Trees That Attract Hummingbirds (From Crabapples to Hawthorns)

Trees that attract hummingbirds offer flowers with plenty of nectar to sustain these high-energy birds’ needs.

Not only this, but trees can also offer hummingbirds shelter and nesting opportunities.

Keep reading to find out which trees to plant for these tiny avian wonders, and how to create an environment they’ll want to return to year after year.

Key Takeaways

  • Hummingbirds visit flowering trees like Eastern Redbuds, Red Buckeyes, and Crabapple trees
  • Planting a hummingbird-friendly garden involves a mix of native trees, shrubs, and other plant types
  • Proper tree selection and care is important for promoting a balanced and healthy ecosystem hummingbirds will come back to

Trees That Attract Hummingbirds

red eucalyptus flowers blooming on a tree

Characteristics of Hummingbird-Friendly Trees

To entice these nimble flyers, trees should have the following characteristics:

  • Brightly colored, nectar-rich flowers (especially in shades of red, orange, or pink)
  • Tubular-shaped flowers that are accessible with their long bills
  • A structure that allows hummingbirds to perch and rest
  • Provide shelter and places for nesting

It’s worthwhile mentioning that native trees are often more attractive to hummingbirds, as they have adapted to living with these species.

It’s not that they don’t like exotic trees—but native trees tend to have the right type of nourishment and shelter hummingbirds are looking for.

Species of Trees Hummingbirds Like

Some notable trees that produce flowers hummingbirds are attracted to are:

  • Eastern Redbud
  • English Hawthorn
  • Northern Catalpa
  • Red Buckeye
  • Silk Tree
  • Tulip Tree
  • Eucalyptus tree
  • Apple Tree
  • Crabapple Tree

The Eastern Redbud Tree, a Hummingbird Favorite

flowering eastern redbud tree

Let’s take a closer look at the Eastern Redbud tree to get a good idea of why hummingbirds choose these types of trees.

  • This tree blooms with small pink flowers early in the year, which stand out even more since they appear before the heart-shaped leaves.
  • The Eastern Redbud’s flowers are tightly clustered with an elongated shape that’s easy for the hummingbird to sip nectar from.
  • Beyond this, the Eastern Redbud’s flowers come in variations of pink (a color the hummingbird is attracted to), with one cultivar called “Forest Pansy” producing purple foliage.

So, as you can see, it matters what the shape and color of the tree’s flowers are in terms of keeping hummingbirds interested.

Read Next: Red Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Shrubs, Vines, and Flowers for Hummingbirds

  • Shrubs and vines: Not just trees, but various shrubs and vines are also known to be hummingbird magnets. The Honeysuckle is an ornamental vine, which boasts flowers with long, tubular throats – an ideal shape for hummingbirds to feed on. Another popular option is the Butterfly Bush, which produces blooms that can attract not only hummingbirds but butterflies as well.
  • Perennials: Incorporating a mix of perennials and annuals in your garden can also help create a hummingbird-friendly habitat. Bee balm, also known as Monarda, is a perennial that produces nectar-rich, tubular flowers. Columbine and Delphinium are two other perennial options that could enhance your garden’s appeal to hummingbirds. Find out which perennial flowers attract hummingbirds in this related article.
  • Annuals: Among annuals, consider planting Impatiens, Petunias, and Salvia, as these flowers are known to attract the attention of hummingbirds. For optimal results, choose varieties in red, pink, and purple shades. We talk about more annuals to attract hummingbirds in this article.

Creating a Hummingbird-Friendly Garden

hummingbird attracted to orange flowers in a garden

Certain elements and plant varieties can transform your outdoor space into a haven for hummingbirds.

Let’s cover them now.

Sun and Shade

To begin, focus on providing a mix of sun and shade in your garden to establish a suitable environment for both hummingbirds and the plants they love. Plenty of sunlight helps nectar-rich plants thrive, while a bit of shade offers relief for these birds on hot days.

Choosing the Right Plants

Selecting the right plants is crucial for attracting hummingbirds. Opt for nectar-rich flowers and trees, such as honeysuckle and beebalm, since they are easy for these birds to feed on and enjoy. Native species like coral honeysuckle and cardinal flowers are also great choices.

Layering your garden with various forms of foliage and flowers will not only add visual interest but also provide shelter and perching spots for hummingbirds. Ensure that you have a diverse range of plant heights, from groundcovers to tall trees, for maximum appeal.

Water Sources

Water is a key element in any garden, and hummingbirds are no exception.

Offer a shallow water source such as a bird bath or a water feature with a gentle trickle, and you’ll provide an important resource for them to drink and bathe in.


In addition to nectar, hummingbirds also feed on insects. Encouraging a healthy insect population in your garden will provide these birds with a vital source of protein. Avoid using harsh chemicals and opt for organic pest control methods to maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Following these tips will result in a hummingbird-friendly garden that is not only a beautiful and peaceful retreat for you but also a welcoming and supportive environment for your new flying friends.

Choosing and Caring for Trees

  • When choosing a tree, it’s crucial to consider the suitable growing zones and soil requirements. Trees such as horse chestnut and strawberry tree thrive in well-drained, slightly acidic soil in growing zones 7-11. Additionally, pay attention to the bloom times of the trees to ensure a continuous display of flowers throughout the growing season. It’s also helpful to select native trees, as they are more likely to succeed in your location and benefit local pollinators.
  • Caring for your hummingbird-attracting trees is relatively simple, but there are a few key points to remember. First, make sure to plant them in the appropriate soil type for their optimal growth. Additionally, ensure that the tree has enough space to spread out and grow freely—some trees, like the catalpa speciosa, can grow up to 40-70 feet tall and have broad, expansive canopies.
  • Along with planting trees, consider adding a variety of flowering plants, such as hollyhocks, heuchera, lupine, bleeding heart, and foxglove, to create a diverse and colorful garden that will further entice hummingbirds. Mixing in native plants like lobelia cardinalis and coral bells will also provide a valuable source of nectar for these pollinators.

Maintaining a Healthy Ecosystem

When it comes to attracting hummingbirds and supporting a thriving ecosystem, various factors play a role.

  • Planting trees and flowers that hummingbirds love not only provides them with nourishment, but also helps create a healthy environment for these fascinating birds to thrive in.
  • In addition to nectar, hummingbirds are attracted to certain colors, particularly red, orange, and pink. Native flowering plants like wild bergamot and lemon beebalm display these hues and are a favorite among these avian visitors.
  • To maximize the chances of attracting hummingbirds, ensure that your garden offers flowers of varying heights and foliage types. This provides ample feeding spots and resting areas for these tiny visitors.
  • Another factor when designing a garden to support a healthy ecosystem is providing a water source for hummingbirds. These birds need fresh water to drink and bathe in. A shallow water feature or birdbath with gently moving water will attract hummingbirds and can make your garden even more appealing to them and other wildlife.
  • Moreover, tubular-shaped flowers make feeding easier for hummingbirds, so including them in your garden can keep these birds coming back for more. Tubular flowers like trumpet vine or coral honeysuckle are a perfect fit for their long, slender beaks, allowing them to access nectar efficiently.
  • When designing a hummingbird-friendly garden, it’s also important to think about the plants that support the other creatures hummingbirds interact with. For example, nectar-rich flowers also attract bees, butterflies, and various types of insects, which form a critical part of the birds’ diet. Plant a mix of annuals, perennials, and flowering trees, and you’ll create a diverse, flourishing ecosystem.


Fortunately, there are numerous trees that attract hummingbirds to your garden, with some of the most popular options being the Northern Catalpa and Crab Apples. These trees not only provide a visually stunning addition to your landscape but also support the hummingbird population by supplying them with nectar-rich flowers.

As a gardener looking to create a hummingbird-friendly yard, you may want to plant certain types of trees and plants that hummingbirds are naturally drawn to. Some popular choices include trees with trumpet or bell-shaped flowers, which offer the sweetest nectar for these birds. Flowers such as Scarlet beebalm and Coral honeysuckle are also excellent choices for attracting hummingbirds.

When planning your garden, keep in mind that these birds appreciate a diverse landscape with a mix of trees and other plants. Incorporating both trees and flowering plants helps provide hummingbirds with various sources of nectar and shelter, making your outdoor space more attractive to them.

Overall, attracting hummingbirds to your garden is a rewarding way to support these beautiful pollinators while enhancing the aesthetics of your landscape. If you select the best trees and plants for hummingbirds and maintain a diverse array of flora, you can create a haven not only for these small creatures but also for other pollinators that are indispensable to our ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of trees are best for attracting hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are attracted to various types of trees, but they particularly love those with bright and nectar-rich flowers. Trees with tubular-shaped flowers are highly appealing to them, as they can easily access the nectar using their long bills and tongues.

Trees providing shelter, nesting opportunities, and perching spots will also be more attractive to hummingbirds.

Which flowering trees do hummingbirds prefer?

Hummingbirds prefer flowering trees that produce abundant nectar and colorful blooms. Some popular tree choices include Crabapple, Hawthorn, and Sitka Mountain Ash.

Flowering trees like these will also make your garden look lovely while attracting the hummingbirds.

Are there any specific tree species that hummingbirds are drawn to?

Yes, there are specific tree species that are more attractive to hummingbirds. Some examples include Manzanita (Arctostaphylos) and Abelia grandiflora. Other popular species are Crabapple, Hawthorn, and Sitka Mountain Ash.

What other plants or shrubs can be combined with trees to create a hummingbird-friendly garden?

To create a hummingbird-friendly garden, you can combine trees with flowering plants and shrubs that also provide nectar and shelter. Some examples include Trumpet Vine, Salvia, Fuchsia, and Bee Balm.

Adding a variety of plants will increase the overall diversity and attractiveness of your garden for hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Do hummingbirds prefer native or exotic tree species?

While hummingbirds can be attracted to both native and exotic tree species, they tend to prefer native trees. Native trees have evolved alongside hummingbirds, which means they often have the right characteristics to provide food, shelter, and nesting opportunities for these birds.

Planting native trees in your garden or landscape can help support the local hummingbird population and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.

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