The Q&A Archives: Native Shrubs for Wildlife Habitat

Question: I have been trying to grow more berry and fruit bearing shrubs as a food source for birds. My backyard is quite shady with only about 4 hours of dappled sunshine during the summer months. Could you list some shrubs that might work in this situation? Ihave been told that the Viburnum species such Arrowwood and Nannyberries would be good choices but I am not familiar with these Northeastern US natives. I live in Zone 7(North Georgia). Thanks!

Answer: Your biggest challenge to growing fruiting shrubs is, of course, the limited sunlight. If you can create a sunnier spot by removing some branches or even a small tree, it might be worth considering. There are some shrubs that tolerate partial sunlight, such as Running service berry (Amelanchier stolonifera), Wintergreen barberry (Berberis julianae), and Burford holly (Ilex cornuta Burfordii ). Several viburnum species are wonderful for attracting birds. I recommend the ones you mentioned (nannyberry is Viburnum lentago) and also European cranberry bush (Viburnum opulus). All of these plants are suitable for growing in your region.

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