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Evergreen tree with berries

AdRockAdRock Posts: 241
Hello, I’m looking at options for a medium sized evergreen tree with berries for birds. Someone suggested a cotoneaster but as a tree, but I’ve read they can be invasive so looking at alternatives. It will be planted alongside a photinia red robin.

I do like the idea of the cotoneaster so would be good to hear what people think 


  • Cambridgerose12Cambridgerose12 Posts: 1,119
    edited February 2021
    I’ve never heard of Cotoneaster trees being invasive—yet, anyway. There is ‘Cornubia’ which would be nice, with red berries. Don’t forget the hollies either, which make beautifully shaped plants if well positioned. One of my favourite evergreen berrying trees is Photinia davidiana, formerly Stranvaesia, but it seems impossible to get hold of nowadays. I don’t know the reason. It has a better habit than the Cotoneaster. Another Cotoneaster that over time forms a tree is Cotoneaster lacteus, which is very beautiful.
  • Up here in Perthshire there are some really wonderful Cotoneasters...full of berries.
    However, the birds no not seem to eat the berries.
    For birds maybe Holly would be a better choice.
    The birds love Holly berries.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    edited February 2021
    We had a weeping cotoneaster that was there when we moved in. It did lose some leaves so semi evergreen but it had lovely red berries but the blackbird did defend the tree and chased off any other blackbird that was interested tree pictured In the foreground. I have a smaller garden now but have cotoneaster juliette which again is semi evergreen, variegated leaves and red berries. Last year the blackbirds was keen, this year it's discovered the crab apples. 
  • I tell a lie—Photinia davidiana is available here:

    It’s not all that much like ‘Red Robin’, but they do both have red new growth, so might not work together so well.
  • I think the ‘invasive’ label refers to their ‘ behaviour’ in parts of North America. I’m not aware of cotoneaster being considered a problem in the UK. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil Posts: 718
    edited February 2021
    I have a couple of types of cotoneaster in the garden here and they do seem to self seed to some extent but not in numbers that are difficult to control. I agree with the suggestion above that Holly would be another good evergreen option for berries for the birds and another option if you are planting away from cold winds might be Myrtle, although I find these self seed a bit as well in case this is something you are eager to avoid.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited February 2021
    Viburnum? Pyracanthus?  Standards.
  • AdRockAdRock Posts: 241
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone 
  • I have a couple of pyracanthas, about 6 feet tall.  Fab berries but the birds strip them very quickly.  Only downside are the thorns - they really are ‘swines with spines’ 🤬
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 989
    Agreed about pyracantha, it looks great but is vicious!!
    I’ve no idea what I’m doing. 
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