En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 30, 2006

From: Bronxville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Replacement of barberry hedge with native, bird-friendly plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking to replace an existing barberry hedge with a deciduous hedge, using a plant that is native to the northeast. I am in zone 6. The site is sun/part sun with decent drainage. The mature size of the hedge must be no more than 8 ft tall and no more than 6 ft wide. Importantly, I want to use a plant that will provide berries for the birds. I thought of using cornus racemosa 'Geauge.' Any thoughts on that? Any other plant suggestions? Thanks. Kim

ANSWER:

Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) is certainly an appropriate tree for providing fruit for birds and other wildlife, but it is likely to get taller than you want. It's maximum height is about 16 feet. Here are a few other shrubs that are nearer your size preference that offer food for birds and other wildlife:

Northern bayberry or Candleberry (Morella pensylvanica)
Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
Elderberry or Black elder (Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis)
Highbush blueberry ( Vaccinium corymbosum)
Maple-leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium)
American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

All the above are deciduous, but here is a native evergreen shrub that has high wildlife value—Inkberry (Ilex glabra)

You can look at more possibilities by doing your own search in the Native Plants Database and choosing to "Narrow your search" under the Combination Search option. You can select "Shrub" under Habit and "New York" under Select Your State to see more choices.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Fast-growing shrub or tree to block dust from dirt road
March 15, 2009 - I live on a dirt road in Northeast Kansas. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance shrub/bush or small tree that will form a barrier to block the dust from the dirt road? It will be plante...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for erosion from Austin
May 03, 2014 - I live in Austin and my house backs up to Shoal Creek. I am looking for a native creeping vine or something that will grow on the shaded bank to help prevent erosion. It should be able to tolerate the...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Podocarpus macrophyllus in Ft Worth TX
November 12, 2011 - I know this question does not pertain to a native plant but I've spent too much time not finding an answer to my question. I have many mature Podocarpus macrophyllus bushes at my house I purchased in...
view the full question and answer

Tree or shrub with non-invasive roots from San Jose CA
June 16, 2013 - I am looking for a small tree/ large shrub (non higher than a one story roof) with non-invasive roots to replace a 25 foot cedar. It is in a small area (5x 7) bordered to the side by a driveway...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Carolina Laurel Cherry from Pflugerville, TX
September 02, 2011 - In 2007 we planted 7 Carolina Laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana)across our back fence. Everything was fine until this year. Three of the trees seemed to get sick and a local arborist said the roots ne...
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