Bird-friendly Native Christmas trees

Looking for something a little different this Christmas - and maybe hoping to start a new tradition that is both festive and sustainable? Why not avoid the pines or the plastic and buy a native tree?

We have some suggestions of bird-friendly shrubs and small trees that you can display inside over Christmas and then plant in the garden (or in some cases keep potted and bring in again next year).

 

1. Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa)

This prickly shrub to small tree grows between 3 to 10m high. It is hardy and easy to grow and produces a mass of small white flowers over summer that smell lovely. Be sure to prune it to ensure it grows dense rather than leggy and plant is somewhere in well drained soil from full sun to part shade.

2. Woolly Bush (Adenanthos sericeus)

This WA small tree grows to somewhere around 5m. It has lovely soft and velvety silver grey/green foliage with tiny red flowers - just to complete a Christmas look. It doesn't grow well in more humid climates, so stick with drier locations in the southern half of the country. You can leave this one in a pot year round and bring it back inside next year.

3. Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

This grows in a traditional conical shape and closely resembles a pine tree. Once planted this tree needs a lot of space (it can grow up to 12m), and can be used as a wind break. It's seeds are great for birds like Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos.

4. Geenbug (Persoonia pinifolia)

The yellow flowers of this shrub bloom in a spike over Christmas - making it a lovely Christmas tree alternative that has its own decorations! After flowering the fruits are a favourite of many birds. It will live in a pot and pruning will keep it's dense shape.

5. Lilly Pilly (Syzygium sp)

There are many species and varietals of Lilly Pillys available - which means it can be kept as a small shrub or a very tall tree. They are found in rainforests so regular watering and fertilizer will be needed to ensure great growth. Of course the added bonus of these species is that their fruits are edible - for birds and for us! Can you say Lilly Pilly jam...

 

Of course this isn't an exhaustive list - head to your local native nursery and see what they have in stock, potted and ready to go this festive season.

 

Merry Christmas to you and your local birds!

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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