When you think of bee populations pollinating plants, you often think of perennials and shrubs. However, several native trees of Maryland are excellent sources of food for bees. Native plants are always a useful tool for keeping bird and insect populations thriving, and bees are especially in need of help as their presence is crucial for maintaining our local ecosystems. If you want to make your garden a haven for bees, consider picking up any of these native tree species, which are all currently listed in American Native Plants’ tree catalog.
Black Cherry Tree (Prunus serotina)
While most trees pollinate by wind, the black cherry is one of the few native trees that need pollinators to help them bear their fruit. Bees are attracted to the delicate white flowers that bloom in late spring, and their berries attract many species of birds as well. The black cherry can grow up to 60 feet tall and prefers part to full sun with medium to dry soils.
Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Flowering dogwood trees attract three different mining bees through their large spring flowers, which usually begin to bloom in April. This tree is on the smaller side and prefers to grow in the full sun.
Oak Tree (Quercus)
Bees love native trees like oak for their spring catkins and their bark, which bees use for shelter. Red oak (Quercus falcata), white oak (Quercus alba), and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) are the most common varieties found in Maryland. They can grow up to 80 feet tall in the full sun, and make excellent shade trees.
Bees love maple trees for their nectar-rich flowers, as well as their sap. Honey bees will collect the sap through holes created by birds such as woodpeckers. Additionally, the sapsucker bee can drill its own hole through the bark! Red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and box-elder (Acer negundo) are the best species for bee populations.
Redbud Trees (Cercis canadensis)
Native trees such as redbuds have small pink flowers that attract honey bees and carpenter bees in the early spring. The trees can tolerate shade, but planting them in the sun will yield more flowers, which will attract more bees.
Canadian Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
The serviceberry trees produce nectar-rich white flowers in early spring that honey bees and mining bees adore. This smaller, multi-stemmed tree prefers full to partial sun, and it can grow up to 20 feet tall. Its summer berries are also a great source of food for local birds.
Visit your native plant nursery to select any of these trees to add to your growing native plant garden.
VISIT AMERICAN NATIVE PLANTS
Whether you’re looking to build a rain garden or beautify your property, American Native Plants can provide you with the right plants for the job. With an inventory of over 400,000 native trees, native shrubs, and herbaceous plants, consider American Native Plants, your one-stop shop for wholesale native plant needs.
Our nursery, conveniently located in Middle River, Maryland, is open year-round to accommodate your native plant needs. We are continually updating and increasing our inventory to meet the demands of our customers.