Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Native Trees for a Bird Garden

There are many native trees out there, but which ones are more apt to bring a variety of birds to your landscape? These are all going to give you a variety of different birds; from song birds, to game birds, to even hummingbirds. If you are a bird lover, then dust off those binoculars and plant a few of these in your landscape.

Aesculus pavia L. (Red Buckeye)

This deciduous tree can also be a bushy shrub in some locations. It is a fast growing to its mature height of 15-25 feet. It will flower in dark red tubular flowers form April to May, and is a prime pick for those who want a splash of color. Hummingbird friendly, this tree will also attract bees. It prefers shady locations and will bloom early for first color in your garden. Keep in mind; this is a short lived tree.

Amelanchier arborea (Michx. f.) Fern. (Common Serviceberry, Shadbush)

Serviceberry can either be a deciduous tree or a large shrub, growing up to 30 feet. It produces white flowers in March and reddish purple berrylike fruits from June to August. For bird lovers this tree can't be beat; over 40 species of birds eat the serviceberry's fruit and it's a preferred food of the gypsy moth. It will be a beautiful addition to any butterfly garden.

Cornus amomum P. Mill. (Silky dogwood)

Another great selection for bird lovers, the silky dogwood will grow from 6-15 feet. It has abundant small white flowers from May to June, and will produce blue berry-like fruit from August to September. It's this fruit that makes it a favorite for birds. It favors partial shade. Although it does flower, it is decidedly non-fragrant.

Frangula caroliniana (Walt.) Gray (Carolina Buckthorn)

This tree gets up to 15-30 feet tall and needs a spacing zone of 15-20 feet. It prefers full sun to partial shade. There are pale yellow bell-shaped flowers in late spring to early summer. Carolina Buckthorn also has nice shiny deciduous foliage and good fall color. It is a must have for butterflies and birds, due to the fragrant nature of the blooms. It is a moderately growing tree, and has multi-trunks. Watch for showy red berries that turn black by mid fall. BEWARE: All parts are poisonous if ingested.

Ilex vomitoria Ait. (Yaupon)

Another holly tree, this one gets 15-30 feet tall and needs 8-10 foot spacing. It likes full sun to partial shade and is adaptable to the soil conditions. There are white inconspicuous flowers near spring time. It is an evergreen, drought tolerant, and a fast grower. Birds will eat the berries, so expect a multitude of birds coming to your landscape when this is around. There is a smooth milky bark to the tree that perks some interest. BEWARE: All parts are poisonous if ingested.

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