Skip to Content

In the garden: Plants for birds/animals in winter

Find, identify and discuss the plants of all the SANParks
Jumbo

In the garden: Plants for birds/animals in winter

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:49 pm

We've just purchased our own “bush house"'

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:43 am

Hallo Freda
I've never been to the nursery at Lake Panic. Normally when we get into the Skukuza area, we try to get out of there as fast as possible - and don't have plants on our minds - only LIT :D
But I suppose they will have a bigger variety than Malelane gate - actually, I completely forgot about that nursery. Will have to make plan - my SO wants a fevertree for Christmas. :wink:

Freda wrote:How about telling us where your 'bush house' is going to be or are you afraid we may all descend on you :lol:
I have a feeling that at least two people on this forum are going to be your neighbours.


O no, I just though it is not appropriate. :redface:
It is in MP. It did cross my mind that there might be forumites who also have property there.
This is not merely going to be a "holiday house", in some respect it is going to be our house - long story. This is why I want to do some "gardening"

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:20 am

Imberbe wrote:Please dont spoil the bush by planting a city garden in the bush! I really get irritated by people landscaping the bush instead of enjoying it! (People in MP seems to get bored and then starts destroying the bush)

That does not mean that you can't plant any plants. But please do ensure that they are indigenous and local. Blend them in to your property. The nursery at Skukuza (Lake Panic) is the best! Wont find better plants or better prices.


Hi Imberbe

I see you are new to the Forum, welcome! :D
I agree with you 100%. The landscaped gardens and exotic plant really do not fit in and is an eyesore for me too - luckily our new place and its surrounding areas have been left untouched.
My idea is to definitely to use indigenous plant and not to plant them all standing in a nice row.
I however need advice on what plants to use. I suppose the guys at Lake Panic will be able to assist me in this regard.

I don't really want this thread to go about MP in particular. I contemplated that other people might also find it interesting to know what plants provide for animals and birds specifically in winter times. I've always wondered what the fruit eating birds live from in winter.

Kind Regards
Jumbo

User avatar
fevertree
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Nelspruit

Unread postby fevertree » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:09 am

Jumbo,
Your best bets for a great winter garden in the Lowveld are a variety of Aloes. Different species bloom from May through to about August and are great for attracting birds, insects and squirrels.
Secondly, plant the Common Coral Tree, Erythrina lysistemon. It blooms from June through to September and is amazing for attracting sunbirds, orioles, weavers, barbets etc etc. A really beautiful tree with scarlet flowers.It grows very easily from cuttings of the stem. let me know if you need, I can supply you with lots from my garden :) The Impala Lily is also winter flowering and really stunning. I am sure everyone who knows the Park will know this plant.
A good tree to plant as well is the Ana Tree, Faidherbia albida. It is unusual in that it gets its leaves in winter and is therefore a great tree to have in your garden as it provides shelter for many animals and birds. However, be warned, it gets to enormous proportions.
The crane flower, Strelitzia reginae is anice shrub that flowers in late winter. It is not really indigenous to the Lowveld, but South African nonetheless.
Also a good suggestion, plant one of the indigenous figs - the best being ficus thonningi, the common wild fig. Again, plant it far away from any structure as the roots are invasive. Great for attracting birds, squirrles, genets etc.
I have one in my garden and on occassions have counted up to 15 different bird species in the tree at the same time!
Hope this helps :D
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:36 am

Hi Fevertree

Thanks for the info. This is really going to help me.

Impala Lily I was planning to plant. They are truly beautiful at this stage in Kruger - only colour you see in the bush now. :(

Fevertree, between the Ana Tree and common Wild Fig, which one would you recommend for my purpose? And which one grows the fastest? When does the fig tree bear fruit? Don't the fig tree need to be close to water? I'm talking under correction now, but in Kruger you normally find them on riverbanks, (Sorry for all the questions :? )

We are privileged in that we have two stands and it is adjacent to parkland, so the size of the tree should not be a problem.

Concerning the Coral Tree, it appears that the Brown Headed Parrots also like them. :D This is indeed a beautiful tree.

Kind Regards
Jumbo

User avatar
fevertree
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Nelspruit

Unread postby fevertree » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:48 am

Hi Jumbo,
My preference would be for the fig tree. It bears fruit which attracts birds and also carries its leaves right till spring when the new leaves push the old ones off.
The Common Wild Fig in my garden does not have direct access to water and grows very well. It is about 12 m high. What I have seen is that different parts of the tree bear fruit at different times of the year - very strange. The south facing side of my tree is bearing fruit at the moment and there are lots of brown headed parrots and green pigeons.
So, the fig tree would be my choice.
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:17 am

Thank you Fevertree

The Wild Fig has always been one of my favourites.
The phenomenon of the fruit is rather interesting! Suppose it has to do with the sun shifting? :?

User avatar
fevertree
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Nelspruit

Unread postby fevertree » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:24 am

Puzzles me as well. Thought maybe it has something to do with nutrients and resources. Does not have enough nutrients, water etc in winter to produce fruit over the whole tree, so it produces only fruit on that part of the tree which is the healthiest :?
I know some trees (Leadwood for instance) will actually sacrifice branches when nutrient/resource levels are low. That way the tree as a whole is saved, even though a branch or 2 may be sacrificed for the good of the whole plant.
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

User avatar
Imberbe
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 13504
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Unread postby Imberbe » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:29 pm

I agree with the figtree, the Impala lilly and the Fever Tree. The Strelitzia is more problematic, since it is not indigenous to the area. By planting such a plant you would actually introduce a new species in to a natural(?) environment, creating the possibility for it to spread. :(

There are quite a number of figs that you find in the area which would be quite suited for your goal. Ficus thonningi (apparently now called Ficus burkei) is an excellent idea.

Another would be Ficus sur (Besemtrosvy / Broom-Cluster Fig) and its leaves are more eddible than that of thonningi. Its fruits ripen in June rather than August (thonningi).

Another candidate would be Ficus ingens (Rooiblaarvy / Red-leaved Fig). This is a much smaller tree than the others, reaching about 5m rather than 15m. Its fruit also ripen by the end of May. Its leaves are also quite edible (kudu etc.). Should you be so lucky as to have some big rocks on your property, this is the ideal place to plant them! :)

Aloes are also a great idea! But beware, the kudu love them to bits! I have sacrificed a few beautiful Impala lillies as wel as aloes to some hungry kudu ... they were there first after all! :wink:

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:10 pm

Senyetse, in total we planted 13 new trees in the bush around our house….only one made it, a Corral Tree (but it is still small). The dry conditions the past summer and now this winter, combined with the onslaught of the kudus was too much for the small trees ….we do not really mind the kudus though, as Imberbe we also believe that that is actually their place.
We have put up mesh wire around some of the tree to protect them but this was just pushed over. The Corral Tree seems to be quite hardened, the wire protection get pushed over every now and then, the tree is eaten till there is only a few twigs left, and then after a few weeks it seems fine again.

The Aloes is a winner with animals and birds alike. The flowers are used by so many birds in winter….some you would never have thought of, like the Fork-tailed Drongo!! Initially we thought this bird is after insects that are attracted to the flowers, but it appears that it actually enjoys the nectar!

I have to say, after trying to get these 13 trees to grow, I have so much more respect for every big tree I see in the bush…..they beat all odds to actually reach a decent size, and it takes so many years. Cutting down a grown tree should be banned by law, honestly!

User avatar
bucky
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread postby bucky » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:47 am

Unless of course its an invader that you cut down !

Jumbo , just watch your coral tree carefully , they are prone to a boring insect in there branches , if you notice something like this happening in the branch , you have to cut it far back or else the borer will go all the way back into the stem and kill the tree .

I hope some of your trees shoot up again though .

Did you try plant some buffalo thorn ?


Return to “Plants”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Philip1 at 10:06:22
orpen
Submitted by Philip1 at 10:51:54
satara
Submitted by Philip1 at 10:40:43
nossob
Submitted by Philip1 at 09:43:57