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Tree/Shrub for summer dirth SE KY

1772 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  UTvolshype
I'm looking to develop a stand of trees or shrubs that can help the bees through the summer months. It is my understanding that after sourwood blooms here that there is hardly any major honey flows untill fall. I plan on planting this stand within the next three years, and would like to start early with propogation to save myself money. I understand that i'll need a significant number of plants and thats why i'm starting early.

I've heard some good reports about a plant known as Golden Rain Tree. I'm not sure where it's bloom time fits in with the local honey flows. There is no point in duplicating an already effective honey flow.

Do any of you know of good trees or shrubs that would help my bees get through the summer a little easier?
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I planted some Vitex Negundo seedlings several years ago. I didn't know how well those bushes/trees would do here in East TN, but they are mostly doing fine. They are flowering now (not much else is here at this time but I do see some honeysuckle) and attracting lots of native pollinators. I had seen natives on the vitex previously, but today I saw honeybees on them also. Currently the vitex receiving full sun are about 5-6 ft tall. Ones in partial sun are about half that size.

Given that, I suggest planting Vitex in full sun. My Vitex seeds came courtesy of a Beesource member (thanks Almondralf:)) but I see that Seedman offers Vitex seeds for sale:

Korean Bee Tree (Evodia danielli) is a popular bee plant at Beesource, and offered for sale by several members. Search should turn up multiple threads on this tree. I personally have not planted any of these. has calendula listed as a bee plant, but i've got almost an entire bed of it planted in my garden and i've never seen a bee on it. It flowers alot, but not a single bee, native or otherwise. I'm using a different variety "radio" calendula from baker creek. I'll look into vitex
Black sumac/smooth sumac (Rhus Glabra) is getting ready to bloom in North Georgia/East Tennessee, this will be the last large sumac bush to bloom that may produce a small surplus of nectar.
Leaves are darker that other sumac bushes and the shrub is normally smaller that the bigger species. Collect the seed pods this fall and store outside for planting in spoil areas next spring. Since it's a native plant it should grow and be productive in most areas of the southeast and eastern US.
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