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Old 11-20-2010, 03:50 PM   #11
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We went for a field trip with my dendrology course yesterday, and were admiring the maple leaf viburnum (V. acerifolium). It is beautiful, and has berries that the birds apparently like. I've never seen it for sale, though. I'm thinking about sneaking back for a cutting or a few berries...

My dogwood is only little, and has berries but not very many. Maybe in a few years it will attract a flock. I'm hoping in a few years all the shrubs I'm planting will fill in and I'll have a real understory layer. I'm not sure if I don't because the construction of the house in 1993 wiped it out, or if the canopy is too dense, or my soil is too poor. It is probably a combination, but in the area we opened up with the new driveway, parts are getting more sun and with soil amendments, I'm hopeful.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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V. acerifolium is a larval host to Spring Azure!!! Way to go turttle!!! Most of those are propagated by seed and they're pretty easy to pick up locally if you want. Now's not a good time taking cuttings since that species is propagated from softwood cuttings and rhizomes.... you'd be totally bummed when your cuttings petered out and the parent plant would be left exposed to a pathogen. Come on.... be brave.... ask for some seed of that plant and my bet is they'll tell you to take a few and there's a hidden plus.... every time I ask I get pointed to a better seed parent and.... I usually get asked if there's anything else I want and sometimes folk walk me to their "secret" spots. If you can get your hands on seed... go for it!!! You're gonna have fun with this plant. It's pretty easy propagating this one from seed. My bet is you'd get at least a 50% germination rate winter sowing it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #13
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I don't know anyone who is growing it, so I was going to go and steal some berries off of the ones I've seen and bury them in appropriate spots in my woods. I'm not sure if I need to wait until the berries are a particular color, ie "ripe", before I pick them though, to maximize the odds the seeds are ready. Any thought on that?
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:55 AM   #14
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I'm sure they're ready by now. I think I picked beries in September and got seedlings the next year, but not in spring. Much faster germination than some viburnums, though.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:07 AM   #15
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Weren't the folk who owned the place where you went on your field trip growing them? It's November so it's gotta be ready like he said. Just take off the pulp before you do anything with them. Squish it between your fingers under water and it comes off pretty easy. You'll have new babies next year!!!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:31 PM   #16
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Well, I went back and gathered berries. It was on conservation land - I'm sure I was not supposed to be doing any such thing, but I only took about a dozen off of a couple of relatively full shrubs, so I don't believe I caused any harm. I will wash away the fleshy bits and then plant them. I'm going to put them into pots to start, but put the pots out into the weather since I would assume a native shrub like this needs to stratify.

It sounds like it will be late into the season next year before I know if I've accomplished anything, but it is worth trying. If I see one for sale in the meanwhile, I'll probably grab it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #17
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I have some volunteer dogwood (I think it's roughleaved) and the berries are hugely popular with the birds. Other dogwoods should be quite popular, too. These links will take you to the USDA pages about dogwood and viburnum. If you look down the page a bit, there is a map of the U.S. for each species, showing its native range, so that you can quickly identify species for your area. If you click on one, you can then click on your state and see if a species is native for your county!

PLANTS Profile for Cornus (dogwood) | USDA PLANTS


PLANTS Profile for Viburnum (viburnum) | USDA PLANTS

I am planning to add viburnum to my shrubs just because they will provide food at a different time of year. My dogwoods have fruit in late summer/early fall. And it's all eaten immediately. I hope I don't break any rules by saying that the Arbor Day foundation has a tree store online which has shrubs like the viburnum that are very inexpensive. I'm disappointed that they offer more non-native plants than native, but they do offer a number of great natives like the viburnum.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
...all eaten immediately.
Missouri native, it's the same thing here with the dogwood fruits, they disappear in a day or two. Cardinals, catbirds, and robins.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:17 PM   #19
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Missouri native, I have ordered a bunch of stuff from ArborDay. They are inexpensive, and if you know what you want, you can get good native trees and shrubs from them. Of course, I'm still waiting for my order... they promised it would be here by Dec 15, so it isn't late.

Dogwoods are a great idea. I hadn't realized how many are shrub-sized rather than trees. I was looking at the maps, and it is amazing how many of them just miss NC in distribution, but I'm not that much of a purist - if it is native down to Virginia, that is close enough for me! I'm going to try a few of the rough-leafed dogwoods and see how they do.

I have some photos posted on the plant ID thread. The flowers look quite a lot like a couple of the dogwood ones, and the twigs are very red. If any of you are dogwood experts, please take a look. They shouldn't be blooming now, if that is what they are, but many things are mixed up this year by our abnormally warm fall and are blooming out of season.
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