.
I just bought bought the book about an hour ago! I read the beginning on amazon and found it quite interesting, so I took the chance. Zone 9 doesn't always work either b/c it's sometimes a California zone 9 and not a Texas one -- very different climates. I sometimes look for similar plants at the arboretum or the butterfly gardens at state parks though when I read about a plant that won't grow here. Sometimes it's just a personal failure like I can't grow butterfly bush to save my life or salvia.
Thanks for the recommendation. I can't wait to read it.
I planted a flower called Cosmos, has anyone here ever heard of it? My flowers I planted last fall are coming up, my Irises are very insistant about it, every time I try to keeep them covered up, they poke through. My Naked Lady plants are shooting up too, also my flowering cabbage or forever plant or whatever they are called have new growth. My Rose of Sharon bushes seem to be alive, I scraped with my fingernail and the color was green. Usually that means the plant is alive, so 3 of the 4 bushes are still alive. Since the bushes had blooms on it when I got it, will they bloom again this year after being transplanted, they had roots when I put them in the ground. Any advice will be appreciated, thanks.
Teddy, Cosmos are annuals. They grow make flowers once and done at the end of the season. In mild climate like where I'm they may reseed themselves. If you like the flowers to attract butterflies? You need to replant them this spring.
I oftent see birds perch on this shrub, but the butterflies appreciate it more this time of year-- down here; Viburnum something, something. The fragrant is wonderful too.
I really like Viburnums. Lily-Love, I have this Viburnum also-or it's brother! It's a Viburnum carlesii 'Korean Spice', or Viburnum carlesii 'Aurora' or Viburnum carlesii 'Cayuga'. I have two of the above, but I am not sure which ones I have. I believe mine are V. Koreanspice and V. carlesii ?? I remember the tag just said Viburnum carlesii on the latter one.
This is my opinion and someone more knowledgeable can correct this.
Viburnums are eye-candy to me. I wished we've more room to grow more of them in the garden. The Yoshino Cherries tree is my backyard's bird haven. I love to have pics. of backyard birds showing off their's beauties while Yoshino is in blooms.
Yah, gorgeous. I had to trim mine kind of compactly because of where it was planted when we bought the house, but they are really nice. I'd love to have one right by the window to smell the lovely fragrance!
What a great thread, thanks for all the information! I spent 30 years turning a city-like lot into a bird haven and then moved. Now I'm trying to rebuild the theme from scratch on a large lot that backs up to woods, yes, it's heaven! The first thing I bought were serviceberry shrubs/trees and not at the 250 dollar price tag mentioned earlier! I've had mockingbirds come down for the berries while I'm sitting within a few feet and sing their gratitude looking right at me, just magical. I found this thread because I'm desperately trying to figure out what type of honeysuckle shrub I used to have. It got over 6' tall and wide. Had yellow flowers with no fragrance and beautiful bright red berries. The little birds would sit and watch the berries as soon as they started to form. I think they were willing them to ripen. I'd love to figure out what it was so I could get several. I know it wasn't the invasive kind, but it was a popular shrub 15 years ago. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. In return for all the contributors of this great thread and future readers, here are some great sources for low cost bird loving plants, shrubs and trees: http://www.coldstreamfarm.net/ a great source for bare root, conservation type plants. You won't find the fancy varieties, but for bayberry shrubs, juniper, and rugusa roses, you can't beat their price anywhere. http://www.djroger.com/moon_idx.html I bought five serviceberry shrubs and tree forms when I first moved in from her. Bought chokeberry and elderberry from her later and everything grew well.
Just a note to keep your eyes on the clearance section of your local pricey nurseries. I got TWO viburnum carlessii's for 10 dollars each because the lateral branches and been mangled. with pruning, they look fine and perfume my yard beautifully in the spring.
and to stretch my plant budget, I tried directgardening.com and got a jump start on perennials but you need to know how to get dormant plants jumpstarted and be patient. http://www.gracefulgardens.com/ I got all my coneflowers and echinacea from them. you need to buy 32 plants at a time but can mix or match in sets of 4. It worked out to around 2.50 per plant including the shipping, what a deal for nice size plants and they all bloomed within a few weeks of being planted.
Happy bird watching!
Hi Pelletory, no, it is definitely a shrub and the flowers were much smaller than the John Clayton vine. I have John Clayton on an arbor and love seeing the hummers dive in for a treat. The number of cultivars of honeysuckle shrubs just overwhelm me. The frustration is that sometimes write ups about the same type of shrub will have conflicting information on whether birds like it or not. I was so thrilled to find this thread and have real bird lovers giving their personal experiences. I think I'll get several varieties and let the birds give their reviews. I'll be sure to share their ratings!
Pondlady, thanks for sharing the good info. I have bought several shrubs/trees that offer berries from the MO. Conservation Dept. I paid $30.00 for 45 plants. The Sambucus was about 3.5 feet and the Ninebark was about 7 feet. We also got Rough Leaf Dogwood, but I don't remember how tall they were.
I still want to get another Viburnum plicatum tomentosum (sp?).
RE: Honeysuckle Shrub
I have had the same problem - when I was a kid, Honeysuckle bushes were common in Windbreaks and Hedges, but I didn't even know there was a vine! Now the vines are popular at nurseries, but it is hard to find the shrub. Reading the descriptions in Sunset, L. fragrantissima seems to match my memories the best. I don't remember it being fragrant, but I do remember the tiny soft red berries and the birds in the hedge rows.
Post Script: I some internet research - I think the bush I remember is Lonicera tatarica, Tartarian Honeysuckle.
Wow! Can't believe this thread is going after all these years! Maybe we should collect all the info and write a book on the topic?!
Interesting info on the honeysuckles... I will add that it is nice to have two or three different red varieties that have different blooming times. That way the RTHU's always have a reason to visit the garden. From other online sites I have read that the old-fashioned red varieties have really nice nectar and are very popular with the hummers. And I have read that ruby-throats like to nest in birch and elm trees. We have several birches on our lot line and I have noticed hummers using them. (Swallowtails also like birches).
I am losing my ash trees to the Emerald Ash Borer and have been making a list of replacement trees using the info on this thread. It has been fun, but I'm afraid it will be an expensive proposition to replace twenty-five ash trees.
Which evergreens do you favor for the birds...? I am in the market for some and would like to buy what the birds like...
I did an internet image search for Hummingbird nests to see if I could recognize the location. I didn't recognize every plant, but I did see several oak. I have Blue Spruce, and they seem to be condominiums for small sparrows and finches.
Hi everyone, I've have a question for those that have Mulberry tree, the kind that produces fruits and birds magnet. Recently I've lost a large ornamental cherry 'Yoshino' to flood condition. I soon will need to replace the cherry tree. I'm planning on getting a Mulberry tree for my backyard birds. Have you experience to share?
Well… as much as I love birds, I don't think I'd plant a mulberry tree. If it's not a white fruited variety then the dark ones really stain. Also, when the seeds pass through the birds, they sprout as scrub trees in the most unfortunate places. Fence lines, against houses, in hedge rows, etc.
however, they do provide nice shade. We had a HUGE white one growing up. the rotting fruit brought in the raccoons too! There are probably better choices for a yard.
Your first decision should be - how much ground space do I want to give up? If you have ample room, get the rapid growing and wide ranging species that will provide bird HQ sooner. This would include such staple conifers for the Ohio River valley as Eastern White Pine, Norway Spruce, and Eastern Hemlock. Add to that some interesting ones like Pinus x schwerinii 'Prairie Giant', Pinus koraiensis, and maybe just for fun try a Leyland Cypress (for as long as it lasts).
If you'd like the height but not the spread - not to worry! There are many fine but narrow conifers that gain height and welcome birds. Spring Grove is where to see old ones, and I can vouch for many of these right here at the Valley. Some great plants include Picea orientalis, Abies nordmanniana, Thuja plicata, Calocedrus decurrens, Abies homolepis, Abies concolor, and Picea omorika.
Lastly, you can throw in some American Holly for broadleaf evergreen characteristics and beaucoup fruiting in winter.
Thanks VV. for all the info. I was hoping you would chime in on my inquiry!
I will make a list and take it with me to the landscapers.
We did just plant 5 white pines along the lot line. And 5 more hollies went in this spring too.
Will take a field trip out to Spring Grove Cemetery/Arboretum and have a look around.
And by the way, can you suggest a Dogwood (that is of the spreading type, not the ones that grow straight up) that will survive along our woodland edge (and not be so susceptible to that virus)? We tried a 'spring grove' variety but lost it. Is it worth trying again, or maybe another?
Since you like birds, try them all (which means little ones, unless budget is no object).
If you only mean Cornus florida, then look for ones with 'Appalachian ___' in their name. There were a handful selected through research universities (mostly UT, I think) specifically for anthracnose resistance. 'Appalachian Spring', 'Appalachian Mist', 'Appalachian Blush' - might be making some of those up, but you get the idea. They are not greatly in circulation yet, but are working their way into the trade.
Well, lookee here - someone's loaded them into PlantFiles already...
On the topic of viburnums - I planted an arrowwood viburnum "blue muffin" against the foundation a couple years ago. It was describ ed as maybe 4ft by 4ft. Well, it's about 7ft x 6ft. It's gorgeous, but definitely a lot bigger than I intended for the spot I put it. With the berries coming in now, tho, the robins & catbirds are lovin' it!
Yes, carol13 - Blue Muffin® does not read its own advertisements. It has more density/compactness to its branching in my experience, but is definitely not smaller than other selections. I am growing about 25 different Arrowwood Viburnum selections currently. Little Joe™ is the only one that is remaining much smaller than others of equal age - roughly half as big.
Blue Blaze™ is another compact version, but is not small. It has reached 7' and as round in about 8 years.
Today a "neighbor" came by. We are so far in the boonies, any within a couple miles can be a neighbor. They are going around looking at properties that might have trees that would cause the field tile to not do its job and found a couple young mulberry trees on our property fence line near the tiles. She wanted to know if they can remove them. As we got to talking, I told her we would like to transplant them somewhere closer to the house for birds.
When I talked to my husband, he asked how big do they get, so I came here to find that out. I do not know the variety. It's quite a walk to that end of the property, but I assume it's the same as what's closer.
I read about the staining, but really, that doesn't bother us. Can these get pretty large, or more of a shrub size?
I grew up with a HUGE white mulberry. Would never want another one close to the house though. Too messy and stinky. And the raccoons would fight over the fruit every night. Plus, I'm always trying to get rid of them now along my fence and buildings. Stubborn.
Thanks for the info. We'll have to think a little more. We've only known we had raccoons once since we've been here. And of course, that was when our sweet corn was about ready to pick. We've got plenty of land to work with, so maybe we can put the mulberry trees a ways from the house.
Re: mulberries - Lord, YES, they will grow!! I took a couple down 20 years ago and still fight the suckers. And - there's one that comes out of the base of my silver maple every year. I hack it and it's up 3' in as many weeks. Since it loves my yard so much, maybe it's what I should be planting, now that I think of it . . .