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Contact information
For ordering information:
Griffith State Nursery
715-424-3700
For nursery related questions:
One of Wisconsin's state nurseries

Wildlife shrub species

Descriptions of some shrub species available for purchase from the DNR's State Nursery Program.

Hawthorn (Cratageus spp)

Hawthorns are small trees, growing 20-24 feet tall. They are attractive to ruffed grouse and numerous songbird species. Hawthorns need full sun and should not be planted on moist, wet, or extremely dry soils. Silt loam soils are best.

Crab, Prairie (Malus ioensis)

A hardy southern Wisconsin tree that grows to 15-30 feet in height. Its fruit is utilized by many species of birds and animals. The crabapple prefers well-drained loam soils, but it can tolerate a variety of soils.

Cranberry, American Highbush (Viburnum trilobum)

American highbush cranberry requires well-drained to moist sites for best development. It can attain heights of 10-13 feet. Its white flower clusters appear in May, and the bright, orange-red fruits appear in September. The fruit is often persistent throughout the winter, suggesting that it may not be especially palatable for wildlife. However, it can serve as an emergency food source in severe winters.

Dogwood, Silky (Cornus amomum)

Dogwoods attain heights of 4-10 feet and the fruit is a favorite food of turkey, grouse, quail, and many songbirds. Dogwoods will grow on moist to well-drained soils and do best in full sunlight.

Dogwood, Red-Osier (Cornus stolonifera)

Red-osier dogwood prefers wet to well-drained soils, and should not be planted on draughty sites. It is extremely winter-hardy throughout Wisconsin. This is a multiple-stemmed, upright, spreading shrub that stands 10 to 12 feet tall when mature. It spreads by underground stolons.

The red stems are distinctive year-round, but are bright red in spring. May flowers produce a small, white berry. In midsummer, blossoms and mature fruits can occur on the same shrub.

This shrub is heavily browsed by deer, and the fruit is a preferred food of wild turkey, grouse, quail and many songbirds.

Hazelnut, American (Corylus americana)

A moderate sized shrub that is commonly found along woodland edges, old pastures and thickets. American hazelnut prefers full sun for best growth and development. Though it can grow and persist in partial shade, plant density and fruit production are greatly reduced. It is a medium to fast growing species, that suckers moderately, eventually producing a multi-stemmed, clump appearance. American Hazelnut grows to a height of 8-12 feet and with a crown spread of 10 to 15 feet. The species adapts well to a range of soil pH and types, but does best on well-drained loams. The nuts produced by American hazelnut are a preferred mast by squirrels, deer, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants and other animals. The male catkins are a food staple of ruffed grouse throughout the winter.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

A multi-stemmed, arching shrub, reaching 10 feet in height at maturity. Small clusters of white flowers develop into brownish capsules in September. Ruffed grouse eat the buds and songbirds eat the small seeds. Ninebark provides excellent wildlife cover. It has the ability to grow on a wide variety of sites from goat prairies to sedge meadows. One of the few shrub species that does well on very droughty sites.

Plum, American (Wild Plum, Prunus americana)

American plum is a large shrub which can reach 15 feet in height. It forms dense thickets which are good for nesting. It produces dense clusters of white flower in May, and the one-inch, globe-shaped red-orange to blue plums mature in August. The wild plum grows best in full sun on well-drained silt loams.

Last revised: Thursday September 10 2015