En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
5 ratings

Sunday - September 16, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell me the names of shrubs that would appeal to our local birds? Also, can you suggest anything that might encourage a tiny red oak tree to grow? We planted a "volunteer" from another yard, but it has stubbornly refused to grow more than 2 inches in 3 years. I don't want to yank it and replace it, because it is still very much alive, just tiny. Thank you for reading my e-mail. Clueless in the landscape,

ANSWER:

Here are several "berry-bearing" shrubs that are native to Central Texas and will attract birds.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

You might also like read several of our How to Articles (e.g., "Creating a Wildflower Garden", "Wildlife Gardening Bibliography").

I'm not sure whether you have Quercus texana (Texas red oak) or Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak). They are very similar and they both have a moderate growth rate. Little growth in three years is not a good sign, but plants sometimes do this and then suddenly put on a great growth spurt just when you're about to give up on them.

 


Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Callicarpa americana

Mahonia trifoliolata

Mahonia swaseyi

Rhus aromatica

Rhus glabra

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus virens

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Blue plants or flowers in Baltimore, MD
July 27, 2007 - I have a taxi company in the city called Bluecab. The headquarters is in an industrial area and the soil is tough and well, industrial. There will be no watering or maintenance done. Looks like a car ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of possumhaw from Austin
May 22, 2014 - I planted a possumhaw holly plant about 3 months ago and am really excited to watch it grow from its current 3-foot height. It is starting to berry right now. My question is about those berries: (Cle...
view the full question and answer

Blue Natives for San Antonio
June 28, 2012 - What are the best flowers or trees to buy since we are always in stage 2 and sometimes in stage 3 water conservation? I love flowers that are blue, preferably year around. THANK YOU
view the full question and answer

Trimming Texas mountain laurel in Austin
August 27, 2009 - Is there a specific time to trim established mountain laurels? Should I cut off the dried seed pods since they are weighing down the branches?
view the full question and answer

Small Shrub for a Foundation Planting in Michigan
May 15, 2014 - I need a small, native, perennial shrub for a foundation planting in Michigan.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center