Attract More Birds To Your Garden With A Stunning Tree They Love

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Attract More Birds To Your Garden With A Stunning Tree They Love

If you want to attract more beautiful birds to your yard and garden, but don’t want to worry about maintaining a bird feeder or bath, then planting a flowering dogwood tree may be a great option for you. These trees are particularly attractive to a variety of birds, including red-bellied woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, cardinals, mockingbirds, and bluebirds, among others, during both spring and fall.

Even though they can grow up to 35 or 40 feet tall, flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) trees can thrive in the shade of other trees, such as pines or hardwoods. They are native to many areas in the western half of the United States, in USDA zones 5 to 9, which include Maine, Missouri, East Texas, and the Deep South. You can expect the flowering dogwoods you plant in your yard to flourish for up to 80 years. These trees also grow slowly, making them a popular choice for landscaping.

Why birds are attracted to dogwood trees

Red Dogwood fruit on branch

Olha Trotsenko/Shutterstock

In the spring, flowering dogwood trees bloom profusely, putting on a bevy of white or pink flowers. All those blooms attract insects, and where insects congregate, birds can’t be far behind. During the summer, sawflies also lay their eggs on dogwood leaves, which produces caterpillars for birds to feed on. Then, in the late summer and early fall, another swath of blooms is produced. Those blooms are followed by red fruits or berries that vary in size and shape depending on the flowering dogwood species. These aren’t edible by humans, but their nutrients attract no fewer than 28 types of birds as they’re migrating. Ironically, the fruit produced by the kousa dogwood can be consumed by humans, but birds do not feed on them, so choosing another species is imperative to attract birds.

Of course, you may be avoiding a bird feeder and turn to a flowering dogwood tree to discourage cute-but-pesky squirrels. If that’s the case, be aware that squirrels and other larger animals like deer are drawn to the fruit as well, so planting a dogwood may have unintended consequences. Nevertheless, you should definitely achieve your goal of attracting a wide array of birds to your yard by planting this variety of flowering tree.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.