Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Bayberry Seeds Are Ready to Stratify

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December 12, 2019

Northern bayberry is an attractive native shrub that stands out in late fall because of its waxy, pewter colored fruits. According to UMaine Cooperative Extension, many bird species eat these fruits, “including songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and marsh birds. They are a preferred food of chickadees, red-bellied woodpeckers, tree swallows, catbirds, bluebirds, yellow-rumped warblers, and others. Bayberry thickets also provide nesting sites for songbirds, offering excellent protection from raccoons and other nest predators.” One way to propagate this shrub (albeit slowly) is to collect fruits now and stratify them – keep them in a moist seed-starting medium in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should germinate after three to five months.

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