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Audubon® Carolina Buckthorn
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A dapper little tree that fits into any garden! Whether large or small, sunny or shady, formal or natural, your garden will benefit from Carolina Buckthorn. This petite, tidy tree boasts an adaptable, easygoing nature; smooth, glossy green leaves that hold late in the season; and pretty berries that turn from bright red to black as they ripen. Best of all are the songbirds the fruits bring to your yard in late summer and fall. Robins, Cedar Waxwings, grosbeaks, cardinals, catbirds, orioles, and White-Throated Sparrows are some of the many birds that find them tasty. Wonderful as a small specimen tree or an informal hedge.
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Know your Buckthorns! Two European Buckthorns, the Common Buckthorn and the Glossy Buckthorn, have damaged the reputation of the whole lot. These two species have jumped the garden fence and proven to be invasive in some areas of the country. Once introduced to wild spaces, they displace the native flora and reduce the availability of more beneficial wildlife habitat. Carolina Buckthorn, on the other hand, is native to the lower Midwest and Southeast. It is completely safe to plant and is a force for good in the environment. In fact, you cannot have too many Carolina Buckthorns!
Carolina Buckthorn blooms in early summer, but you probably won’t notice the flowers, as they’re very small and hidden by the foliage. Pollinators notice them, though! Our hardworking bees, as well as beneficial wasps, flies, and beetles appreciate them and will gladly collect their pollen and nectar.
How to Grow
This lovely native tree is easy to please. It is probably best with just a little shade during the hottest part of the day, but it will do fine in full sun, as well as in quite a bit of shade. Once established, it will need supplemental water only in times of drought. In the wild, Carolina Buckthorn grows most abundantly on alkaline (limestone) soils, but it is tolerant of more acidic conditions. Buckthorn bark is thin and smooth; be careful not to damage it with yard equipment, which can provide an entry point for disease.
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