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Living Birdfeeders

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I don’t offer seeds as bird food, but I have several small trees that provide local birds a treat.

There is a native Amelanchier in my front yard. This multi-stemmed tree is also called serviceberry, Juneberry and shadblow. It’s a versatile addition to the landscape that leafs out in April or May and produces small white flowers follow by berries that mature in June.

The ripe blue/purple berries are a favorite of neighborhood robins. The berries are people friendly and popular in jams and jellies cooked with enough sugar to tone down their tartness. If you want to try them, consider covering the trees with netting to ward off the birds. The tree pictured was stripped in two days.

The red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) is another multi-stemmed tree that produces an edible berry, this one is white. The birds love them, too. And the osier berries ripen later than the serviceberries.

I also have two Pagoda dogwoods (Cornus alternifolia). They grow as single-trunk trees because I prune away the suckers. Their blue-black berries will ripen in a few more weeks.

Consider the benefits of a flowering tree that produces fruit you don’t have to clean up after. There are no stains on the sidewalk. There are no rotting pieces on the ground. There are only happy birds.

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