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Native Trees and Plants for Wildlife

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By planting native trees and plants for wildlife, you can add beauty to your yard while providing food and shelter for our wild neighbors at the same time. Using natural elements to feed and attract animals helps restore the food chain and denies the need for artificial food or commercial feeders. Our list below highlights native trees that attract and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife.  You can learn more by exploring UF's Living Green - Landscaping for Wildlife webpage

Species

Evergreen or Deciduous

Season of Fruiting

Value to Wildlife

Green Buttonwood
(Conocarpus erectus)

Evergreen

Spring – Winter

Excellent cover and nesting plant; can be trimmed into hedge; salt tolerant, wind resistant and tolerates wet areas.

Cedar, Southern Red
(Juniperus silicicola)

Evergreen

Year-round

Good cover and nesting plant; blue fruit attracts tree swallows, cedar waxwings, mockingbirds, yellow-rumped warblers, bluebirds, flickers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, opossums. Only female trees bear fruit.

Cypress, Bald (Taxodium distichum)
Cypress, Pond (Taxodium ascendens)

Deciduous

Fall – Winter

Seed cones used by gray squirrels, ducks, other; long-lived pest-free tree.

Orange Geiger Tree

(Cordia sebestena)

Evergreen

Fall – Spring

Bright orange flowers relished by hummingbirds; cold sensitive.

Gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba)

Deciduous

Summer

Cluster of red fruit eaten by mockingbirds and vireos; warblers and flycatchers often see in canopy.

Dahoon (Ilex cassine)

Evergreen

Fall – Winter

Female plants bear red fruit that persists into the winter; eaten by many species of birds; good cover; summer flowers are important source of pollen for bees.

Lancewood (Nectandra coriacea)

Evergreen

Fall

Deep purple fruit especially attractive to wood thrushes and veeries.

Maple, Red (Acer rubrum)

Deciduous

Summer

Winged seeds eaten by some birds and mammals

Mastic
(Mastichodendron foetidissimum)

Evergreen

Spring – Winter

Yellow fleshy fruit eaten by birds, raccoons, opossums; known as "jungle plum."

Mulberry, Red
(Morus rubra)

Deciduous

Spring

Usually only female plants bear fruit; abundant berries attract woodpeckers (including pileated), kingbirds, great crested flycatchers, blue jays, crows, titmice, mockingbirds, thrashers, grackles, summer tanagers, cedar waxwings, opossums, raccoons, squirrels.

Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia)

Evergreen

Fall – Winter

Acorns are a primary wildlife food source and have high energy value; eaten by woodpeckers (Especially red-headed), blue jays, raccoons, gray squirrels; provides good cover and nesting sites, den trees and nesting materials; Laurel oaks only live about 80 years starting to hollow out around 30 to 40 years old making a great home for wildlife.

Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Evergreen

Fall – Winter

Acorns are a primary wildlife food source and have high energy value; eaten by woodpeckers (especially red-headed), blue jays, raccoons, quail, gray squirrels; provides good cover and nesting sites, den trees and nesting materials, including Spanish moss; many warbler species may be found in live oaks feeding on insects; live oak is salt tolerant.

Palm, Cabbage or Sabal
(Sabal palmetto)

Evergreen

Fall, Summer

Our state tree, white flowers attract honeybees and other insects; black fruit eaten by many birds, especially robins, grackles, mockingbirds, thrashers, red-bellied woodpeckers, catbirds, and raccoons; palm thatch used as nest building materials; frogs, lizards and insects live in crown where moisture collects; salt tolerant.

Palm, Florida Royal

(Roystonea elata)

Evergreen

Summer

Abundant fruits used by many birds.

Palm, Silver
(Coccothrinax argentata)

Evergreen

Summer

Large clusters of dark purple fruits eaten by many birds.

Palm, Thatch (Thrinax radiata and
(T. morrissii)

Evergreen

Summer

Copious white fruits used by songbirds.

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