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The Best Trees and Shrubs for Ontario Pollinators
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)
The Serviceberry is a very important source of nectar and pollen for awakening pollinators along with maples and willows.
MAY > JUNE
CANADA PLUM (Prunus nigra)
AMERICAN PLUM (Prunus americana)
The Plum are very fragrant and have abundant pollen and nectar.
CHERRY (Prunus serotina, pensylvania, virginiana)
The Cherry family have abundant pollen and nectar.
EASTERN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis)
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) – Learn more
NORTHERN CATALPA (Catalpa speciosa) – Learn more
INDIGO BUSH (Amorpha fruticosa)
The Indigo Bush flowers for an incredibly long time. Not fragrant but oforous.
EASTERN FLOWERING DOGWOOD (Cornus florida)
The Eastern Flowering dogwood produces good amounts of both pollen and nectar.
JUNE > JULY
HAWTHORN (Crataegys spp)
BASSWOOD (Tilia americana)
Basswood produces copious amounts of nectar. Extremely important tree.
ELDEBERRY (Sambucus nigra)
HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia tricanthos)
SUMAC (Rhus spp)
MEADOWSWEET (Spirea alba)
Meadowsweet is an important nectar and pollen source especially during typical August drought weather.