It’s pretty common to talk about feeders and baths when we talk about attracting birds to our yards, but trees can have a huge impact. Planting the right kinds of trees in your yard can help make it more enticing for birds, reduce your need to provide bird food, and can benefit them in a myriad of other ways.
What Trees Attract Birds?
Like all of us, birds need food, water, and shelter. If you’ve got feeders and birdbaths, you’re already providing for those two needs. The trees and shrubs in the urban forest also provide shelter, but you can make your yard an even more desirable destination for your avian friends by planting trees that give them food and shelter. Your yard can become an easy place for birds to get everything they need. Trees that make berries and seeds for them to eat are obvious choices, but those aren’t the only things birds consume. Insects are a significant and essential part of many avian diets, so planting trees that are popular with bugs is just as important.
Crabapples are popular with birds because they attract insects and they produce fruit. The flowers and fruits will draw in the insects, so they’re really a smorgasbord. Some birds will also nest in crabapple trees, as the branches provide shelter from larger predators.
Serviceberry’s spring flowers are popular with insects, and the berries that follow are very popular with all sorts of birds. It’s also a favored nest option.
Maple trees are highly popular with all sorts of birds, including woodpeckers, warblers, and tanagers. Maples are loved by hundreds of types of caterpillars, which makes these insect hunters happy. These trees have softer bark, making it easy to find insect snacks, and they often provide good nesting options and seeds to eat.
Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern red cedar produces cones that many birds, especially cedar waxwings, love. The needles are very dense on this species, making it an excellent option for nesting and to provide shelter during inclement weather.
Eastern White Pine
Eastern white pines are the high-rise condo building of the bird world. They grow fast and provide shelter for hundreds of birds when they reach their mature height. There are also quite a few birds who like the seeds.
Birch trees produce seeds called strobili that birds love to eat, and they have plenty of sap for sapsuckers. They’re also popular with many varieties of insects and caterpillars. Even dead birch trees are extremely popular with woodpeckers.
Flowering dogwood is a much smaller deciduous option that’s also favored by the birds. The wide canopy gives them plenty of safe space to hang out. Its beautiful flowers attract insects, particularly moths and butterflies. Robins love to eat the berries—and the colorful fall leaves look fantastic for bird photography!
Birds love the fruit that red mulberry produces, but you’ll need to have a male and female tree to ensure fruit. It’s also popular with insects, so those bug-eater types will love it.
Willow is one of those trees that has everything for our avian friends. It likes to grow in moist conditions, near a creek, lake, or pond. Birds eat its seeds and use the soft catkin fibers to line the nests they create in the many cavities within the tree. They’re also popular with many insects and caterpillars.
Cherry trees of all types are popular for their flowers, fruit, and insect populations. They’re a host for many kinds of caterpillars, and some birds will nest in them as well.
Stop by the garden center today to see which varieties of these bird-attracting trees we have in stock. Fall is one of the best times to plant trees, so don’t wait too long!