Winter Trees That Are Great For Attracting Wildlife

It can get really cold in Rhode Island in the winter. So cold in fact that most birds leave for warmer climates where they stay until spring. But not all birds head south. Many stay behind and spend the winter searching for hard-to-find food and water while battling the bitter cold. You can help them out by planting trees that offer both protection from the elements and food. We have already shown you our favorite summer trees to plant in Rhode Island, now we present our list of favorite winter trees.

Sargent Crabapple

The Sargent crabapple is a stout little tree that can fit in any size yard. In the spring it explodes with clusters of fragrant white flowers. Its thick crown and zigzagging branches add to its appeal. The Sargent crabapple holds onto its red fruit in the winter providing food for robins, mockingbirds, red-necked pheasant, grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, cottontail rabbits, and red foxes.Β 

Colorado Blue Spruce

The blue spruce is a star in the winter when all the other trees lose their leaves. Although it does not produce any fall colors, the blue spruce provides plenty of appeal at any time of the year. The Colorado blue spruce is not native to Rhode Island but rather the Rocky Mountains. Many landscapers and homeowners love blue spruces because of their thick branches and color that provide great privacy and windscreens on small properties. Blue spruces are great nesting and roosting spots for birds such as robins, siskins, nuthatches, crossbills, and chickadees.Β 

White Spruce

The white spruce is a native of Canada and the northwestern United States. It is a large, pyramid-shaped evergreen with aromatic foliage. It can tolerate most soil conditions and can live for a very long time if cared for properly. They can provide the same wind-blocking and privacy qualities of blue spruce but with a more interesting shape. The white spruce provides plenty of nesting and roosting spots and is a welcome relief from the winter winds. White spruces attract a wide assortment of wildlife to your yard including crossbills, evening grosbeaks, red-breasted nuthatches, grouse, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and sometimes porcupines and black bears.

Washington Hawthorn

The Washington hawthorn is a colorful tree that will brighten up any landscape. Its show of colors begins in the spring when reddish-purple leaves emerge. The leaves turn dark green as they are joined by beautiful white flowers. In the fall, the leaves turn color again but this time into shades of oranges and purples. The red berries cling to the tree and extend the show into the winter. The bright red berries contrast beautifully against the white snow and attract birds and mammals throughout winter.


This serviceberry tree is beautiful any time of the year. Starting in the spring, beautiful white clusters of blooms make it a head-turning wonder that boosts your curb appeal. In the fall, its foliage transforms into vivid reds and golds. It produces plump red berries that are a favorite of birds and are also great for making pies and preserves.

Canadian Hemlock

The Canadian hemlock is a handsome evergreen that is perfect for planting as a screen or groupings. They prefer full sun to light shade and can grow up to 40′ – 70′. Canadian hemlock provides an excellent cover for deer and songbirds. It is a preferred nesting site for warblers and the seeds are enjoyed by juncos, chickadees, and siskins.

American Holly

American holly can range from 25 ft. to as tall as 60 ft. During the warm months, the tree provides shade and just looks like any ordinary tree to the untrained eye. But in the winter, the females produce bright red berries that have become a symbol of Christmas time. Its branches are popular Christmas decorations and the berries add to the holiday atmosphere. In order for the tree to produce berries, you need both a male and female plant. Many kinds of songbirds, game birds, and mammals eat the berries but the fruits are poisonous to humans.

Keep Your RI Trees and Ornamentals Healthy With Services From 4 EverGreen

After you plant your trees and shrubs it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. Unfortunately, there are many pests and diseases out there that can damage or even kill your trees and ornamentals. At 4EverGreen we offer tree and shrub services that are guaranteed to make your trees healthier and more attractive looking. Our program is designed specifically for the needs of your Rhode Island trees and shrubs.Β 

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