'Red Sprite' berries persisting

terratoma(7a)January 19, 2013

I planted several 'Red Sprite' winterberries, together with a 'Jim Dandy' pollinator, last fall. They were about 24" in height and loaded with berries. I located them close to my 10 birdfeeders. Needless to say, I have loads of birds that remain year round and which keep me busy refilling the feeders daily. Despite this, the 'Red Sprites' remain, at this late date, loaded with berries.

Two questions: Any idea why the birds haven't been eating the berries? (I've read from numerous sites that birds devour them.) Aside from the birds, should the berries persist this late? Temperatures are usually in the high thirties to mid-fourties during the day and drop to high thirties at night, although yesterday's snow dropped the temps significantly.
Appreciate any help with my concerns.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

IME, the berries persist until eaten. It's not uncommon for early returning birds like robins or cedar waxwings to descend and strip them entirely in one day. Not being eaten probably means that there are other foods sources that are preferred nearby.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dzitmoidonc(6)

Another thing to consider is that some berries must ferment before the birds can eat them. The Hawthorn here holds the fruit until they turn black and seem inedible. Then the birds devour them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I don't think winterberries in general need fermenting since around here they usually get eaten by Christmas. However, I don't have experience with 'Red Sprite' in particular, and so there may be something in that selection that makes it unpalatable until later in the winter.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
j0nd03

Are the berries larger on this cultivar than usual for the species? Seems I read somewhere that this is true and may play a role with their avian consumption. No idea for sure, though. Hey, I read it on the internet so it must be true! Right?

John

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
splitrock

Most of the winterberry hollies here in Raleigh, NC still have loads of berries. I think the birds will descend on them as soon as they are sufficently ripe, which may not be until later in the winter. I have noticed the same thing with acorns. The bluejays wait until they are soft, then show up in numbers.
I, on the other hand, have zero berries on my Red Sprites. They were at our mountain house and the deer ate every leaf of both the Red Sprites and the Jim Dandy last summer. I transplanted them in October to our Raleigh house, which, so far, has no deer. (The deer are in the neighborhood, but don't yet come as far as our street.) Hoping for berries next year!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Plumbago and Duranta Sapphire Showers close to house
Would it be fine to plant Plumbago and Duranta Sapphire...
delidiva
Haskap
Aka, honeyberry, aka blue-fruited honeysuckle, aka...
wisconsitom
County Extension/Horticulture agents
Folks, many of us here make frequent recommendations...
wisconsitom
light green/gray discoloration on Nellie Stevens
There are several Nellie Stevens hollies at our new...
hafamily5
what's this on my Viburnum?
I have two otherwise healthy Viburnum 'Autumn Jazz'...
skidoo22
Sponsored Products
Red Parsons Desk with Drawer
Overstock.com
Veneto Semi-Flushmount by LBL Lighting
$1,072.00 | Lumens
T-fal C112SC75 Signature Total Nonstick Aluminum 12 Piece Cookware Set - Red Mul
$79.99 | Hayneedle
Celina Four-Light Dark Rust Island Pendant with Scarlet Red Glass
$390.00 | Bellacor
China Red Textured Silk Black Bronze Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
4'x6' Rust Red Persian Nahavand 100 Percent Wool Oriental Rug Handmade Sh20230
1800 Get A Rug
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™