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Berry and Fruit Plants to Avoid

Bears are attracted to ripened berries because of their sweet taste and high caloric value.

Whether they are naturally occurring or planted on your property, you can expect bears to be attracted to berry patches around your home.

You can reduce this attractant by picking berries as they ripen or consider removing the berry bushes.

Below is a list of berries or other fruit, bushes, shrubs and flowers that may attract a bear to your backyard.


Red-osier Dogwood (Red Willow)
Leaves: Opposite, oval to egg-or lance-shaped, 2-8 cm long
Flowers: Four-petaled, greenish-white color (Late May to June)
Fruits: Berry-like drupes, white
Height: Shrub, up to 2 m tall
Pin Cherry
Leaves: Oval to lance-shaped, 3-10 cm long, gradually taper to long point at tip
Flowers: In flat-topped clusters, white, 6-10mm across
Fruits: Bright-red cherries, 5-8 mm across, sour (Mid-August)
Height: Shrub or small tree, 1-5 m tall
Wolf Willow
Leaves: Alternate, oval to egg-or lance-shaped, 2-6 cm long, silvery color
Flowers: Many clusters of tiny, tubular yellow flowers with four petals (June-July)
Fruits: Oval, silver berry-like fruit, contain 1 large nutlet
Height: Shrub or small tree, up to 4 m tall

Canadian Buffaloberry/Soap Berry/Shepherdia
Leaves: Opposite, elliptic to narrowly oval, dark greenish above; whitish, silvery and fuzzy below.
Flower: Single or in small clusters; yellowish brown, 4 mm wide (May-June)
Fruits: Bright red, yellow or orange in color, round, 4-6 mm. Only female plants bear fruit. (Berries ripen late-July to mid-August)
Height: Spreading shrub, up to 1.5 m tall

Choke Cherry
Leaves: Oval, fairly broad and finely toothed
Flowers: Popsicle-shaped clusters up to 10 cm long (May-June)
Fruits: Round purplish-black berries (August)
Height: Small tree, less than 10 m tall
Wild Rose
Leaves: Sharply toothed, compound leaves, 5-9 leaflets
Flowers: 5 showy pink petals, 4-5 cm across (Late May to early August)
Fruits: Red, spherical to pear-shaped, fleshy ‘hips’
Height: Shrub, up to 1.5 m
Western Mountain Ash
Leaves: Compound, coarsely toothed leaflets, dark brown bark
Flowers: Dense clusters of small white flowers
Fruits: Showy, bright reddish-orange, in large bunches
Height: Several-stemmed shrub, 1-4 m tall



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