Attract Bees, Birds and Hummingbirds

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Birds

If you wish to encourage more birds and more varieties of birds around your home, you can do so by providing a variety of trees and shrubs, particularly those that provide food in the form of fruit, berries, nuts or seeds. Below is a list of trees and shrubs that will definitely attract a wide range of (song)birds. Don’t forget that birds also love the seeds of annuals and perennials, such as sunflowers, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Coreopsis and Salvia. However, birds also need shelter, water and nesting area’s. Provide nesting houses with various opening sizes to attract smaller and larger bird species. Also, shallow bird baths will do wonders on the hot summer days and are a joy to watch. Give them a good scrub and clean water every few days. Leave twigs, leaves etc. on the ground for shelter and try to avoid the use of pesticides.

10 GREAT TREES TO ATTRACT BIRDS

Common name Botanical name Notes
Dogwood Cornus Mas, Cornus Kousa, Cornus Florida, Cornus Nuttalli Each one of these varieties has something different to offer for your garden. But one thing they all have in common: birds love their fruits in fall!
Crab apple Malus Very popular with our winged friends. “Sergeant Tina” is a lovely small tree with nice small berries that are easy for the birds to eat.
Mountain Ash Sorbus Aucuparia Several varieties with dense creamy-white flower clusters in spring, followed by orange, red or white berries. All are strong, hardy, attractive trees.
Hawthorn Crataegus Hawthorns are lovely ‘old English’ trees. “Paul’s Scarlet” has dark pink flowers and “Toba” blush pink/white, both followed by red berries.
Red Alder Alnus Rubra A larger shade tree, many birds love the seeds!
Black Chokeberry Aronia Melanocarpa Attractive small tree, the black berries are mainly attractive to the birds in late winter when food gets sparse.
Schubert Chokecherry Prunus Virginiana Nice mid sized tree with burgundy leaves.
Fruit trees Don’t forget you’ll be sharing your fruit if you plant a fruit tree! Especially cherries and mulberries are a treat for the birds.
Coniferous Evergreens Abies (fir), Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), Juniperus (juniper) etc. Many birds enjoy the seeds of these trees, especially in winter. These trees also provide excellent cover and nesting sites.
Nut trees Corylus (hazelnut), Castanea (chestnut), Fagus (beech), quercus (oak), etc. Especially larger birds (like jays) enjoy the nuts.

 

 

10 GREAT SHRUBS TO ATTRACT BIRDS

Elderberry Sambucus Elderberries are beautiful large shrubs, and the late summer fruit usually doesn’t last long!
Serviceberry Amelanchier The variety “Autumn Brilliance” is a very attractive shrub with lovely fragrant white flowers in spring and beautiful fall color.
Bayberry Myrica Pennsylvanica Fragrant, waxy fruit is enjoyed by several bird species.
Viburnum Viburnum Many of the viburnum varieties are lovely shrubs, with pretty (often fragrant) flowers and the birds just love the berries! Try V. Dentatum “Blue Muffin” for a mid sized shrub with blue berries.
Firethorn Pyracantha Well known evergreen shrub which provides berries and shelter for many birds.
Darwin Barberry Berberis Darwinii Nice arching evergreen shrub, with orange/yellow flowers in spring and purple fruit in summer.
Beautyberry Callicarpa bodinieri Profusion” is a lovely shrub with the brightest purple berries in fall!
Spicebush Lindera Benzoin Fragrant yellow flowers in spring, followed by bright red berries.
Red twig Dogwood Cornus Cericea/Stolonifera White berries in late summer. Brightly colored stems glow in the winter sun. This shrub is a favourite nesting site of the american goldfinch.
Berries Blueberries, currants, strawberries, etc. Birds love them just as much as we do!

Butterflies

Who doesn’t love the sight of a gorgeous butterfly basking in the sun on a beautiful flower? The trick to getting these delightful creatures to your backyard is to not only plant flowers for nectar, but also a range of plants to feed the caterpillars (called ‘host plants‘). Don’t forget to check out our lists for attracting butterflies in our BROCHURE ON “PERENNIALS”.

TREES AND SHRUBS TO ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES

LARVAL HOSTS
Common name Botanical name Notes
Willow Salix Many nice varieties. great for moist locations.  Attractive for mourning cloak larvae.
Tulip Tree Liriodendron Tulipifera A large, stately tree with flowers that resemble tulips. Host tree for western tiger swallowtail larvae.
Aspen Populus The quaking aspen (P. Tremuloides) is a very nice mid sized shade tree, with golden fall color. Host tree for western tiger swallowtail larvae, as well as the mourning cloak larvae.
Elm Ulmus The ‘Discovery’ elm is an attractive tree, resistant to Dutch elm disease.
Birch Betula Betula Nigra ‘Heritage’ is a good tree for mourning cloak larvae.

NECTAR SOURCES – TREES

Buckeye/Horse Chestnut Aesculus Very attractive mid sized to large tree with beautiful, long lasting white or red flower panicles in SPRING.
Flowering Plum, Cherry Prunus Small to mid sized trees with attractive white/pink flowers in SPRING and green (cherry) or burgundy (plum) leaves.
Japanese Tree Lilac Syringa Reticulata Small to mid sized tree with fragrant white flower panicles in EARLY TO MID SUMMER.
Sourwood Oxydendrum Arboreum Beautiful mid sized tree with white flower sprays in SUMMER, followed by spectacular fall colors! Birds like the seeds.

NECTAR SOURCES – SHRUBS

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Lilac Syringa Vulgaris Mid to large sized shrub with very fragrant panicles of white, lavender, or purple flowers. Excellent for cutting.
Rhododendron Rhododendron Small to large sized evergreen shrubs with attractive flower trusses from early to late spring, depending on the variety.
Spicebush Lindera Benzoin Mid to large sized shrub with small yellow flowers in spring, followed by bright red berries in late summer/fall. Birds like the berries!

Mid

Butterfly bush Buddleia Small to large arching shrubs with white, pink, blue or purple fragrant panicles from mid-summer to fall. Best if pruned back to 1′ in spring.
Privet Ligustrum Japonicum and Ligustrum Ovalifolium ‘Lemon & Lime’ Both are frost hardy shrubs with white flowers in summer that are followed by black fruits, enjoyed by birds.
Summer sweet Clethra Alnifolia Nice mid sized deciduous shrub, with lovely, fragrant flower racemes in late summer.

Late

Bluebeard Caryopteris Small deciduous shrub with golden or green foliage and striking blue flower clusters in late summer to fall.
Glossy Abelia Abelia x Grandiflora Small/mid sized shrub with pinkish white, fragrant, tubular flowers all summer long until frost!
Hydrangea Hydrangea Paniculata Lovely flower panicles, attractive to monarch’s.

Hummingbirds

There is nothing more satisfying than sitting still on your porch, and watch one hummingbird after another visit your hummingbird feeder, just a few feet away… Or is there? Even though the feeders provide a nice supplement for the hummingbirds, they still need our plants and trees for nectar, shelter and nesting sites. Hummingbirds like to make their nest high in deciduous trees, and will also spend time hiding out in coniferous trees. Below is a list of  shrubs and trees that will ensure these tiny little miracle birds will visit your yard and flourish. Don’t forget to check out our BROCHURE ON “PERENNIALS” for a list of beautiful flowers for more nectar!

TREES AND SHRUBS TO ATTRACT HUMMINGBIRDS

TREES
Common name Botanical name Notes
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Enjoyed by the over wintering “Anna’s Hummingbird”
Flowering Crab-apple Malus Small tree with lovely pink flowers in spring, followed by fruit that is enjoyed by birds.
Hawthorne Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet” has dark pink flowers and “Toba” blush pink/white, both are followed by red berries, loved by birds.
Horse Chestnut Aesculus Plant Aesculus “Rubra” for a stunning display of pink flowers in spring!
Locust Robinia Pseudoacacia Robinia “Purple Robe” has lovely trusses of purple flowers in mid to late spring.
Silk Tree Albizzia Julibrissin Beautiful tropical looking tree with clear pink, brush like flowers in late summer.
Tulip poplar Liriodendron Tulipifera The unique tulip-resembling flowers on this large tree are a good source of nectar for our tiny friends.
SHRUBS
Glossy Abelia Abelia x Grandiflora Small/mid sized shrub with pinkish white, fragrant, tubular flowers all summer long until frost!
Azaleas Rhododendron Small to midsized evergreen shrubs with pink, white, red or purple flowers in spring.
Beauty bush Kolkwitzia Amabilis Masses of pink trumpet shaped flowers adorn the arching branches of this mid to large sized shrub from late spring to early summer.
Flowering quince Chaenomeles Japonica Try “Orange Delight” for bright orange flowers in early spring, followed by edible fruits that can be used for jellies – if the birds don’t get to them first!
Hibiscus Hibiscus Syriacus Hardy shrubs with large, tropical looking flowers, shades of pink, white and lavender.
Weigela Weigela Along with lovely light pink to red flowers in spring and summer, weigela’s boast attractive green, variegated or burgundy leaves on mid sized shrubs.
Honeysuckle and trumpet vine Lonicera and Campsis radicans Don’t forget to plant these lovely vines, irresistible to hummingbirds!

 

Bees

Without pollinators such as honeybees, plants could not survive. These tiny creatures pollinate flora from industrial agricultural crops to the dandelions.  Bees are the planet’s most effective pollinators. To attract more beneficial honeybees to your landscape, plant a diverse range of at least 10 bee-attracting plants, avoid using pesticides and plant a variety of flower species to ensure continuous blooms over a growing season.

Don’t forget to read our BROCHURE ON “PERENNIALS” for a great list of perennial flowers. You can also attract Mason bees by providing the right kind of ‘housing’. Ask our staff for details.

 

TREES AND SHRUBS TO ATTRACT BEES

TREES

Common name Botanical name Notes
(Flowering) Cherries Prunus Lovely trees for the smaller yard, with pink or white flowers in spring.
Fruit trees Apples, pears, peaches, etc. Bees will pollinate your fruit trees for a large crop! If you were to select one tree, just for the bees, go for the crab-apple.
Hawthorn Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet” has dark pink flowers and “Toba” blush pink/white, both are followed by red berries, loved by birds.
Mountain Ash Sorbus Several varieties with dense creamy-white flower clusters in spring, followed by orange, red or white berries. All are strong, hardy, attractive trees.
Cornelian Cherry Cornus Mas Small yellow flowers in early/mid spring, followed by bright red berries that are enjoyed by birds.
Little leaf Linden Tilia Cordata Attractive mid sized tree with small, whitish flowers in early summer.
Sourwood Oxydendrum Arboreum Beautiful mid sized tree with white flower sprays in SUMMER, followed by spectacular fall colors! Birds like the seeds, butterflies are attracted to the nectar.
Eastern Redbud Cercis Canadenses Lovely pink flowers in spring, followed by large, heart shaped leaves.
Franklin tree Franklinia Alatamaha Small tree with large, fragrant white flowers in late summer and nice fall color.

SHRUBS

Leatherleaf/Oregon Grape Mahonia Both have trusses of yellow flowers that are very attractive for bees. The spiny shrubs also provide shelter and berries for birds.
(weeping) Pussy willow Salix Lovely weeping shrubs. The pussy willow branches are great for cutting, and are a magnet to bees when they bloom.
Flowering Current Ribes Sanguineum Very attractive dark pink or white flowers on this open leafy shrub. “King Edward VII” is a more compact variety, also loved by hummingbirds.
Winter Honeysuckle Lonicera Fragrantissima Lovely fragrant, small white flowers in early spring. Bring some branches in to force indoors!
Witch Hazel Hamamelis In early spring, these large shrubs are covered in fragrant, bright yellow, orange or red spidery flowers. Most also have very nice fall color.
Rugosa Rose Rosa Rugosa Very strong and healthy shrub rose with white or pink flowers, followed by large hips. Flowers have a lovely ‘old rose’ scent.
Guelder Rose and Wayfaring Tree Viburnum Opulus, Viburnum Lantana Both have Lovely spring flowers, followed by berries for the birds!
Spirea Spirea Great all purpose small shrub with brightly colored new growth in spring, lots of white or pink flowers in spring, and again awesome foliage colour in fall. Tough and hardy.
Elderberry Sambucus Large shrubs with lovely flower clusters in late spring. Check out the  awesome foliage of “Black Beauty” and “Black Lace”. Birds enjoy the berries.
Butterfly bush Buddleia Small to large arching shrubs with white, pink, blue or purple fragrant panicles from mid-summer to fall. Best if pruned back to 1′ in spring.

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