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
Unruly lawns, Dandelions, Goldenrod, Thistle
Pine, Spruce and Fir trees
Winterberry, Serviceberry, Viburnums, Bayberry, Junipers
Cherry, Dogwood, Virginia creeper, Elderberry, Mulberry
Ornamental grasses, Roses, Junipers
Pines, Serviceberry, Elderberry, Maples, Elms, Oaks
Grasses, Conifers, Cosmos, Zinnia
Marsh grasses, open pastureland
Thistles, Grasses, Echinacea, Rudbeckia
Elderberry, Blueberry, Dogwoods
Oaks, Grasses, poorly maintained lawns
Quince, Serviceberry, Maples, Elms, Oaks
Winterberry, Roses, Dogwood, Junipers
Bayberry, Serviceberry, Elderberry, Sumac, Dogwood
Oaks, Serviceberry, Elderberry, Bayberry
Dogwood, Virginia creeper, Holly, Juniper, Sumac, Serviceberry
Best Trees and Shrubs for the Bird Garden?
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.
This message was edited Jan 7, 2007 8:56 AM
Here is the huge umbel of fruit from the elderberries I planted. Boy, is this fruit popular! When it is flowering it has the most heavenly strong scent.
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!
I also have a nice big seviceberry bush with some miniature blueberry bushes planted around it. I'll have to see if I can find any pics of that.
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 am taking notes, too!
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.
- A nice article that mentions some of the same plant material that's being discussed here. My apologies if the article's already been posted - i'm a little behind in reading the threads.
Hey thanks esterella! What a great article. I have marked it and put it in my favorites folder.
You can't be too far behind because we are only 3 days old here lol! This is the first thread we've had on plantings so far I think.
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.
I have a chokeberry tree. So far the only bird I have seen eating it on occasion is the mockingbird.
I spotted a grackle eating my blueberries.
My biggest succes as far as "Planting for the Birds" has always been the sunflowers.
The finches, chickadees & woodpeckers always come for the seeds... if the squirrels don't get to them first. LOL!
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!
A variety of American beautyberries from Big Dipper Farm: http://www.bigdipperfarm.com/cgi-bin/searchstuff.pl?Botanical=Callicarpa
I don't know why, but I haven't seen Cedar Waxwings on our ashes. I have heard they are in the parkland, but they don't come to our yard. I wonder why?...
My planting list for spring is getting longer! Thanks 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!!!!
GREAT thread !!
I have a yard full of cedar [juniper] trees. The birds love the berries and the trees provide cover in Summer and warmth in the Winter.
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!
As much as I love deers I'm so glad I don't have them after hearing all the sad losses from them.
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!!!
you have no idea what I would give for a plate of fresh purple hull peas. Glad to know they are alive and well other places.
LOL - thanks so much for the story, Debra . . . made me smile big time!!!
We have an Alpaca farm a few miles away - wonder if deer that that poop, too? LOL You've made my day!