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5 Trees That Will Attract Birds to Your Portland Oregon Yard

One of the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is the rainy climate. All greenery thrives here. Lush trees attract wildlife like birds. With trees teeming with feathered life, becoming an avid birdwatcher in your very own backyard is possible. Fitting your backyard with birdhouses, baths, and feeders attracts birds and improves the landscape, increasing the likelihood of feathered visitors.

With over 500 species of birds recorded in Oregon, according to the Oregon Birding Association, there are many types of native trees to have in your yard. Hiring a certified arborist, like the professionals from Mr. Tree Services, to assist with your landscaping can help you create a yard that embraces wildlife. Planting trees that Portland, Oregon, birds will love is a great way to get to know your local birds.

Here are five trees that will attract birds to your Portland, Oregon yard:

1. Crabapple


Robin in Crabapple Tree

Malus fusca, or the western crabapple, is Portland’s only native crabapple tree. Since many birds eat fruit, this native species will bring in the feathered company. Birds such as the American robin and the cedar waxwing are common to Portland and are sure to enjoy all the crabapple tree has to offer. Robins tend to eat fruit later in the day, and the waxwings consume fruit whenever it’s available. Into the autumn as tree fruit ferments, waxwings have been known to be under the influence of fermented fruit.

A crabapple tree can be a place of safety as well as sustenance for certain birds too. It’s classed as a large shrub or small tree. This tree thrives in wet and wintry weather but survives in dry summers too. While full sun is preferable for maximum flowering and fruit production, this tree can grow to 20 to 30 feet in height and still survive in partial shade.

Fairly low maintenance, crabapple trees only need pruning before or after blossoming in the spring. Their blossoms vary in color from pink and white to red, purple, yellow, or orange. They will add visual beauty to your yard while being an attraction for the birds.

2. Cascara

These trees are native to Oregon. They are smaller, which means they can be a great addition to a smaller garden while still creating a safe space for birds to visit. Birds generally, but cedar waxwings particularly, love their fruit, so the cascara with its small dark purple berries attracts these birds throughout the year. Song sparrows are also attracted to its stout stature and protected food source.

Partly sunny conditions are ideal for the cascara’s white and green flowers to blossom. Its dark green summer leaves can turn a deep bronze yellow in the autumn. This tree grows best with moist and well-drained soil. This tree’s height ranges from 15 to 30 feet.

3. Dogwood

Several varieties of dogwood, like the pagoda and Pacific, both native to the Portland area, can accommodate both heat and full sunshine, however, partial sun tends to be ideal. They reach heights of nearly 25 to 30 feet. The dogwood is a favorite for birds who prefer being close to the ground, but it still grows high enough to have a safe space to nest.

Dogwood varieties are beautiful year-round too, which is one reason why they are a popular choice in many Portland yards. There are deep purple- or dark-red-colored berries that birds and smaller mammals tend to enjoy. They ripen in the autumn, which is when birds may take notice and want to munch on the berries. Fallen berries might be collected by a spotted towhee too, which is a ground-scavenging bird.

4. Oak

It’s not only food that will attract birds to your Portland backyard but shelter. Cover is crucial. The mighty oak provides a safe shelter for birds like warblers to make their nests in. While some birds may take to the ground near an oak tree and enjoy eating the fallen acorns, others will take to the heights to build their nests.

Depending on the species, oaks are versatile trees in terms of where they can be planted. While there are shorter varieties, oaks can grow tall, from 50 feet to over 100 feet tall. They also live for generations of human life. Because of the length of life and the possibility of such height, pruning and trimming become significant to the health and longevity of the trees. While it’s possible to plant an oak tree in just about any type of soil, they will do best in soil that isn’t too dry or shallow.

Because of the additional maintenance required for an oak tree, a larger garden will better hold the large potential of this tree, and you’ll also likely want to call someone like Mr. Tree Services to help you take care of the tree and properly nurture it. This way, each oak will be in good form to attract birds and other wildlife.

5. Evergreens

Birds like chickadees prefer a denser quality of coverage where they nest. The edges of Portland forests are a common habitat, but also growing Oregon forest trees in Portland backyards can also attract them. From firs to pines, cedars to hemlock, many evergreen trees can be planted in your yard. Their seeds provide food for various birds and wildlife, and they maintain their dense greenery all year, making them a safe home for many species.

Warblers, for example, tend to construct their nests within the branches of pine trees so that their nests can be high, nestled, and camouflaged in needled trees. This helps them escape predators more easily. Various evergreen trees mean a wide range in height, with dwarf varieties growing around 10 feet tall, while other varieties can reach heights of around 100 feet.

While there are three main factors to consider when planting a tree to attract Portland, Oregon, birds (food, water, and cover), seeking the advice of a professional can be crucial. At Mr. Tree Services, we’d love to connect you with one of the certified arborists to be able to turn your yard into a bird sanctuary.