• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Which 'honeysuckle bushes' do birds prefer to cherries? Amur Honeysuckle?

 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry if this has been answered already, but which honeysuckle bush is Stefan referring to in his wonderful video? I hope he's right about the birds, and want to get this plant asap. But my research indicates he may be referring to 'lonicera maackii', i.e., Amur honeysuckle bush, which, apparently, is considered seriously invasive in the East. I'm wondering if Stefan has any trouble keeping it under control (IF this is the birds' favorite).
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honeysuckle is incredibly invasive in the Northeast! Remember, he didn't plant it, the birds planted it! There might be something better suited to your area that the birds plant and prefer to cherries. Check out what their eating when your cherries start ripening. There's probably some plant they prefer to cherries.

I don't mind this bush by my pond, particularly now that I heard that story. It was loaded with flowers, bumble bees, and even a few honey bees just a week or so ago and now it does have little berries on it.


It's horrible in the forest though. It really suppresses tree regeneration and seems to be all over my property.
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
permaculture orchardist
Posts: 118
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
nancy sutton wrote:Sorry if this has been answered already, but which honeysuckle bush is Stefan referring to in his wonderful video? I hope he's right about the birds, and want to get this plant asap. But my research indicates he may be referring to 'lonicera maackii', i.e., Amur honeysuckle bush, which, apparently, is considered seriously invasive in the East. I'm wondering if Stefan has any trouble keeping it under control (IF this is the birds' favorite).

You know Nancy I never keyed it out to the species. Looks to me like Lonicera tatarica just from memory (I used to teach landscape plant identification!!). Yes the birds are reseeding some other ones on the farm, since the seeds passed through droppings germinate readily. I would not consider such a useful plant invasive at all. Hummingbirds and bumblebees love the blooms.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Proceed with caution.
I did not have the same experience as Stefan. There could be a dozen reasons why my cherries were eaten - maybe it wasn't birds who did it, I don't know. But when my cherries looked like this:

And my honeysuckle looked like this:

The cherries disappeared first!

This cherry tree is still young and the crop was small so I'll be watching this dynamic in the following years but for right now if I want cherries I'll have to protect them from the birds. Maybe the birds will eat the honeysuckle instead of the blueberries which should be ready in a few weeks. You can see in the pic that quite a few of the honeysuckle berries aren't ripe yet.
 
Dave Lodge
Posts: 93
Location: New England
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honeysuckle is very low in nutrient quality for birds. They eat it because it grows and it is edible. Spreads and creates areas where only it grows, and reduces growth of better nutritional content shrubs/trees. I have birds from early morning to night feeding on raspberries right now.

Raspberries, Elderberries, Blackberries, Dogwood, Viburnums, Spicebush will grow as well as the honeysuckle and have better nutritional (fats, sugars). Northern Bayberry produces the highest fat content (60%) of any native eastern US shrub, which helps migrating birds.

Also birds will eat a large amount of bugs, that the native shrubs will host and feet the birds. Honeysuckle doesn't have things that eat it so no bugs, and no birds when there is no fruit.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1146
 
Michael Qulek
Posts: 148
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've read that another fruit that birds prefer to cherries is Mulberry, so I planted Illinois Everbearing next to my cherry trees.
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
permaculture orchardist
Posts: 118
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael Qulek wrote:I've read that another fruit that birds prefer to cherries is Mulberry, so I planted Illinois Everbearing next to my cherry trees.

Michael the key to any 'Lure crop' as they are known is TIMING. The fruit of the lure crop must ripen at the same time or just a few days before the main crop you want to protect. In our area mulberries fruit too early for cherries. 'Illinois everbearing' is not reliably hardy here but may be a good choice.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just read that Mulberry is a great lure crop for cherries too. I forget the source but they didn't mention timing being an issue. I've got 2 types growing for other purposes so I'll just have to remember to check what the cherries are doing once they start fruiting.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic