Sambucus is a large bush or shrub that is native to the U.S. and Europe. The bush produces bluish-black fruit in bunches that are used in wines, juices, jellies and jams. The berries themselves are quite bitter, so they are rarely eaten by themselves. Elderberries are easy to grow and have a mature height of 10-12 feet, spreading out 8-10 feet.
Serviceberry is a dense multi-stemmed shrub or small tree that can reach 20 feet tall. It offers showy white flowers in spring, and is the most winter hardy of the serviceberries.
Serviceberry should be grown in full sun or light shade. It prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil. This shrub needs pruning only if multiple stems are being thinned to enhance the appearance of the trunk. This tree rarely needs to be fertilized. It is hardy in Zones 3 to 7. Serviceberry is resistant to pests.
Red Osier Dogwood
This perennial shrub will mature at 6-12 ft. tall, with conspicuous red twigs. Dense, flat-topped clusters of creamy-white blossoms are followed by umbrella-shaped clusters of pea-sized white berries. Autumn foliage is colorful. Red Osier is deciduous and native to our region. Preferred as a wildlife food by bluebirds and game birds.
American hazelnut matures at 5 to 8 feet, is a thicket-forming native shrub, excellent for naturalizing, woodland gardens and shade areas. Showy male flowers (catkins) add early spring interest, dark green leaves turn a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. The nuts mature from September to October, attracting seed-eating birds, such as blue jays and woodpeckers.