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Sep 27, 2020 5:45 AM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
I am creating a new small-ish island bed to try and hide our well pump cover and want to include a very small tree (6-8 feet or smaller) or shrub to attract lots of birds. I was excited to try a dwarf serviceberry but I keep reading about how they are prone to disease and attract my #1 nemesis, Japanese beetles. Does anyone grow serviceberries in our area? Do the beetles do a lot of damage? Any other recommendations for ones that aren't covered in unsightly powdery mildew or rust as it will be planted closely to a seating area?

I was also looking at dwarf crabapples but they seem to have a lot of the same issues with Japanese beetles and diseases? Sargent was a variety I was looking at for it's size. Anyone have experience with this one or another dwarf?

I'm open to other ideas as well! Thanks!!
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Sep 27, 2020 7:52 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Have you looked at hollies? I don't know much about them but there are quite a few. You do probably have to consider male=female for fertilization. I got some inkberries last fall, but am still not sure I chose the right combo male=female on them. But they have a nice shape, small leaves. I chose them as hedge as well as for fruit.

Viburnums? Again, so many choices.

I've been considering serviceberry, but they seem pricey, and I did not know about the problems...

I used to have a big old crabapple, did not notice beetles, but had loads of cedar=apple rust, made it a mess many summers.
Plant it and they will come.
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Sep 27, 2020 7:54 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Sargeant sounds excellent
https://www.mortonarb.org/tree...
Plant it and they will come.
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Sep 27, 2020 10:34 AM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
Thank you Sally! I hadn't considered hollies or viburnums. I will look into those! Thank you for the link about the crabapple too! That's a great resource!
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Sep 27, 2020 12:18 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Happy to try and help, Becca!

Aronia is another I've been considering. Sounds like you've done research, maybe you've heard of it.
Here's something from U MD.. 2005.. so, it may not include a few things that could have entered the market since..
https://extension.umd.edu/site...
Plant it and they will come.
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Sep 27, 2020 12:47 PM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
I have been looking at aronia too! I saw low scape mound aronia was highly rated. I'll probably tuck a couple of those in the new bed : )
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Sep 27, 2020 7:59 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
I'd love to see pictures when things get planted Smiling
Plant it and they will come.
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Sep 27, 2020 8:34 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Not many of those mentioned are great at attracting birds. Plants with leaves and are deciduous will expose the well pump cover in the winter.
Something evergreen, in say the cedar group, would hide the cover year round but not attract a lot of birds either.
I think that if your number #1 objective is to hide the cover, then select accordingly. If you want to attract birds, then go with berry producers.
The best things in my yard right now are vines. Honseysuckle, Wild Grape and Pokeweed!! This is what I have seen there in the last 5 days, Catbird, Robin, Scarlet Tanager, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Swanson's Thrush, Brown Thrasher and Carolina Wren.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Sep 27, 2020 8:35 PM Icon for preview
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Sep 28, 2020 6:14 AM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
Wow Bill! What a variety of birds! That's amazing! I wasn't going to use the tree/shrub to hide the pump. I should have made that more clear. My husband is building a bird bath with a hollow base to go over the pump. The tree would just be in the planting bed I'm creating to encompass both. I never thought about vines attracting birds. You have given me more to research! Thank you!
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Sep 28, 2020 7:27 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Hey, you are welcome!
Good luck!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Oct 1, 2020 6:48 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Hi, Since you did allow small tree, take note of this from another thread.. from a Viburnum expert (ViburnumValley)

".. I'd suggest a really easy grower, the native Viburnum dentatum. Arrowwood Viburnum grows with abandon, will get every bit as big as what you currently have, but will have late spring white fertile flowers which when adequately cross-pollinated will produce dark blue fruits which birds relish. That means you should plant two different named selections of Arrowwood Viburnum, like an 'Autumn Jazz' and a 'Chicago Lustre'.

Following that plan, you will have attractive flowers, copious attractive fruit, bird food (which will drop the seeds to produce more plants), and reasonable fall color across the yellow/orange/red/purple spectrum. Not too shabby."

Now, to find those chosen cultivars, that can be the hardest part. When I started out, I remember hunting down a pollinator for my V. triloba.. which must have died at some point anyway.
Plant it and they will come.
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Oct 1, 2020 12:28 PM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
Thank you Sally! That is great information! I appreciate it : )
Avatar for ljmcadam
Oct 3, 2020 3:26 PM CST
Greencastle, PA
Check amelanchier aka serviceberry or shadbush availability in your area.
It comes in a number of varieties -- some are smaller.
I had one outside my kitchen window in southern Wisconsin (I now live in southern Pennsylvania).
It had lovely tiny white blooms then dark berries that the robins loved! I think some became intoxicated even.
Good luck.
Avatar for ljmcadam
Oct 3, 2020 3:34 PM CST
Greencastle, PA
If you want an evergreen with berries, female junipers will produce berries loved by birds and squirrels in winter when other berries are gone. (There needs to be a male juniper somewhere for pollenating.) I have blue upright junipers outside a window that birds enjoyed all season. I don't know the variety because landscape contractor substituted and these are easily 10-feet tall.
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Oct 4, 2020 7:54 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Nanking cherry, elderberry, Florida dogwood? I can't comment on the beetles though since they aren't a problem for me.
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Oct 5, 2020 11:47 AM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
Thank you for the ideas ljmcadam and Loretta! I never thought about a juniper! Gosh I wish Japanese beetles weren't a problem down here. They are the worst!
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Oct 6, 2020 8:45 AM CST
Name: Becca
Frederick, Maryland (Zone 6a)
Thank you for the ideas ljmcadam and Loretta! I never thought about a juniper! Gosh I wish Japanese beetles weren't a problem down here. They are the worst!
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