Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trees & shrubs with colorful berries

Trees and shrubs with nutritious berries add sparkle to the landscape attracting birds with beautiful displays of spring flowers, fall colors, and fruits.

American cranberry bush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) has white springtime flowers, maple-shape leaves that turn bright colors in autumn, and red fall berries. Brown Thrashers, Cedar Waxwings, and other birds feast on the long-lasting fruits, which serve birds well in tough winters. It grows 8-12 feet tall and wide but can be kept smaller with pruning. Zones 2-7.

Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) is a good shelter plant for birds. Blue muffin  is a compact, rounded, deciduous, arrowwood viburnum shrub that typically matures to 3-5’ tall and as wide. White flowers in flat-topped cymes appear in mid to late spring. Flowers give way to pea-sized blue berries that attract birds in late summer. Ovate dark green leaves (to 3.5” long) turn attractive shades of orange to burgundy-purple in fall. Plant near other viburnums to ensure good pollination. It is native to areas of North America. Zones 3-8.

Chokeberries (Aronia arbutifolia) are enjoyed by Brown Thrashers, Cedar Waxwings and other songbirds. Chokecherries grow 6-10 feet tall in sun or part shade and tolerate moist and dry sites. It spreads by suckering and is a good choice for a hedge. This shrub is indigenous to areas of North America. Zones 4-9.

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) is a fast-growing, quick-spreading shrub indigenous to parts of North America. It offers ferny leaves that turn bold red in fall and clusters of furry dark red fruit that hold on through the winter, supplying a variety of birds including robins and vireos. It grows 15 feet tall. (Note: Staghorn sumac may be too aggressive of a spreader for most gardens. Be sure to plant it in a spot where it can create a thicket.) Zones 3-8.

Crabapples (Malus selections) are often grown by gardeners for the ornamental value of their prodigious spring blooms, however their fruits are the apples of birds' eyes. To attract the greatest variety of songbirds, select cultivars with small fruits that hang on through the winter. Zones 4-8

Highbush blueberry (Vaccinum corymbosum) is a dense shrub that grows 6-12 feet tall and produces delicious berries for cereal, muffins, and blueberry pies. Bluebirds, robins, gray catbirds, and many other birds take their fair share, too. This North American native offers good eye appeal, as well, thanks to its bright red-orange fall color. Plant it in sun or part shade with well-drained, acidic soil.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier selections) fruits are devoured by robins, thrushes, and other birds. Various types range from 4 to 25 feet tall, but all offer pretty springtime blooms and great fall color. Most are native to North America.  Zones 4-9, depending on type.

Shrub roses, will develop glossy hips, if left undeadheaded.

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