Does fruit tree care to you include choosing, pruning, trimming and outfitting plants best suited to attracting wild birds? Gardening and birding are fantastic hobbies during retirement, encouraging you to get outdoors and enjoy a modify-able full-body workout.
If so, ‘tis the season for turning your yard into a veritable retreat for your winged neighbors. “Birding” does not have to be done on a far-off hike—you can bird from your own home if you have the kind of greenery that attracts birds. Spring is the season when birds are most active, with many of them busily building nests and wooing mates. Consider planting these trees, plants and greenery soon if you want a yard brimming with chirps and beauty:
Deciduous trees offer great, sturdy shelter for birds while giving you plenty of options. Mulberry trees are particularly beautiful and offer summer fruiting. These are mid-sized trees ranging from 30 to 60 feet at maturity. However, as a fruit tree, they can get messy when fruit falls so be careful when planting them close to where cars park. Mulberry trees are especially beloved by songbirds including robins, cardinals and waxwings, and are a favorite nesting spot.
Serviceberry trees are another fantastic option that feature summer fruiting. Also midsized, you can expect 25 to 60 feet at full maturity. Each year, enjoy an explosion of white and/or pink flowers followed by rich red summer berries. Serviceberry trees are popular with vireos, grosbeaks, tanagers, robins and other lovely birds that see it as a prime nesting spot.
Who Needs a Zoo?
Take advantage of the beauty of nature from your own window or backyard by planting a gorgeous flowering dogwood. This deciduous tree offers fall fruiting and is an in-demand ornamental tree that grows up to 40 feet high. Flowers can be red, pink or white, and the fire engine red berries finish the warm season with a bang. It is also a prime nesting site for catbirds, bluebirds, thrushes and many more.
Some homeowners prefer crabapple deciduous trees, complete with fall fruiting and fruits that can withstand rough winters. A mid-sized tree, it has spring blossoms that are stunning and the smaller fruits are easy for bird to consume. This birdie buffet dishes up flowers, seeds, flower buds and fruits for the taking. Popular as both cover and a nesting site, many birds love crabapple trees including finches, thrushes, waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks and many more.
Just like people, birds are on the lookout for their dream home. Some prefer the white oak deciduous tree for its fall fruiting and hearty winter fruits. A big tree, it offers up acorns (a rarity for oaks), which means extra goodies for humans, chipmunks and squirrels, too. Jays, wood ducks, woodpeckers, grouse and even wild turkeys can’t get enough of these trees.
However, if you prefer coniferous trees over deciduous, you also have options. The eastern red cedar is a beauty, complete with winter fruits and fall fruiting. This holiday-esque cone shaped tree can grow up to 90 feet tall and features pale blue cones in female trees. Waxwings adore these trees, and it is a great option for covers and nesting.
Choose a spruce if you want a larger tree with winter fruits and fall fruiting. These trees can get up to 150 feet tall and feature cones with seeds. The evergreen needles mean insects in the spring—which translates to plenty of bird treats. Crossbills and other types of seedeaters can’t get enough of spruces, and warblers particularly enjoy the spring insects.
A bevy of vines and shrubs also give you options for luring birds to your property. Match your trees to your birds, and it’s the ultimate partnership. Use your retirement time to engage in attracting new fine feathered friends.