Easily Attract Hummingbirds To Your Yard With A Colorful Tree

If you're a fan of hummingbirds, you've probably already set up a great feeder and filled your yard with flowers and maybe even vines that the diminutive birds love. You don't have to stop there, though; you can also include trees for your feathered friends. The gorgeous and distinctive strawberry tree is one of the best trees for attracting hummingbirds.

Despite the name, strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) aren't actually close relatives of strawberries. Like some shrubs, they produce pretty red berries similar to the strawberries we know and love. While the fruits of strawberry trees are considered a bit bland, they are edible and can be easily made into fantastic jams and jellies thanks to their high amounts of pectin. Strawberry trees also have shiny evergreen foliage, beautiful white flowers, and attractive bark, which makes them an ideal option for landscapes, even if you don't bother to harvest their berries.

Caring for strawberry trees

Strawberry trees are native to Europe but grow well in the United States in zones 7 through 10. They struggle with high humidity, though, which could be an issue for growers in Southeastern states. Strawberry trees need well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Be sure to plant your strawberry tree in full or partial sun, as it does not thrive in overly shady conditions. When considering locations for a strawberry tree, avoid planting it on overhanging paths or driveways, as the fruits often drop and can be quite messy.

Strawberry trees have long tap roots and rarely need water once established, making them an excellent option for anyone creating a drought-tolerant landscape. They generally don't grow taller than 18 feet and can spread up to 20 feet. You can either grow your strawberry tree as a shrub or limb it up to give it a more tree-like form. While it grows well either way, a shrub shape protects the tree from cold winters.

Strawberry trees attract hummingbirds and wildlife

Strawberry trees have beautiful urns or bell-shaped white flowers that stay on the tree for a year before turning into red fruits. These nectar-filled flowers are a huge hit with hummingbirds, and as they are on the trees all winter, they can be a vital food source for when little else is blooming. While there are strawberry trees that produce yellow fruits, those with red fruits are likely the best for attracting hummingbirds to your garden, given the little birds' preference for the color.

It's not just hummingbirds that love strawberry trees, though. Bees are also fond of the tree's flowers and are the primary pollinators for strawberry trees. Many birds, including thrushes and robins, also enjoy the tree's fruits. Try to keep cats out of your yard if you hope to attract birds, as domestic cats are the top predators for hummingbirds.