So many times, people will inquire which trees and shrubs to plant to help feed our struggling pollinators. Finally because of these numerous inquiries, I have constructed a listing of native trees and shrubs that bloom from April to September. Different criteria were used to make our choices.
What makes our choices slightly different is that we base selection on bee appeal. Universities rate plants based on their bee appeal. Using these bee appeal value, only plants that were rated as very good or excellent were chosen. Bee appeal usually translates to the production of vast amounts of pollen and nectar available to pollinators. Also, our choices are native since native trees and shrubs have formed intricate relationship bonds with our native pollinators. And lastly, we wanted plant choices to extend food availability for the whole season for hungry insects.
SERVICEBERRY (AMELANCHIER spp)
APRIL – This is a very important source of nectar and pollen for awakening pollinators along with maples and willows.
CANADA PLUM (Prunus nigra)
AMERICAN PLUM (Prunus americana)
MAY – Very fragrant. Abundant pollen and nectar.
CHERRY (Prunus serotina, pensylvania, virginiana)
MAY – JUNE Abundant pollen and nectar.
OHIO BUCKEYE (Aesculus glabra)
LATE MAY – JUNE
EASTERN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis)
NORTHERN CATALPA (Catalpa speciosa)
LATE MAY – JUNE
INDIGO BUSH (Amorpha fruticosa)
MAY – LATE JUNE Very long blooming. Not fragrant – odorous.
EASTERN FLOWERING DOGWOOD (Cornus florida)
MAY – JUNE
HAWTHORN (Crataegys spp)
BASSWOOD (Tilia americana)
JUNE – JULY Copious amount of nectar
ELDEBERRY (Sambucus nigra)
JUNE – JULY
HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia tricanthos)
SUMAC (Rhus spp)
MEADOWSWEET (Spirea alba)
AUGUST – important nectar and pollen source especially during typical August drought weather.