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Small sized evergreen tree for birds

AdRockAdRock Posts: 241
hi, we currently have a laburnum which over years of neglect has been swamped in ivy which has been great for birds and other wildlife but unfortunately now the main branches have become weak and it’s time to cut it down. Can anyone suggest a nice evergreen tree replacement that would provide cover for birds to nest in? Ideally not a pine/fir but appreciate that limits my options somewhat! Ideal height would be around 5m. Thanks in advance 


  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,523
    I have a Pittisporum in my garden which is usually thought of as a shrub makes a good small twiggy tree.
    Birds love it and this year found a nest in it.
    The only problem is that shrubs sometimes take time to reach tree size and some need a lot of pruning.
    Mind you the Rowan I have had in the garden for several years still doesn't say 'tree' to me just yet!
    Amelanchier is also a good one.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,647
    Holly - it's slow growing but if you get a self fertile or a female form you should get berries which the birds can eat as long as there's a male form somewhere nearby.  Plenty of different forms available with different spikinessand colours of foliage but don't believe the names when choosing a female.   Golden King is actually female -

    Yew is another option and it will respond well to being trimmed to size and shape.  
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AdRockAdRock Posts: 241
    Thanks for the suggestions! I like the idea of holly and this one seems nice... 

    Ilex x koehneana‘Chestnut Leaf’

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,647
    It does.   When you remove the laburnum you'll need to refresh the soil with plenty of well-rotted garden compost and some well-rotted manure to replace lost nutrients and increase the level of good micro-organisms which will help your holly settle in well.  Autumn is the best time to plant a new shrub or tree. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,876
    My Crinodendron  grew quickly considering it was just from a seed, and has become a nesting site quite a few birds. Is not a very nice looking tree but serves the purpose so I leave it. 
    I don’t know of an evergreen Amelanchier all of mine shed leaves. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,989
    There aren't any evergreen Sorbus [rowans] or Amelanchiers, to my knowledge.
    Holly will take a while to be a reasonable size, unless you buy a mature one. Most evergreens will be the same, so bear that in mind too.  :)
    You could always try a shrub which you can prune/maintain accordingly. Viburnums and Eleagnus for example. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
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